1976 Annual History Facts
World Series Champions
Superbowl X Champions
National Basketball Association Champions
NHL Stanley Cup Champions
1976 Sports Highlights
|Romanian gymnast Nadia Comanici earned the first “perfect 10s” in the Olympics, seven altogether.
Bruce (now Caitlin) Jenner won the Olympic decathlon
US Open Golf
US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)
|Jimmy Connors/Christine Marie Evert|
|Bjorn Borg/Chris Evert|
NCAA Football Champions
NCAA Basketball Champions
|Orange Bowl: January 1, 1976 – Oklahoma over Michigan
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1976 – UCLA over Ohio State
Sugar Bowl: December 31, 1975 – Alabama over Penn State
Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog
|Jo Ni’s Red Baron of Crofton|
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year
|Tawny Godin (Saratoga Springs, NY)|
|Barbara Peterson (Minnesota)|
Fashion Icons and Movie Stars
|Adrienne Barbeau, Jacqueline Bisset, Christie Brinkley, Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Diahann Carroll, Lynda Carter, Charo, Angie Dickinson, Britt Ekland, Farrah Fawcett, Karen Graham, Margaux Hemingway, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Kate Jackson, Beverly Johnson, Jessica Lange, Mary Tyler Moore, Dolly Parton, Bernadette Peters, Suzanne Pleshette, Diana Ross, Jacquelyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Donna Summer, Yvette and Yvonne Sylvander, Lindsay Wagner, Mary Woronov|
– Sylvester Stallone, in Rocky
“One of these days, I’m gonna get myself organized.”
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
“Is it safe?”
“Meow, meow, meow, meow…”
1976 Pop Culture History
Before 1976, Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was created in 1926 with the hope that it would be eliminated once Black history would become fundamental to American history.
On April Fool’s Day, the BBC convinced many listeners that a special alignment of the planets would temporarily decrease gravity on Earth. Phone lines were flooded with callers who claimed they felt the effects.
Richard Dawkins coined the word ‘meme’ in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. He created the concept as an analogy to the gene, a small unit that spreads and replicates for survival. He wanted to show evolution doesn’t apply only to biological entities.
In 1976, Japan donated 53 bonsai trees to the US for its bicentennial, including a white pine that had been tended daily since 1625 and survived the Hiroshima atomic blast. Its history was unknown until 2001 when two brothers visited the museum to check on their grandfather’s tree.
Canada is the only host nation in the history of the games not to win a gold medal in their own Summer Olympic Games (Montreal 1976).
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed Apple Computer. The first computer, reports say, sold for $666.66. Steve Wozniak questions the long-accepted date of ‘Day One’ at Apple, April 1, 1976. Wozniak calls that account “murky.”
Frontier Airlines hired the US’s first female pilot captain (Emily Howell Warner).
A group of Minnesota-based companies founded the ‘Five Percent Club,’ pledging to give 5% of pretax earnings to philanthropic causes. This club, now known as the Keystone Program, still exists today.
‘Bear,’ a novel about “a lonely librarian in northern Ontario who enters into a sexual relationship with a bear,” won the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award.
The Trix Rabbit was finally allowed to eat a bowl of Trix Cereal due to the 1976 “Let The Rabbit Eat Trix” contest. He had them again in 1980. #sillyrabbit
The Ebola virus is named after a nearby river, Ebola, where the first victim was identified in 1976.
There were no red M&Ms from 1976 until 1986.
While filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, the crew discovered the mummified corpse of Elmer McCurdy, an Oklahoma outlaw, being used as a fun-house prop. Mccurdy had died in a shootout in 1911, and his body had been used ever since as a sideshow attraction. His discoverers only realized it was a human body when his arm broke off, revealing bone and muscle.
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 1977).
Writer Tom Wolfe declared the ’70s the “Me Decade.”
Lennon and McCartney almost reunited on SNL in 1976. They were watching Saturday Night Live together in NYC when Lorne Michaels offered the whole band $3000 to turn up and play. The pair thought about heading down and taking half each.
Andre the Giant set the unofficial world record for the number of beers consumed in a single sitting by drinking 119 12oz beers in six hours. Roughly two gallons of beer an hour. #donttrythisathome
There are no US Quarters minted with the date 1975. All quarters from 1975 and 1976 were dated as 1776-1976.
The mysterious intro and outro of Gary Wright’s 1976 hit Dream Weaver inspired Freddy Kruger and the first Nightmare On Elm Street film, according to creator Wes Craven.
The face of the $2 bill has not been changed since 1976, and the bill has no security features because the $2 bill is counterfeited too infrequently to warrant a change
Pinball was banned in NYC as a gambling device until 1976 when Roger Sharpe testified by playing pinball in the courtroom while calling out precisely what he would shoot for and scoring – showing that it’s a game of skill and not chance.
Although most agree it was an inferior product, VHS released and eventually won the war with Betamax tapes.
Universal Studios sued Sony and its distributors in 1976, alleging that because Sony was manufacturing a device (Betamax) that could be used for copyright infringement, they were thus liable for any infringement committed by its purchasers. Essentially trying to kill videotape recording. Courts ruled that home taping was ‘fair use.’
Sweden’s most profitable corporation was the pop group ABBA.
Albert Einstein did not want his house in Princeton to be made into a museum or memorial. Nevertheless, his home became a National Historic Landmark in 1976, although the National Park Service did not publicize this fact to respect his wishes.
Ronald Wayne was a third cofounder of Apple, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. In 1976, he sold his 10% company share for $800. Today, his 10% would be worth of 35 billion dollars.
Cost of a Superbowl ad in 1976: $110,000
In the 1976 Olympics, Nadia Comaneci of Romania became the first gymnast in Olympic history to score a perfect 10.0.
Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto broke his knee at the Olympics in 1976 but didn’t tell anyone and performed miraculously despite his injury, winning his team the gold medal.
RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News
|Sesame Street episode 847 featured Margaret Hamilton reprising her role as the Wicked Witch of the West from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. It scared children so badly that the episode has never been re-aired.
John Carpenter’s 1976 film Assault on Precinct 13 received an X rating by the MPAA for having a little girl murdered on screen, which they cut from the film for re-review; they then received an R rating and then re-added the footage back into the film for cinematic release.
Movie Star Violent Death: Sal Mineo (stabbed)
Margaret Thompson was the first woman to win an Olympic medal in a shooting sport (silver) in 1976 after tying with the gold medal winner, Lanny Bassham. When the Olympic committee refused a shootoff, the gold medalist pulled Thompson onto the gold medal platform with him.
When Meryl Streep auditioned for the lead role in 1976’s King Kong, producer Dino De Laurentiis commented to his son in Italian: “She’s ugly. Why did you bring me this thing?” He was shocked when Streep replied to the insult in fluent Italian.
Elizabeth Ray claimed that her only duty for her $ 14,000-a-year job was to have sex with Congressman Wayne Hays.
Carol Burnett successfully sued the National Enquirer after they published an article claiming she had gotten into a drunken altercation with Henry Kissinger at a restaurant.
In 1976, doctors in Los Angeles went on strike, and the mortality rate dropped 18%.
Albert Spaggiari robbed a bank for 10 million dollars, was arrested, went to court, distracted the judge, and jumped out of the courtroom window onto a waiting motorcycle. Despite giving a televised interview and writing multiple books, neither Albert nor the money was ever found.
Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts
Odyssey 300, Atari Pong Doubles, Atari Super Pong, Coleco’s Telstar, Wonder Wizard Game Console, Stretch Armstrong, Raw Power (bicycle sound effect)
The ink-jet printer was invented.
Hollywood Star Magazine (1976-1981)
Starlog Magazine (1976-2009)
|Listening to Peter Frampton’s Framptom Comes Alive album
Reading Trinity by Leon Uris
1976 Biggest Television Shows
|(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Happy Days (ABC)
2. Laverne & Shirley (ABC)
3. M*A*S*H (CBS)
4. Charlie’s Angels (ABC)
5. The Big Event (NBC)
6. The Six Million Dollar Man (ABC)
7. ABC Sunday Night Movie (ABC)
8. Baretta (ABC)
9. One Day at a Time (CBS)
10. Three’s Company (ABC)
Popular Music Artists
|The Biggest Pop Artists of 1976 include
Barry Manilow, The Bay City Rollers, The Bee Gees, The Bellany Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Brick, The Brothers Johnson, The Captain & Tennille, The Commodores, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind & Fire, Elton John, Eric Carmen, Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright, Johnnie Taylor, KC & the Sunshine Band, Kiss, Lou Rawls, Natalie Cole, Neil Sedaka, The O’Jays, Ohio Players, Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney & Wings, Paul Simon, Peter Frampton, Queen, Rod Stewart, Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn, Silver Convention, The Spinners, Starland Vocal Band, Stevie Wonder, The Sylvers, Tavares, Wild Cherry
(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 1976
|December 27, 1975 – January 2, 1976: The Staple Singers – Let’s Do It Again
January 3, 1976 – January 9, 1976: Bay City Rollers – Saturday Night
January 10, 1976 – January 16, 1976: C. W. McCall – Convoy
January 17, 1976 – January 23, 1976: Barry Manilow – I Write the Songs
January 24, 1976 – January 30, 1976: Diana Ross – Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
January 31, 1976 – February 6, 1976: Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
February 7, 1976 – February 27, 1976: Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
February 28, 1976 – March 5, 1976: Rhythm Heritage – Theme From S.W.A.T.
March 6, 1976 – March 12, 1976: The Miracles – Love Machine (Part 1)
March 13, 1976 – April 2, 1976: The Four Seasons – December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)
April 3, 1976 – April 30, 1976: Johnnie Taylor – Disco Lady
May 1, 1976 – May 7, 1976: The Bellamy Brothers – Let Your Love Flow
May 8, 1976 – May 14, 1976: John Sebastian – Welcome Back
May 15, 1976 – May 21, 1976: The Sylvers – Boogie Fever
May 22, 1976 – May 28, 1976: Wings – Silly Love Songs
May 29, 1976 – July 9, 1976: Diana Ross – Love Hangover
July 10, 1976 – July 23, 1976: Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight
July 24, 1976 – August 6, 1976: The Manhattans – Kiss and Say Goodbye
August 7, 1976 – September 3, 1976: Elton John and Kiki Dee – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
September 4, 1976 – September 10, 1976: Bee Gees – You Should Be Dancing
September 11, 1976 – September 17, 1976: KC and the Sunshine Band – (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
September 18, 1976 – October 8, 1976: Wild Cherry – Play That Funky Music
October 9, 1976 – October 15, 1976: Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band – A Fifth of Beethoven
October 16, 1976 – October 22, 1976: Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots – Disco Duck (part 1)
October 23, 1976 – November 5, 1976: Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
November 6, 1976 – November 12, 1976: Steve Miller Band – Rock’n Me
November 13, 1976 – January 7, 1977: Rod Stewart – Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
The Top 40 Songs of 1976*
|*according to Billboard Magazine*
1. Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) – Rod Stewart
2. Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney & Wings
3. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John & Kiki Dee
4. Disco Lady – Johnnie Taylor
5. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
6. December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) – The Four Seasons
7. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon
8. Kiss and Say Goodbye – Manhattans
9. If You Leave Me Now – Chicago
10. Love Hangover – Diana Ross
11. Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Band
12. (Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty – KC & The Sunshine Band
13. A Fifth of Beethoven – Walter Murphy
14. Disco Duck (Part 1) – Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots
15. I Write The Songs – Barry Manilow
16. Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players
17. Boogie Fever – Sylvers
18. Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To) – Diana Ross
19. You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
20. Let Your Love Flow – Bellamy Brothers
21. Convoy – C.W. McCall
22. Welcome Back – John Sebastian
23. Love Machine (Part 1) – The Miracles
24. Theme From S.W.A.T. – Rhythm Heritage
25. Saturday Night – Bay City Rollers
26. Rock’n Me – Steve Miller Band
27. The Rubberband Man – Spinners
28. Get Up and Boogie (That’s Right) – Sliver Convention
29. Dream Weaver – Gary Wright
30. All By Myself – Eric Carmen
31. I’d Really Like To See You Tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley
32. Right Back Where You Started From – Maxine Nightengale
33. You’ll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine) – Lou Rawls
34. Love Is Alive – Gary Wright
35. Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer
36. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot
37. Love So Right – Bee Gees
38. Misty Blue – Dorothy Moore
39. Let ‘Em In – Paul McCartney and Wings
40. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
|All the President’s Men, Bound For Glory, Carrie, The Enforcer, Freaky Friday, Logan’s Run, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Marathon Man, Network, The Omen, The Outlaw Josie Wales, Rocky, Silver Streak, Taxi Driver|