Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 - 1972 - 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977
Prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme compares the American bombings of North Vietnam to Nazi massacres. The US breaks diplomatic contact with Sweden.
January 2 - Major robbery in Pierre Hotel, New York. $4 million dollars worth of valuables stolen.
January 5 - President of the United States Richard Nixon orders the development of a space shuttle program.
January 4 - Kurt Waldheim becomes the Secretary General of the United Nations.
January 9 - RMS Queen Elizabeth is destroyed by fire (Hong Kong harbor).
January 9 - Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge in the United Kingdom (Old Bailey, London).
January 11 - East Pakistan becomes Bangladesh
January 14 - King Frederick IX of Denmark dies - his daughter Queen Margaret II of Denmark ascends to the throne at January 16
January 24 - Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi discovered in Guam. He had spent 28 years in the jungle
January 26 - Yugoslavian air stewardress Vesca Vulovic is the only survivor when her plane crashes in Czechoslovakia.
January 30 - Bloody Sunday - the British Army kills 13 unarmed Roman Catholic civil rights marchers in Northern Ireland.
January 30 - Pakistan withdraws from the British Commonwealth
January 31 King Mahendra of Nepal dies, becoming the second king to die that month, and is succeeded by his son, Birendra.
February 1 - First scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced (price $395)
February 2- Anti-British riots throughout the Republic of Ireland take place. The British Embassy in Dublin is burned to the ground as are several British owned offices and shops.
February 3 - Sapporo Winter Olympics begin.
February 4 - Mariner 9 sends pictures from Mars
February 5 - Bob Douglas becomes the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
February 9 - British government declares a state of emergency over a miners' strike
February 17 - Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceed those of Ford Model-T -(15 million)
February 18 - The California Supreme Court invalidates the state's death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison.
February 21 - February 27 - President Richard M. Nixon makes an unprecedented eight-day visit to the People's Republic of China and meets with Mao Zedong.
February 21 - The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
February 23 - Lufthansa plane hijacked to Aden. Passengers are released after ransom on 16 million D-marks.
February 25 - Terrorism: Germany gives $5 million to an Arab terrorist as ransom for the passengers and crew of a hijacked a jumbo jet.
March 2 - Launch of Pioneer 10 spacecraft.
March 8 - The Goodyear blimp flies for the first time
March 13 - The United Kingdom and People's Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations. Britain severs official ties with the Republic of China (on Taiwan).
March 19 - India and Bangladesh sign a friendship treaty.
March 24 - In a bid for peace, Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland.
March 30 - Vietnam War: The Eastertide Offensive begins after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of South Vietnam.
April 16 - Apollo 16 launched
April 18 - Roland Corporation founded in Osaka
April 27 - Constructive Vote of No Confidence against German Chancellor Willy Brandt fails under obscure circumstances.
May 9 - Three out of six bombs explode in Springer newspaper building in Hamburg, West Germany. 17 dead.
May 15 - Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at a Laurel, Md, political rally.
May 21 - In Rome, Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo's Pieta-statue with a hammer
May 22 - Ceylon becomes republic of Sri Lanka
May 26 - Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign SALT I treaty in Moscow.
May 26 - Willandra National Park is established in Australia.
May 30 - The Angry Brigade goes on trial.
June 2 - Andreas Baader and some other members of Red Army Faction are arrested in Frankfurt am Main after a shootout.
June 4 - Angela Davis found not guilty of murder
June 14 - June 23 - Hurricane Agnes kills 117 in US east coast.
June 15 - Ulrike Meinhof and Gerhard Müller of Red Army Faction are arrested in a teacher's apartment in Langenhagen, West Germany.
June 17 - Watergate break-in, Washington, D.C
Return of Okinawa from United States' control to Japan.
June 29 - Supreme Court of the United States rules that the death penalty is unconstitutional
July 18 - Anwar Sadat sends Soviet military advisors home.
July 23 - The United States launches Landsat 1, first Earth-resources satellite.
August 4 - Idi Amin declares that Uganda will expel 50.000 asians with British passports to Britain within three months;
August 16 - The Royal Moroccan Air Force mistakenly fires upon, but fails to bring down, Hassan II of Morocco's plane while he was traveling back to Rabat.
September 1 - Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky in Reykjavik Chess tournament and becomes the first American chess champion.
September 5-6 - Munich Massacre: Eleven Israeli athletes at the Summer Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group Black September invade Olympic Village; five guerillas and one policeman are also killed in a failed hostage rescue.
September 14 - West Germany and Poland renew diplomatic relations.
September 17 - Uganda announces that there are Tanzanian troops in its territory.
September 21 - Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.
October 2 - Denmark joins EEC. Faroe Islands stay out.
October 5 - United Reformed Church founded out of Congregational and Presbyterian Churches.
October 12 - En route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors are injured.
October 13 - Fairchild passenger plane transporting a rugby team crashes in Andes. They are found alive December 20 but they have had to resort to cannibalism to survive.
October 17 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visits Yugoslavia.
October 30 - US President Richard Nixon approves legislation to increase Social Security spending by US$5.3 billion.
November 5 - Group of Amerindians occupies the Bureau of Indian Affairs
November 7 - U.S. presidential election, 1972: Republican incumbent Richard Nixon defeats Democratic Senator George McGovern (the election had the lowest voter turnout since 1948 with only 55 percent of the electorate voting).
November 11 - Vietnam War: Vietnamization - The United States Army turns over the massive Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.
November 14 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1,000 (1,003.16) for the first time.
November 22 - Vietnam War: The United States loses its first B-52 Stratofortress of the war.
November 30 - Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Zeigler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning American troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to the fact that troop levels are now down to 27,000.
December 2 - Gough Whitlam becomes the first Australian Labor Party Prime Minister of Australia for 23 years. He is famously sworn in on the election night and his first action using executive power is to withdraw all Australian personnel from the Vietnam War.
December 22 - An earthquake destroys the capital of Nicaragua, Managua.
December 28 - The bones of Martin Bormann identified in Berlin.
December 29 - An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 crashes into the Everglades killing 99 of 163 onboard
The United Kingdom begin to train Special Air Service for anti-terrorist duties.
Sally Priesand becomes the first female rabbi.
Steve Jobs graduates from Homestead High School and enrolls in Reed College in Portland, Oregon but drops out after one semester
Kim Il Sung becomes president of North Korea.
First Cray super computers
Japanese begin building a railway tunnel between Honshu and Hokkaido
Stephen Hawking is confined to wheelchair
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms becomes independent from IRS.
The "tea house" Mellow Yellow opens on the Amstel River in Amsterdam, pioneering the legal sale of marijuana in the Netherlands
Year in topic
1972 in film
1972 in literature
1972 in music
Deep Purple releases Machine Head
1972 in sports
September 4 - Mark Spitz wins his seventh swimming gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, becoming the first Olympian to win seven gold medals.
1972 in television
January 14 - Sanford & Son premieres on NBC.
James Herriot - All Creatures Great and Small
January 30 - Tim Jones, Gonzo Journalist
February 11 - Dennis Iliohan, Dutch football player.
February 15 - Jaromir Jagr, ice hockey star
February 17 - Denise Richards, actress
February 17 - Philippe Candeloro, figure skater
February 17 - Billie Joe Armstrong, musician ("Green Day")
February 29 - Antonio Sabato Jr, actor
March 6 - Shaquille O'Neal, basketball player
March 15 - Mark Hoppus, musician ("Blink 182")
March 17 - Mia Hamm, soccer player
March 22 - Elvis Stojko, figure skater
March 23 - Judith Godrèche, actress
April 4 - Stefan Wolpe, composer
April 4 - Adam Clayton Powell Jr, American politician
April 17 - Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lankan cricketerer
May 2 - The Rock, WWE professional wrestler turned actor
May 20 - Busta Rhymes, rap music singer
May 21 - The Notorious B.I.G, musician (died 1997)
June 23 - Zinédine Zidane, French football star
June 29 - Samantha Smith, U.S. activist (died 1985)
August 11 - Jonathon Prandi, American model and actor
August 30 - Cameron Diaz, actress
October 17 - Eminem, rapper, actor
October 17 - Wyclef Jean, rapper
November 4 - Luis Figo, Portuguese football star
January 1 - Maurice Chevalier, French entertainer, surgical complications
January 14 - King Frederick IX of Denmark
January 26 - Mahalia Jackson, gospel music singer
February 11 - Jan Wils, architect
February 20 - Walter Winchell, journalist
March 24 - Cristobal Balenciaga, couturier
March 27 - M. C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist
March 29 - Lord J. Arthur Rank, movie theater owner
April 4 - Stefan Wolpe, composer
May 2 - J. Edgar Hoover, FBI director
May 13 - Dan Blocker, actor
May 22 - Margaret Rutherford, actress
May 28 - Edward VIII, king in 1936 (born 1894)
July 7 - King Talal, King of Jordan
August 28- His Royal Highness Prince William of Gloucester in an aircrash
October 1 - Louis Leakey, British paleontologist
October 24 - Jackie Robinson (Baseball Hall of Famer)
October 26 - Igor Sikorsky, aviation engineer
November 1 - Ezra Pound, poet
November 25 - Henri Coanda, aerodynamics pioneer
November 28 - Havergal Brian, composer
November 28 - Sibylla, princess of Sweden
December 24 - Gisela Richter, art historian
December 26 - Harry S. Truman, US president, heart failure.
December 31 - Roberto Clemente (baseball Hall of Famer)
Physics - John Bardeen, Leon Neil Cooper, John Robert Schrieffer
Chemistry - Christian B Anfinsen, Stanford Moore, William H Stein
Medicine - Gerald M Edelman, Rodney R Porter
Literature - Heinrich Böll
Peace - Not awarded.
Economics - John Hicks, Kenneth Arrow