Skip to Content

13 Craziest Things That Happened in the 70s That We’ve Forgotten About

Sharing is caring!

We have to agree that yesteryears were way simpler than today, but most were also pretty weird—and the 1970s are our case study. The decade gave us the Godfather and then saw the end of the Beatles. It is remembered as one of extreme change, lots of firsts, and some turmoil.

These years were characterized by an eclectic mix of incidents that had an impact on people all around the world. A sitting US president resigned, people were massacred at the Olympics, and Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minster.

The 70s rose against social upheaval, political unrest, and cultural development; these were the craziest things that happened in the 70s.

1. Jonestown Massacre in Guyana

Shed building surrounded with tropical greenery
Photo Credit:

In an unfortunate state of events, a cult leader in Guyana misled his congregants to commit mass suicide. Over 900 people perished after their leader, Bill Jones, tricked them into drinking a fruit drink laced with Cyanide on November 18, 1978.

Many religious leaders today still enjoy a fanatic-like following from the congregants. While we haven’t witnessed a massacre of the same magnitude, many people are still obliviously but dangerously toying with cults.

2. New York Blackout

_Damaged houses without power at night in the Rockaway beach - Bel Harbor area due to impact from Hurricane Sandy in Queens, New York, U.S
Photo Credit: fashionstock at

Extreme weather sometimes causes blackouts, but no outage has beaten the 1977 New York blackout. Lasting about 25 hours, the power outage that left New York in the dark was caused by a series of lightning.

As expected, the episode was marked by chaos, looting, arson, and more crime. At least three people lost their lives.

3. A Presidential Resignation

President Nixon Meets the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the Lawn of the White House
Photo Credit: YAY_Images at

The year 1974 saw the only resignation of a sitting US president, Richard Nixon, mostly as a result of his role in the Watergate affair. The Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., was broken into during the 1972 presidential campaign, which sparked the controversy.

The Watergate scandal reminds us of the foundational principles essential for a robust democracy.

4. The First Test-Tube Baby

Woman expecting the baby with test tube
Photo Credit:

Biology, and especially reproductive medicine, has come a long way. The world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978 in England. Her arrival signified a significant shift in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) disciplines.

We may not remember or even celebrate Lousie’s birthday, but this invention is a blessing to many people and families today.

5. The Olympic Terror

Olympic Flag
Photo Credit: Anton_Sokolov at

The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, were intended to honor global friendship and athletic accomplishment. But the terrorist strike by the Palestinian organization known as Black September cruelly ruined the games. Eight militant members infiltrated the games, killed two Israeli Olympic team members, and took nine others hostage.

The incident led to significant modifications to Olympic security procedures. Today, specialized security teams and more stringent measures safeguard competitors and spectators.

6. Missing Hijacker

airplane seats
Photo Credit:

Running away from an airplane is impossible, but one man achieved this seemingly impossible feat in 1971. After hijacking a plane, a man named D.B. demanded a $200,000 ransom. After returning all 36 passengers safely to the ground and getting his ransom, he then demanded the pilot head toward Mexico City, where he jumped out of the aircraft by parachute.

He was caught, right? Well, Cooper vanished from sight. It’s still one of the most well-known mysteries in American history.

7. Message from Space

Radio telescopes in village
Photo Credit:

The jury is still out on whether life is only happening on this planet, but a sound from outer space in 1977 may indicate otherwise. Using the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio, astronomers picked up a powerful radio signal from space for 72 seconds.

After numerous searches, the signal has never been found again, leaving astronomers perplexed about its origin and nature.

8. The Hate Mail of Circleville

Letter In Envelope Or Document In Mailbox. Man Hand Sending Mail
Photo Credit:

Getting mail is supposed to be wonderful unless it is filled with bills or threats, like the people in 1976 experienced. The residents of Circleville, Ohio, received mysterious and menacing anonymous letters filled with charges, cautions, and insults.

The entire unsolved turned into a mess of mysterious deaths, attempted murder, and lots of speculation. Law enforcement conducted inquiries, but the Circleville Letter Writer’s identity was never established for sure; the case remained unsolved.

9. A Pilot’s Disappearance

Pilot showing his thumb up
Photo Credit:

Do UFOs exist? An incident in 1978 may answer that question. Australian pilot Frederick Valentich vanished over the Bass Strait in strange circumstances after reporting witnessing an unidentified flying object (UFO) before losing radio contact.

Was it an alien abduction? We may never know if this was an extra-terrestrial involvement in his abduction since the man and his aircraft were never discovered.

10. Where’s Jimmy Hofa?

Jimmy Hofa the powerful union leader and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Photo Credit: By Garam – A part of File: James R. Hoffa and James P. Hoffa NYWTS.jpg, CC0,

It’s not every day that union leaders disappear without a trace, but Jimmy Hoffa, the powerful union leader and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, vanished in July 1975 and was never seen again.

Hoffa’s disappearance set off a plethora of conspiracy theories and inquiries, but his fate is still unknown. It’s still one of the most enduring mysteries in American history.

11. The Earth Hummed

Upset bearded alone man leaning at window and looking through it
Photo Credit:

We call her mother nature, and maybe she can talk after all. In the 1970s, people in Bristol, England, reported hearing an odd occurrence called the “Taos Hum.” The Taos Hum was a low-frequency buzzing or humming noise that some people reported to be audible and seemed to come from the earth.

A tiny portion of the population heart and felt it; its source is still unclear despite years of examination by scientists and researchers. This humming phenomenon has occurred elsewhere in the world, and researchers have yet to pinpoint the cause. Theories include electromagnetic fields and seismic activity.

12. The Explosion of Pintos

Old retro car in the streets of Hanoi
Photo Credit:

Some fender benders are to be expected any time you’re on the road, but rear-ending a Ford Pinto in the 70s was an explosive affair. The cars would burst into flames on impact, and 27 lives were lost to this phenomenon.

In 1978, Ford was forced to recall all Pinto vehicles manufactured between 1971 and 1976 to modify the fuel tank, which was the main culprit.

13. The Toxic Lady

Two girls are sitting, A girl is talking and another girl is getting bored
Photo Credit:

The medical world has seen its fair share of crazy incidences, and the Toxic Lady of 1979 was one of them. Gloria Ramirez was admitted to a hospital in Riverside, California, exhibiting mysterious symptoms and emitting a foul odor. Incidentally, medical personnel who treated her began experiencing symptoms themselves.

Despite extensive investigations, the cause of Ramirez’s condition remains a subject of debate, with theories ranging from environmental toxins to mass hysteria.


14 Things from the 80s That Now Make Us Shudder

80s woman in a visor water bottle boom box workout clothes
Photo Credit:

For those who grew up in the 1980s, it was a time of unparalleled nostalgia. From the iconic Madonna and the transformative Transformers to the vibrant and bold colors and the joy of recording mix tapes from the radio’s playlist- the 1980s were a real blast.

14 Things from the 80s That Now Make Us Shudder

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock

hippie van 60s guitars
Photo Credit:

Two things happened in 1969: The Moon landing and the Woodstock Festival. The famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the highlight of the 60s and a great testament to a people’s desire for fun, peace, and a little rebellion.

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock

20 Things All 60s Kids Will Fondly Remember

An Image of Beatles Band Members
Photo Credit: meunierd at

We have come a long way from historical gems like Vinyl records and sidecars. The ’60s certainly left a lingering aroma in the minds of anyone who grew up in that era.  

20 Things All 60s Kids Will Fondly Remember


Like this post? Why not share it?

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!