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UK Confidential Wednesday, 27 December, 2000, 15:54 GMT
1970: Remember when
Monty Python series two
Monty Python: Something completely different for 1970
Thirty years ago it was still the age of the Beatles and the mini-skirt. The US was at war with Vietnam and in the UK the pipe-smoking Harold Wilson was replaced by Edward Heath at Number 10. Join BBC News Online for a flashback to 1970.

Kids really did start to grow up more quickly in the this decade - at the very beginning of the year the official age of adulthood, or majority, was reduced from 21 to 18.

In the same month a new era in jet travel was launched when the first jumbo jet carrying 362 passengers completed a transatlantic flight from New York to London.

Some things did not change though - the airport's facilities had trouble coping with all the luggage and the onward flight to Frankfurt was cancelled due to bad weather.

Joplin
Janis Joplin died of a drugs overdose
The crippled spaceflight Apollo 13 managed a safe landing in the Pacific in April - after a 90 hour drama caused by an explosion in the craft's service module.

The planned moon landing had to be abandoned. But unable to turn back, the three-man crew were forced to continue around the moon before they could attempt to return to Earth.

Also in April teenagers everywhere went into mourning as the era of The Beatles finally came to a close. The Fab Four finally split amid bickering and artistic differences.

It happened in 1970
Jan: Mick Jagger fined 200 for cannabis possession
April: John Wayne wins Oscar for True Grit
May M*A*S*H wins Cannes Film Festival
June: Prince Charles graduates with a 2:2 from Cambridge
August: Windscale nuclear power station sealed off after leak
Sept: Concorde completes test flight to London
Nov: Allende sworn in as President of Chile

The Conservatives were back at Number 10 in June after a shock victory for Edward Heath in the general election. Most pollsters had predicted a return to power for Harold Wilson.

In the House the Tories won 330 seats, Labour 287, Liberals 6 and Others 7. There were accusations of complacency in the Labour camp, which had tried to portray the Tories as "Yesterday's Men".

The US was at war with Vietnam and in March President Nixon ordered the bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. The following month the US President sent troops into Cambodia to attack "communist bases" in an effort to shorten the duration of the war. The decision was to prove hugely controversial.

Bob Hope
Bob Hope entertaining troops in Vietnam
Anti-war protests in the US were widespread. In May four protesting students were shot dead by the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio.

Another two students were shot dead in a similar protest at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

The year also marked an escalation of international terrorism. In one day during "Black September" four planes were hijacked by the PFLP - the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The group demanded the release of Palestinian national extremists imprisoned in Germany. Switzerland and Israel. Two of the planes were taken to a former RAF airstrip in the middle of the Jordanian desert where they were blown up along with another plane hijacked a few days later. After some tense weeks all the hostages were eventually freed.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize
In October the soviet writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

The Soviet government attempted to force him to reject the award. But after he had accepted it later in the year, the state newspaper, Pravda, denounced him as "alien and hostile" to the Soviet people.

Former French president General Charles de Gaulle died in November. More than 6,000 people attended a requiem mass for him at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

Those present included President Pompidou, President Nixon, Prince Charles, Edward Heath, Mrs Gandhi and the Shah of Iran.

Other famous figures who died in 1970 included philosopher Bertrand Russell, author of The History of Western Philosophy and a founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Novelist EM Forster, author of A Passage to India and Howards End died in June. Forster wrote most of his novels in the first two decades of the century.

Finally, two rock deaths shocked both sides of the Atlantic.

In September, guitarist Jimi Hendrix was found dead. The following month US singer Janis Joplin died from a drugs overdose.

Links to more UK Confidential stories are at the foot of the page.


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