July 1975

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The following events occurred in July 1975:

July 17, 1975: Soviet cosmonaut Leonov (left) and U.S. astronaut Stafford (right) shake hands after linkup of spaceships
July 30, 1975: Former Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa vanishes
July 5, 1975: Cape Verde independent
July 6, 1975: Comoros independent
July 12, 1975: São Tomé e Principe independent

July 1, 1975 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, went into effect after being ratified by the 10th nation that had signed on March 3, 1973, representing the first international agreement to protect wildlife and plants from extinction as a result of poaching and trade.[1]
  • ARPANET, predecessor to the Internet, was declared fully operational and under the control of the Defense Communications Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense.[2]
  • Former U.S. President Richard Nixon said, in an affidavit to federal court, that he had secretly begun taping Oval Office conversations at the suggestion of his predecessor, President Lyndon Johnson, who had said that the tapes "had proved to be exceedingly valuable in preparing his memoirs, and he urged that I re-install the recording devices". The affidavit was filed as part of Nixon's suit seeking custody of his records, including the tape recordings, some of which had proved he had ordered a coverup of the Watergate investigation.[3]
  • As the 1976 fiscal year began, New York City announced the firing of 37,000 city employees in order to save $1.2 billion from the city budget. Laid off were 5,000 police, 2,100 firefighters, 3,000 garbage collectors, 10,000 health workers and 17,000 people in education.[4]

July 2, 1975 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Deputy Australian Prime Minister Jim Cairns was fired by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam after being accused of improper activity in obtaining foreign loans for Australia. Australia's Parliament voted 55-33 on July 14 to accept the firing.[5]
  • Died: James Robertson Justice, 68, British character actor;

July 3, 1975 (Thursday)[edit]

  • Barriers against the hiring of gay and lesbian people, as employees of the United States government, were ended, by order of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Previously, employment could be denied to a homosexual person on grounds of "possible embarrassment to the federal service". The Commission ruled that, as with any other government employee, "there must be some rational connection between the individual's conduct and the efficiency of the service".[6]

July 4, 1975 (Friday)[edit]

  • In the worst terrorist attack in Jerusalem since the founding of Israel in 1948, thirteen people were killed and 72 wounded in an explosion in Zion Square, which was crowded with mostly Jewish shoppers on the eve of the Sabbath. Explosives had been placed inside of a refrigerator that had been set by terrorists in front of a toy store. A Palestiinian guerilla group claimed responsibility.[7]
  • Billie Jean King defeated Evonne Goolagong to win the Wimbledon women's singles championship. The 6-0, 6-1 win was the most one-sided women's final since 1951. King announced afterward that she was retiring from singles' tournaments to concentration on her professional league, World Team Tennis.[8]
  • Sydney newspaper publisher and heiress, Juanita Nielsen, disappeared after leaving her office at 11:00 am for a luncheon appointment that she never kept. Her handbag was found on July 14 nearby in Penrith. Nielsen published NOW, and had been a crusader against the demolition of an historic part of the city.[9] She was never seen again.[10]
  • Born: John Lloyd Young, American actor, winner of Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, 2006, for Jersey Boys; in Sacramento, California

July 5, 1975 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Cape Verde gained independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule of the 15 inhabited islands off of the coast of West Africa. At Praia, Portugal's Prime Minister Vasco Goncalves turning over power to National Assembly President Abilio Duarte. Later in the day, the assembly elected Aristides Pereira as President and Pedro Pires as Prime Minister.[11]
  • Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title, defeating the #1 ranked Jimmy Connors, 6-1, 6-1, 5-7 and 6-4.[12]
  • Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano erupted after 25 years of inactivity, toward the city of Hilo.[13]
  • Dmitri Shostakovich completed his final composition, Opus 147 Sonata for viola and piano. He would die five weeks later on August 9.[14]
  • The Shia Amal militia, founded by Imam Musa al-Sadr, was being instructed on the use of landmines and explosives by the al Fatah branch of the PLO in Lebanon, when the lesson went horribly wrong. A huge explosion killed 42 of the fighters, and wounded more than 80.[15]
  • Born:
  • Died:

July 6, 1975 (Sunday)[edit]

  • The Chamber of Deputies of the French colony of the Comoros Islands voted 33-0 to declare independence from France.[16] One island, Mayotte, would remain a French overseas department.
  • Ruffian, an American champion thoroughbred racehorse broke down in a match race against Kentucky Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure, in a nationally televised "Challenge of the Sexes" between the two thoroughbreds. She had to be euthanized the following day.[17]
  • Fifty-two people, most of them students in Pakistan who were on their way to a vacation at Abbotabad, were killed when their bus fell into a ravine.[18]
  • Warren A. Klope shattered the world record for stone skipping after sending a flat rock that bounced 24 times along the waters of Lake Superior. Breaking the former world record of 21 skips, set by Carl Weiholdt of Denmark in 1957, Klope's mark was set at the annual International Stone Skipping Tournament at Mackinac Island, Michigan.[19]
  • Born: 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson III), American rapper, in New York City

July 7, 1975 (Monday)[edit]

July 8, 1975 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • U.S. President Gerald R. Ford announced that he would run for President of the United States in 1976, in his first try for national office. Ford, described as "the first unelected President" because he had not run for either the Presidency or the Vice-Presidency, had succeeded Richard Nixon after having been appointed U.S. Vice-President in 1974.[21]
  • An earthquake in the Burmese city of Bagan, ancient capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, damaged most of the important structures dating from the 13th Century, many beyond repair, and 80 percent of the city's Buddhist temples.[22]

July 9, 1975 (Wednesday)[edit]

July 10, 1975 (Thursday)[edit]

July 11, 1975 (Friday)[edit]

  • The Los Angeles City Council voted 10-1 to approve a $750 million project for "The biggest downtown redevelopment plan any American city had ever taken on", with 255 city blocks to be affected.[26]
  • Died:

July 12, 1975 (Saturday)[edit]

  • São Tomé and Príncipe was granted independence from Portugal, as Portuguese Admiral Antonio Rosa Coutinho and Sao Tome Assembly President Xavier Dias signed documents ending Portugal's colonial rule. Manuel Pinto da Costa was sworn in as President afterward, along with Miguel Trovoada as Prime Minister.[28] Pinto da Costa would jail Trovoada and become dictator in 1979, while setting about to create a Marxist economy that would lower production of the nation's largest export (cocoa) by two-thirds in a decade, before yielding to a multiparty system in 1989.[29]
  • Four jets of the Spanish Air Force's acrobatic team, rehearsing for an airshow, collided during formation flying after taking off from the Murcia-San Javier Airport. All five persons on board were killed.[30]
  • The U.S. National Research Act was signed into law, creating a commission to protect the rights of human subjects of medical research studies and experiments.[31]

July 13, 1975 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Dirk Fisher, working with his father Mel Fisher, found the first definite proof that the wreckage of the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha was in the area, finding five bronze cannons 40 miles off of the Florida coast. The Atocha had sunk in a storm in 1622, carrying with it 47 tons of silver and 27 tons of gold.[32] One week later, on July 20, Dirk, his wife Angel, and another member of the team, Rick Gage, would die when their ship, the Northwind, sank in a storm.[33] The Atocha would finally be located on July 20, 1985, ten years to the day after Dirk had drowned.[34]
  • Died: Judith Graham Pool, 56, American physician who developed the cryoprecipitate, a blood clotting agent for treatment of hemophilia.

July 14, 1975 (Monday)[edit]

  • South Africa began aiding the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), pro-Western Angolan independence fighters, against the Marxist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which had taken control of the capital of Angola earlier in the month.[35] U.S. President Ford, on recommendation of Secretary of State Kissinger, signed an order four days later to begin Operation IA Feature, providing American financial aid to FNLA and UNITA as well.[36]
  • Guinea re-established diplomatic relations with France, 17 years after voting complete independence from French colonial authorities, and a decade after the two nations closed their embassies.[37]

July 15, 1975 (Tuesday)[edit]

American and Soviet crews
  • The first Apollo rocket mission since Apollo 17's 1972 trip to the Moon lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:50 pm with a crew of three. In the last use of the enormous Saturn rocket on a manned mission, Donald "Deke" Slayton, Vance Brand, and Brigadier General Thomas Stafford were sent into space about eight hours after the launching of a Soyuz rocket with Alexei Leonov (the first man to walk in space) and Valeri Kubasov, who went up at 4:20 pm from the Soviet Union (7:20 am in Florida). Slayton, who had been one of the original seven Mercury astronauts before being grounded in 1962 because of a heart murmur, radioed to ground control, "I'll tell you, this is worth waiting 16 years for!"[38]
  • An unidentified man on National Airlines Flight 1601 committed suicide by self-immolation as the DC-10 flew from New York to Miami. The man locked himself in an airplane restroom, put fuel on himself and then set himself ablaze. Nobody else was injured as the plane made an emergency landing in Jacksonville.[39]
  • Born:
  • Died:

July 16, 1975 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The evacuation of thousands of Portuguese nationals, who were preparing to move away from Angola in advance of its scheduled independence from Portugal in November, began as the airline Swissair began sending jets to Luanda during a temporary lull in the Angolan civil war.[41]
  • Died: Lester Dragstedt, 81, American surgeon who, in 1955, was the first person to successfully separate siamese twins.

July 17, 1975 (Thursday)[edit]

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  • A manned American Apollo spacecraft and the manned Soviet Soyuz spacecraft for the Soyuz 19 mission, docked in orbit, marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the 2 nations. At 3:19 pm Washington time (10:19 pm in Moscow), Apollo commander Tom Stafford and Soyuz commander Alexei Leonov shook hands. Deke Slayton then joined Stafford in boarding the Soyuz ship, where the astronauts remained for two more hours.[42]
  • A commuter train in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with more than 1,000 people on board, derailed. A fire department spokesman said that more than 100 people had been killed and at least 300 injured, while a railroad official called the number "absurd" and said that "The official number of dead is 13."[43]
  • Japan's Crown Prince (and later, Emperor) Akihito, and his wife, Princess Michito, narrowly missed being struck by a Molotov cocktail thrown at them by protesters during a visit to the city of Naha on Okinawa.[44]
  • Most of coffee crop in the Brazilian state of Paraná was destroyed by the Geada Negra ("Black Frost"), when unusually low temperatures brought snow to much of the tropical region.[45]
  • Born:
  • Died: Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, 82, Soviet Georgian writer

July 18, 1975 (Friday)[edit]

  • U.S. President Ford secretly communicated to Congress his decision to authorize $6,000,000 for a CIA operation to combat Marxist soldiers. The plans for Operation IA Feature did not specify the nature of the operation, nor even where it was taking place, but were an intervention in the Angolan Civil War to support the pro-Western National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA)) against the ruling Marxist regime, the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).[46]
  • A threatened nationwide strike of American railroad workers was called off suddenly after the railroads and the unions signed a pact in Washington.[47]
  • Died: Vaughn Bode, 33, American underground comics artist

July 19, 1975 (Saturday)[edit]

July 20, 1975 (Sunday)[edit]

July 21, 1975 (Monday)[edit]

  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 went into effect in the United States, along with regulations from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, after which all American universities, colleges and schools that received federal funding were required to provide the same level of funding for women's and girls' sports programs as had been spent for men and boys.[51]
  • The Parliament of India voted to approve Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's declaration of a state of emergency, with a 301-76 vote in the lower house and a 147-32 vote in the upper house.[52]
  • Died: Billy West, 82, American silent film actor and director

July 22, 1975 (Tuesday)[edit]

July 23, 1975 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Paul Allen and Bill Gates of "Micro-Soft", inventors of the Altair BASIC software program, written to be operated on the new Altair 8800 computer, signed a contract giving Altair manufacturer MITS the exclusive use of the software for ten years.[55]
  • A bill to lift a ban on American weapons sales to Turkey, failed 206-233 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Turkey's government would retaliate by closing American military bases there.[56]

July 24, 1975 (Thursday)[edit]

  • The Apollo space program came to an end as Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton, made the last "splashdown" in American history to date, with parachutes bringing their space capsule down to a recovery on the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. did not venture into space again until 1981, after which Space Shuttles would land on a runway following any space mission.[57]
  • The Philippines and Thailand announced that they would gradually withdraw and dismantle SEATO, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, 21 years after the alliance had been formed in 1954 to halt the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia.
  • India's Parliament voted to amend the constitution to prohibit the nation's courts from considering any challenge to the June 26 emergency decree. As opposition legislators boycotted the sessions, the measure passed 342-1 and 164-0 in the lower and upper houses.[58]
  • Born: Eric Szmanda, American TV actor (CSI), in Milwaukee
  • Died: Barbara Colby, 35, American TV actress. Ms. Colby, who had just gotten her first major television role, as a regular on the new TV show Phyllis, had completed filming of her third episode when she and actor James Kiernan were gunned down in a drive-by shooting. She died at the scene, and Kiernan died 40 minutes later.[59] The killers were never apprehended.[60]

July 25, 1975 (Friday)[edit]

  • The musical A Chorus Line began a fifteen-year run on Broadway, in the first of 6,137 performances at the Shubert Theatre[61]
  • Angered after the U.S. House of Representatives voted against lifting a ban of military aid to Turkey, the Turkish government declared that "The joint defense agreement of July 3, 1969... and other related agreements, have lost their legal validity. Within the context of this situation, the operation of all joint defense installations... will cease as of tomorrow." A NATO base at Incirklik was exempt from the order.[62]
  • Portugal's 30 man Supreme Revolutionary Council, which had ruled the nation since 1974, turned over control of the government to three generals, Premier Vasco Goncalves, President Francisco da Costa Gomes, and National Security Director Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho.[63]
  • The traditional price of five cents for a roundtrip ride on the Staten Island Ferry was brought to an end by a 34-2 vote of the New York City council. The new fare would be 25 cents.[64]

July 26, 1975 (Saturday)[edit]

  • China was able to place a satellite into orbit for the first time since 1971, and only the third time in its history, after April 24, 1970 and March 3, 1971.[65] The Ji Shu Shiyan Weixing I was destroyed after 50 days in orbit.[66]
  • Ethiopia's revolutionary government issued Proclamation No. 27, nationalizing almost all land in the former Empire. Families were allowed to own no more than one house, and no more than 500 square meters of unoccupied land. Everything else was confiscated by the government, which then rented out the surplus to low income families.[67]
  • The Hustle, by Van McCoy and celebrating the most popular new dance in America, became the #1 song in the United States.[68]
  • The second season of the World Football League opened with a provision that players would receive a percentage of the game revenues, as the San Antonio Wings beat the visiting Charlotte Hornets, 27-10.[69]

July 27, 1975 (Sunday)[edit]

  • Thailand's Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj announced that all military agreements with the United States were at an end, and ordered that all American troops were to leave Thailand by March 20, 1976.[70]
  • In his nationally syndicated weekly column, astrologer Sydney Omarr predicted a "hot-weather, colorful week" in which "Leo, Aquarius persons grab headlines", noting that "Aquarians in the news during this 'hot week' could include such persons as Hank Aaron, James Hoffa and Betty Friedan."[71] Hoffa would be in the news four days later after disappearing.
  • Born: Alex Rodriguez, American MLB player nicknamed "A-Rod", and highest paid baseball player in history; in New York City; and Taïg Khris, Algerian-born inline skating champion, in Algiers
  • Died:

July 28, 1975 (Monday)[edit]

July 29, 1975 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Nigeria's President, Major General Yakubu Gowon, was overthrown while he was out of the country at a meeting of the Organization of African Unity in Uganda. Joseph Nanvan Garba, commander of Gowon's bodyguards, took control of radio stations in the capital, Lagos, to broadcast the coup announcement, imposed a curfew, ordered most vehicles off of the street, and shut down the capital's international airport and telecommunications.[74] Brigadier General Murtala Mohammed became the new President the next day, and deposed President Jack Gowon declared from Uganda that "I pledge my full loyalty to the nation and the new government".[75]
  • Chinese troops killed hundreds of rebels and civilians of the predominantly Muslim Hui minority in the village of Shadian in the Yunnan Province. Over a period of eight days of fighting, 900 Hui were killed in the village of Shadian, and hundreds more died in surrounding villages, while more than 400 soldiers of the People's Liberation Army lost their lives.[76]
  • The Organization of American States voted 16-3 to discontinue 15 years of sanctions against Fidel Castro by all member nations, and to allow each member to determine its own relations with Cuba. Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay opposed, and Brazil and Nicaragua abstained from the resolution.[77]
  • Turkish officers took control of all 24 American military bases in Turkey.[78]
  • The first shipment of American weapons to rebels in Angola was made with the departure of a U.S. Air Force C-141 military transport plane from Charleston, South Carolina to Zaire, for use by the UNITA forces.[79]

July 30, 1975 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Near Detroit, former Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing after his car was found abandoned outside of the Machus Red Fox, a restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he had said he had an appointment to have lunch with a longtime friend, Detroit mobster Anthony Giacalone. Giacalone denied that he had been aware of any plans for a luncheon date. A missing persons report was filed the next day after Hoffa failed to return to his home in Lake Orion.[80][81]
  • By a single vote (214-213), the U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving pay raises for Congressmen, federal judges, the U.S. Vice-President and other U.S. officials. The President's annual salary remained at $200,000.[82] On the same day, the House voted 228-189 to remove price limits on American gasoline, effective August 31.[83]
  • The U.S. Senate voted 71-21 to declare one of the two seats for New Hampshire vacant, as both John A. Durkin and Louis C. Wyman continued to claim that they had won the November 1974 election to replace Senator Norris Cotton, whose term had expired in January. Cotton was then appointed to return to his former seat as the interim Senator until elections could be held.[84]
  • Born: Kate Starbird, American college and professional (ABL and WNBA) basketball player, in West Point, New York
  • Died: James Blish, 54, American science fiction author

July 31, 1975 (Thursday)[edit]

  • Three members of a popular Irish pop group, The Miami Showband, were murdered by terrorists near the Northern Ireland town of Newry, while returning from a performance at Banbridge. Their van was flagged down by members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, who were wearing British Army uniforms and who had set up a phony checkpoint. While the van occupants were being lined up, two of the UVF men were trying to place a time bomb underneath the vehicle. The bomb went off prematurely, killing the two UVF men, and the rest of the terrorists shot the five bandmembers, killing lead singer Fran O'Toole, trumpeter Brian McCoy and guitarist Tony Geraghty. The other two bandmembers, bassist Stephen Travers and saxophone player Des McAlea, were wounded.[85]
  • The television show Almost Anything Goes, pitting teams from three small towns against each other in a competition that mixed athletics and stunts, was first broadcast. The competition for the "Eastern Conference Championship", involved Webster, Massachusetts, Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Putnam, Connecticut, all near the point where the three states' borders met.[86]
  • Ethiopia dropped all claims that it had had to Djibouti, the African colony of France once known as French Somaliland. Djibouti would become independent two years later.[87]
  • Born: Elissa Steamer, American skateboarder and four time X Games gold medalist, in Fort Myers, Florida


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  2. ^ Janet Abbate, Inventing the Internet (MIT Press, 2000) p136
  3. ^ "Nixon says LBJ urged tapes system installation", Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review, July 2, 1975, p1
  4. ^ "19,000 In N.Y. Fired In Bid To Balance Budget", Toledo (OH) Blade, July 1, 1975, p1; "37,000 lose jobs in New York", The Age (Melbourne), July 2, 1975, p1
  5. ^ "Australian Firing Upheld", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 15, 1975, p3
  6. ^ "Commission Bars Gay Discrimination", Palm Beach Post, July 4, 1975, pA-3; "Homosexual Hiring Revised by U.S.", New York Times, Juyly 4, 1975
  7. ^ "JERUSALEM BLAST KILLS 13", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 5, 1975, p1
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  12. ^ "Ashe Erases 'Choker' Tag, Rips Connors", Ocala Star-Banner, July 6, 1975, p1-C
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  18. ^ "52 Students Die in Bus Crash", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 7, 1975, p2
  19. ^ "A New Stone Skipping Record", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 7, 1975, p3
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  58. ^ "India OKs Continued Emergency", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 26, 1975, p3
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  75. ^ "Nigerian Supports Successor", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 31, 1975, p2
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  81. ^ "The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa" by Anthony Bruno, TruTV Crime Library
  82. ^ "House OKs Pay Hike by Single Vote", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 31, 1975, p1
  83. ^ "Oil Plan Killed; Lids Go Off Aug. 31", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 31, 1975, p2
  84. ^ "N.H. Seat Ruled Vacant; Runoff OK'd", Milwaukee Sentinel, July 31, 1975, p4
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