World History 1972

About the history of the world in 1972, East Pakistan became Bangladesh, Ceylon become Sri Lanka, violence escalated in Northern Ireland.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1972

Jan. East Pakistan became the independent nation of Bangladesh.

Mar. 2 Pioneer 10 lifted off from Cape Kennedy to photograph the planet Jupiter.

Mar. 10 Premier Lon No1 of Cambodia tore up his nation's constitution and assumed greater personal power in an effort to rid the country of Communists.

Mar. 17 Capitol Hill lobbyist Dita Beard denied ever having written a memo linking International Telephone and Telegraph contributions to the Republican party with an antitrust settlement favorable to ITT.

Mar. 24 Great Britain suspended the Ulster government to impose direct rule over Northern Ireland as violence increased between Catholics and Protestants there.

Apr. 4 Police in the Dominican Republic stormed the university in Santo Domingo, ostensibly to ferret out a fugitive guerrilla leader, and shot at students and faculty alike. Ten were wounded.

Apr. 20--23. Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon. On each of their three excursions outside the spacecraft, they drove a lunar rover (electric car).

Apr.--May Tribal war in Burundi claimed 100,000 lives.

May 15 The U.S. returned Okinawa to Japan.

May 15 Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace was shot in the parking lot of a shopping center in Laurel, Md.

May 22 Ceylon adopted the name Sri Lanka, meaning "great and beautiful island."

June 17 Five agents of President Nixon's reelection committee were caught in the act of burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the posh Watergate building over-looking the Potomac River. (See "Eyewitness Reports on the Highlights of U.S. History: Watergate," Chap. 3.)

July The Soviet spacecraft Venus 8 soft-landed on Venus.

July 18 Premier Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt expelled all Soviet military advisers from his country.

Aug. 25 China cast its first veto in the U.N. Security Council--to deny Bangladesh entry to the U.N.

Sept. 1 In Reykjavik, Iceland, American Bobby Fischer snatched the world chess title from defending champion Boris Spassky of the U.S.S.R.

Sept. 5 Terror at the Olympics in Munich. In the predawn hours, eight armed Palestinian guerrillas in sweat suits jogged into Olympic Village and headed straight for 31 Connallystrasse, the Israeli athletes' dormitory. The commandos stormed through the door over the body of wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and managed to snare nine Israeli hostages, after killing a tenth, the rest fleeing at the first burst of machine gun fire. As 600 uniformed guards sealed off the building, the terrorists put forth their terms. All hostages would be released unharmed as soon as Israel freed all Arab prisoners from the jails. In Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Golda Meir refused. German authorities intervened to propose substitute hostages and money in return for the release of the athletes. This the kidnappers ignored. Bonn officials then agreed to supply the Palestinians helicopter service to an airport where a plane would be waiting to escort them and the hostages to an undisclosed Arab country. But when four of the terrorists emerged from the chopper to inspect the aircraft, German sharpshooters picked off three of them. The fourth rolled to safety and blasted out the ground lights. An hour's shoot-out ensued, and it was all over. Dead were all nine Israeli hostages, bringing the number of Jewish casualties to 11, five of the eight Palestinians, and one policeman. Also losers in the tragedy were the West Germans. The host country had hoped to erase the blot of the last games held there, the 1936 Nazi Olympics over which Hitler presided, by making the 20th Olympiad the "Serenity Olympics." Although they failed, many noted the irony that German police had risked their lives to save a handful of Jews. For its part, Israel, on hearing the grim news, launched reprisal raids on guerrilla bases in Syria and Lebanon.

Sept. 22 Philippine Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, citing an internal Communist threat, declared martial law in the country.

Oct. 26 In the closing days of the U.S. presidential election campaign, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger declared that "peace is at hand" in Vietnam.

Nov. 13 Ninety-one nations agreed to stop dumping poisonous chemicals into international waters.

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