1975 Annual History Facts

1975 Annual History Facts

  • Math: The English meaning of 1 billion, which was 1 million million, was changed in 1975 to adopt the American meaning of 1 thousand million.
  • The Top Song was Love Will Keep Us Together by The Captain and Tennille
  • The Big Movies included Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Breakout
  • The mood ring was created in 1975 by Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats.
  • Minimum Wage in 1975: $2.10 per hour
    Oil change: $4.19
  • The World Population was ~ 3,998,000,000
  • Altair 8800 (microcomputer ) was released.
  • Wheel of Fortune premiered on NBC.
  • Released in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has had the longest-running theatrical release in film history.
  • Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • And… The Hello Kitty vinyl coin purse, the first branded HK toy, was introduced in Japan, in March.

World Series Champions

Cincinnati Reds

Superbowl IX Champions

Pittsburgh Steelers

National Basketball Association Champions

Golden State Warriors

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Philadelphia Flyers

US Open Golf

Lou Graham

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Manuel Orantes/Christine Marie Evert

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Arthur Ashe/Billie Jean King

NCAA Football Champions


NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1975 – Notre Dame over Alabama
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1975 – USC over Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: December 31, 1974 – Nebraska over Florida

Kentucky Derby

Foolish Pleasure

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Sir Lancelot of Barvan

Time Magazine’s Women of the Year

American Women, Represented by Susan Brownmiller, Kathleen Byerly, Alison Cheek, Jill Conway, Betty Ford, Ella Grasso, Carla Hills, Barbara Jordan, Billie Jean King, Carol Sutton, Susie Sharp, and Addie Wyatt

Miss America

Shirley Cothran (Denton, TX)

Miss USA

Summer Bartholomew (California)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Adrienne Barbeau, Barbi Benton, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Carol Burnett, Diahann Carroll, Lynda Carter, Charo, Angie Dickinson, Britt Ekland, Lola Falana, Karen Graham, Beverly Johnson, Pam Grier, Margaux Hemingway, Lauren Hutton, Beverly Johnson, Mary Tyler Moore, Suzanne Pleshette, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Cheryl Tiegs, Mary Woronov

“The Quotes”

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”
– McDonalds

“I’d rather be dead than sing Satisfaction when I’m 45.”
-Mick Jagger, age 33

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
– Roy Scheider, in Jaws

“We answer to a higher authority.”
– Hebrew National

“The ultimate driving machine”

“Attica! Attica!”
– Al Pacino, in Dog Day Afternoon

“Don’t leave home without it.”
-American Express

1975 Pop Culture History

Before Jaws (1975) and Star Wars (1977), summers were considered the “graveyard season” for movie releases.

There are no US quarters with 1975 as the mint year because commemorative 1976 bicentennial quarters were being minted early in anticipation of collectors snatching the coins from circulation. All quarters from 1975 and 1976 were dated as 1776-1976.

The laser printer was invented.

Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975 and patented it in 1977; instead of marketing it, they focused on their film business. #badmove

Miller Lite was originally sold as “Gablinger’s Diet Beer” by New York’s Rheingold Brewery in 1967, and then by Meister Brau as “Meister Brau Lite” before the recipe was sold to Miller Brewing and launched nationally as “Lite Beer” in 1975.

Jack H. Hetherington, a physicist, had just finished writing a paper and was ready to publish but realized that he had used ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ throughout, despite being the sole author. He did not want to edit the paper, so he listed his cat, Chester, as a co-author.

While accepting the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1976, Paul Simon thanked Stevie Wonder for not releasing an album that year. Wonder had won the award in 1974 and 1975, and would win it again in 1977.

Kool-Aid man began appearing in commercials for Kool-Aid, although the smiling pitcher was the face of Kool-Aid since 1954.

Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather is the only fictional character to have received more than one Oscar for its portrayal. In 1973 by Marlon Brando, and in 1975 by Robert De Niro as Young Vito. Both legendary actors never bothered to attend the ceremony, with Brando rejecting the award.

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge was named after George La Forge, a quadriplegic Star Trek fan who died in 1975.

Stevie Nicks, in 1979, wrote one of her best-known songs about the child she had conceived with Eagles frontman Don Henley in 1975. She named her Sara, terminated the pregnancy, and then wrote the song of the same name to the baby’s spirit.

When Agatha Christie killed off detective Hercule Poirot in 1975, he became the only fictional character to receive a front-page obituary in the New York Times.

The first ever DC/Marvel collaboration was for the comic The Marvelous Wizard of Oz, in 1975.

Only three films have won the Big Five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing (Original or Adapted). Those films were It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Bruce Crapton played the lowest PGA score of 63.

George Carlin was the first Saturday Night Live (SNL) host when it aired on October 11, 1975. It was the only episode in which the host did not appear (at his request) in sketches.

Bob Chandler, a Missouri construction worker, heard of a device pitched to the US Army that would steer the rear wheels of a vehicle if the front axle broke. He modified it to work permanently and installed it on his 1974 Ford F-250, called it ‘Bigfoot’, and thus created the monster truck.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in the Soviet Union and was called International Working Women’s Day from 1917 until 1975.

The Herman Goelitz company introduced the gourmet jelly bean. The original flavors were Licorice, Lemon, Grape, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Green Apple, Tangerine, and Very Cherry. It was rebranded as ‘Jelly Belly’ in 2001.

In 1975, Leonard Nimoy published his autobiography I Am Not Spock. In 1995, he published a second volume: I AM Spock.

Unusual animal behavior in 1975 alerted Chinese officials to an imminent earthquake… so they ordered an evacuation of Haicheng, saving over 100,000 people.

Playboy magazine’s annual opinion poll, its readers voted Karen Carpenter the Best Rock Drummer of the Year, outvoting Led Zep’s John Bonham.

The United States Gold Reserve Act of 1934 outlawed most private possession of gold, forcing US citizens to sell it to the Treasury. Americans could not freely own and trade gold again until 1975.

The ring-tab beer (and soda) can design was discontinued in 1975, after injuries were caused by people swallowing the metal tabs.

When Queen wanted to release Bohemian Rhapsody, various executives suggested that it was too long at 5 minutes and 55 seconds and would never be a hit.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1975: $107,000

The United States has officially been on the metric system since 1975 through the Metric Conversion Act, declaring that the metric system is “the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce.”

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) won all Big Five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing (Original or Adapted).

On Christmas Day 1975, the dictator of Equatorial Guinea ordered 150 of his opponents killed. Soldiers dressed up in Santa Claus costumes executed them by shooting at the football stadium in Malabo, while amplifiers were playing Mary Hopkin’s Those Were the Days.

The CIA created a gun that could shoot darts that caused heart attacks. Upon penetration of the skin, the dart left just a tiny red dot. The poison itself worked rapidly and denatured quickly afterward, it was revealed in 1975 in Congressional testimony.

Project PACER: an attempt to produce power from nuclear bombs by detonating them in an underground cavity full of water, and using the steam to drive a turbine. It was canceled.

During the San Francisco Police Department Strike of 1975, the SFPD clashed with the law and the Mayor. Eventfully a bomb was detonated on the Mayor’s lawn with a sign reading “Don’t Threaten Us.”

The role of the Pinball Wizard in The Who’s 1975 Rock Opera, Tommy, was initially offered to Rod Stewart, who turned it down on the advice of a friend. That friend was Elton John, who had wanted the role all along and took it.

President Ford survived two assassination attempts in the same month. On Sept. 5, 1975, Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, fired a pistol at the president in a crowd in Sacramento, but Ford was unharmed. On Sept. 22, Sara Jane Moore pulled a revolver on him in San Francisco.

Bank robber John Wojtowicz plotted some of his robberies based on scenes in The Godfather (1972) starring Al Pacino. Al Pacino later played John in 1975’s Academy Award-winning movie Dog Day Afternoon, based on the robbery.

In July 1975, Neville Ebbin was killed while riding his bicycle in Hamilton, Bermuda. He was killed exactly a year after his 17-year-old brother, Erskin Ebbin, was killed while riding the same bike, in the same intersection by the same taxi driver carrying the same passenger. “According to their father, John Henry Ebbin of Woodlawn Road, Sandys, even the passenger in the taxi was the same in both instances.”

Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger on TV for 169 episodes and two feature films in the 1950s, was sued by the Wrather Corporation, who owned the Lone Rager character by copyright. Although forever typecast, he proudly carried the character role and made appearances as The Ranger. After the suit, he wore wrap-around sunglasses instead of the mask.

From King’s Lynn, England, Alex Mitchell died of laughter watching the “Kung Fu Kapers” episode of The Goodies. The skit featured a kilt-clad Scotsman with bagpipes battling a man with a black pudding. His widow later sent The Goodies a letter thanking them for making the final moments of her husband’s life so pleasant.

Union Teamster Jimmy Hoffa disappeared.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Odyssey 200 Game Console, Mood rings, Pay Day, Pong (home version), Six Million Dollar Man action figures, Playmobil, Pet Rocks, Trac Ball, Electronic Television Tennis Game

Betamax (Beta) videotape was released.

The Ford F-150 truck was introduced.

Soldier of Fortune Magazine began publication

The Habits

Caring for Pet Rocks, an invention credited to Gary Dahl, but also claimed by our website owner, Joe Hummel, who sold them as a preteen in the early 1970s.
Avoiding the beaches, thanks to the film, Jaws.
Reading Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

1975/76 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. All in the Family (CBS)
2. Rich Man, Poor Man (ABC)
3. Laverne & Shirley (ABC)
4. Maude (CBS)
5. The Bionic Woman (ABC)
6. Phyllis (CBS)
7. Sanford and Son (NBC)
8. Rhoda (CBS)
9. The Six Million Dollar Man (ABC)
10. ABC Monday Night Movie (ABC)
11. Happy Days (ABC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1975 include
Al Green, America, AWB (Average White Band), Barry Manilow, Barry White, Ben E. King, Bobby Womack, Bruce Springsteen, B.T. Express, The Captain & Tennille, The Carpenters, The Commodores, David Bowie, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Eddie Kendricks, Elton John, Frankie Valli, Freddy Fender, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Helen Reddy, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Isley Brothers, Joe Simon, John Denver, KC & the Sunshine Band, Kool & the Gang, LaBelle, Larry Graham, Linda Ronstadt, Major Harris, Minnie Riperton, Neil Sedaka, The O’Jays, Ohio Players, Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney & Wings, Pointer Sisters, Ringo Starr, Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, Smokey Robinson, The Spinners, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder, Tavares, The Temptations, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Tyrone Davis, War

(Data is compiled from charts, including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1975

December 28, 1974 – January 3, 1975: Helen Reddy – Angie Baby

January 4, 1975 – January 17, 1975: Elton John – Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

January 18, 1975 – January 24, 1975: Barry Manilow – Mandy

January 25, 1975 – January 31, 1975: The Carpenters – Please Mr. Postman

February 1, 1975 – February 7, 1975: Neil Sedaka – Laughter in the Rain

February 8, 1975 – February 14, 1975: Ohio Players – Fire

February 15, 1975 – February 21, 1975: Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good

February 22, 1975 – February 28, 1975: Average White Band – Pick Up the Pieces

March 1, 1975 – March 7, 1975: Eagles – Best of My Love

March 8, 1975 – March 14, 1975: Olivia Newton-John – Have You Never Been Mellow

March 15, 1975 – March 21, 1975: The Doobie Brothers – Black Water

March 22, 1975 – March 28, 1975: Frankie Valli – My Eyes Adored You

March 29, 1975 – April 4, 1975: LaBelle – Lady Marmalade

April 5, 1975 – April 11, 1975: Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You

April 12, 1975 – April 25, 1975: Elton John – Philadelphia Freedom

April 26, 1975 – May 2, 1975: B. J. Thomas – (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

May 3, 1975 – May 23, 1975: Tony Orlando and Dawn – He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)

May 24, 1975 – May 30, 1975: Earth, Wind & Fire – Shining Star

May 31, 1975 – June 6, 1975: Freddy Fender – Before the Next Teardrop Falls

June 7, 1975 – June 13, 1975: John Denver – Thank God I’m a Country Boy

June 14, 1975 – June 20, 1975: America – Sister Golden Hair

June 21, 1975 – July 18, 1975: Captain & Tennille – Love Will Keep Us Together

July 19, 1975 – July 25, 1975: Wings – Listen to What the Man Said

July 26, 1975 – August 1, 1975: Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony – The Hustle

August 2, 1975 – August 8, 1975: Eagles – One of These Nights

August 9, 1975 – August 22, 1975: Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’

August 23, 1975 – August 29, 1975: Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Fallin’ in Love

August 30, 1975 – September 5, 1975: KC and the Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight

September 6, 1975 – September 19, 1975: Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy

September 20, 1975 – September 26, 1975: David Bowie – Fame

September 27, 1975 – October 10, 1975: John Denver – I’m Sorry / Calypso

October 11, 1975 – October 31, 1975: Neil Sedaka – Bad Blood

November 1, 1975 – November 21, 1975: Elton John – Island Girl

November 22, 1975 – November 28, 1975: KC and the Sunshine Band – That’s the Way (I Like It)

November 29, 1975 – December 26, 1975: Silver Convention – Fly, Robin, Fly

December 27, 1975 – January 2, 1976: The Staple Singers – Let’s Do It Again

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