The 1970s: American Pop Culture History


In the 1970s, social progressive values that began in the 1960s, such as increasing political awareness and political and economic liberty of women, continued to grow.


The hippie culture, which started in the latter half of the 1960s, waned by the early 1970s and faded towards the middle part of the decade, which involved opposition to the Vietnam War, opposition to nuclear weapons, the advocacy of world peace, and hostility to the authority of government and big business.

The environmentalist movement began to increase dramatically in this period.

But enough of that — what about the cars? And the awesome music? And the fashion?!

Learn more about the 1970s by selecting a category below.

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In-Depth 1970s Profiles

1970s Fashion

1970s Fashion: Styles, Trends, Pictures & History »

1970s fashion was expressive and fun. People wore jump suits, turtlenecks, hot pants and everything in between. Year-by-year timeline with over 100 pics.
1971 Hemi Cuda

1970s Cars: History, Pictures & Facts »

Cars in the early 1970s like the Challenger, Cuda and Corvette were great. But muscle cars were overtaken by Gremlins trying to ditch the smog.
1970s Movies - The Godfather

Movies in the 1970s »

Movies in the 1970s really pushed the envelope. Any and all subject matters were covered. In addition to the increase in aesthetic quality, the 70s also showcased many great rising actors and actresses.
1970s TV Shows | All in the Family

1970s TV Shows: What Did People Watch? »

Television in the 1970s pushed what was considered acceptable to new limits. Many of the shows that came out challenged bigotry by making fun of it.
1970s Toys

1970s Toys: What Toys Were Popular in the 1970s? »

What toys did kids play with in the '70s? Research 1970s toys with our timeline and 200+ pictures of the most popular toys in the seventies.
The Bee Gees

1970s Music: History, Pictures & Artists »

There was more variety in music in the 1970s than ever before. Fans had dozens of genres to choose from and many of them rose to popularity in the decade.
1970s Sports | Big Red Machine

1970s Sports: History, MVPs & Champions »

Sports in the 1970s were rife with tragedy & triumph. Tragedy was marked most notably by the '72 Summer Olympics. But there was triumph aplenty.

Unique 1970s Pictures


1970s News Headlines

  • In 1972, 11 Israeli Olympians killed in a terrorist attack.
  • Richard Nixon becomes the only President of the United States to ever resign from his position.
  • Despite several apparent violations, the Soviet Union beat the United States to win the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, ending the Americans’ 63-game winning streak.
  • 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat is considered by many to be the greatest race horse of all time.
  • In April 1973, FedEx opened its doors.
  • In 1974, Hank Arron hit his 715th career home run, surpassing Babe Ruth on the all-time list.
  • The first air bag was fitted to some GM cars in 1974.
  • Miller Lite starts using the tagline “Tastes Great, Less Filling.”?
  • The 1977 movie, Star Wars, features a wookie, a Jedi and Harrison Ford.
  • The hit song “Staying Alive” was written and performed by The Bee Gees.
  • In 1978, the first healthy “test-tube baby,” was born. Her name was Louise Brown.
  • In 1979, Sally Field denies Jane Fonda back-to-back Oscars with her starring role in the movie Norma Rae.
  • 1970s Statistics & Facts in the U.S.


    U.S. Population: 204,879,000
    – Urban/rural: 149/54
    – Farm: 4.8%
    Life Expectancy: Male (67.1), Female (74.8)
    Births per 1,000: 18.4
    Marriages per 1,000: 10.6
    Divorces per 1,000: 3.5
    Deaths per 1,000: 9.5
    Deaths per 100,000:
    – Heart: 521
    – Cancer: 163
    – Tuberculosis: 3
    – Car accidents: 26.9


    Unemployed: 4,088,000
    GNP: $977.1 billion
    Federal budget: $197.2 billion
    National debt: $382 billion
    Union membership: 20.7 million
    Strikes: 5,716
    Prime rate: 7.7%
    Car sales: 6,546,800
    Average salary: $7,564
    % of pop. below poverty level: 12.6%


    Homicides per 100,000: 8.3
    Suicides per 100,000: 11.6
    Labor force male/female ratio: 27/16
    Social welfare: $145.9 billion
    Public education: $40.7 billion
    College Degrees
    – Bachelors: Male (484,000), Female (343,000)
    – Doctorates: Male (22,890), Female (3.976)
    – Movies (weekly): 18 million
    – Baseball (annually): 28.9 million


    Consumer Price Index (if 1967 = 100): 116.3
    Eggs: 61 cents per dozen
    Milk: 33 cents per quart
    Bread: 24 cents per loaf
    Butter: 87 cents per pound
    Bacon: 95 cents per pound
    Round steak: $1.30 per pound
    Oranges: 86 cents per dozen
    Coffee: 91 cents per pound

    Play the 1970s Trivia Game

    Play the 1970s Trivia Game


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