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Step Back Into….1971

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Voting age is lowered to 18 years old

Disney World opens in Orlando

By Paula Green

On January 2, the United States banned radio and television ads for cigarettes. The Quarter Pounder was introduced at McDonald’s for 53 cents. Starbucks opened in Seattle. Coca Cola introduced the plastic bottle. San Fernando Valley, California, experienced a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on February 9, more than 60 people were killed and $500 million in property was damaged.

Average: The average income was $10,622. Cost of a new home $28,300. The average cost of a new car $3,560. Gasoline was 40 cents per gallon. A dozen eggs was 45 cents. A gallon of milk was $1.17. One pound can of coffee was 98 cents. One pound loaf of bread was 25 cents. Ground hamburger sold for 62 cents a pound and bacon was 80 cents per pound. The price of a first-class stamp was 6 cents and on May 16 it increased to 8 cents.

Firsts: Intel released the first programmable microprocessor and dubbed it the Intel 4004. The pocket calculator and floppy disk made their first appearance in 1971. Ray Tomlinson sent the first email. The first soft contact lens became available commercially in the US. Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.

U.S. Events: Henry Kissinger visits China. Charles Manson and three of his followers receive the death penalty for the Tate/LaBianca murders. On July 3, Jim Morrison of The Doors is found dead in his bath tub in Paris. Federal Express is started by Fred Smith. A new stock market index called the Nasdaq debuts. Apollo 14 lands on the moon.

World News: China is admitted to the United Nations. Greenpeace formally comes into existence. Major General Idi Amin takes control of Uganda. In Japan, the first McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts open. The home food processor, Le Magi-Mix, was introduced in Paris by Pierre Verdon, also the inventor of the restaurant version, Robot-Coupe.

Entertainment: popular filmsBilly Jack, A Clockwork Orange, Diamonds Are Forever, Dirty Harry, The French Connection, Fiddler on the Roof, The Last Picture Show, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shaft, and Summer of ‘42. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opens in Washington D.C. Hot toys: Etch-A-Sketch, Battleship, Hot Wheels and Malibu Barbie.

Television: Adam 12, All in the Family, The Brady Bunch, The Flip Wilson Show, Funny Face, Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby MD, Mannix, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, McCloud, The Odd Couple, The Partridge Family, and Sanford & Son.

Songs: American Pie, Brown Sugar, Changes, If You Could Read My Mind, Indian Reservation, Joy to the World, Knock Three Times, Maggie May, Rainy Days and Mondays, She’s a Lady, Take Me Home Country Roads and You’ve Got a Friend. Song of the Year: Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Publishing: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, The Day of the Jackal, The Winds of War, The Lorax, The Exorcist, The Monster at the End of This Book, Nemesis, The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom, The Lathe of Heaven and Rabbit Redux. On June 13, The Pentagon Papers are published. The first preview issue of Ms. magazine was published in the U.S. launched by Gloria Steinem.

Sports: NFL – Super Bowl Champs – Baltimore Colts; NBA Champions – Milwaukee Bucks; World Series Winner – Pittsburgh Pirates; Stanley Cup Champs – Montreal Canadiens.

Politics: President – Richard M. Nixon, Vice President – Spiro T. Agnew.

Quotes: “You deserve a break today!” – McDonald’s

“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” – Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) – The Brady Bunch

"Try it, you’ll like it." – Alka Seltzer

“My bologna has a first name it’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name it’s M-A-Y-E-R.”

– Oscar Mayer




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