We lived through a lot of famous events our graduation year, as it was a year full of music and technology news. Although founded in February of 1970, National Public Radio (NPR) broadcasted a year later for the first time, on April 20th, 1971. Intel released the world’s first microprocessor, the 4004, and Texas Instruments came out with the first pocket calculator, officially jumpstarting the digital age. Other important technology first introduced that year: the floppy disc (developed in the late 1960s but commercially available in 1971), and the chat system (used by the U.S. government). In another great feat, Amtrak began operations on May 1st.
In music news, Don McLean’s iconic song “American Pie” hit the airwaves. In December, Led Zeppelin released their pivotal 4th album, titled Zeppelin IV, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s single “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” debuted. Sadly, the pop culture world also witnessed two shocking deaths: Louis Armstrong, who died of a heart attack at the age of 69, and Jim Morrison, who was found unresponsive in a bathtub in Paris on July 3rd. He was only 27 years old.
Other events of note that year: in March, congress approved a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18, James Irwin of Apollo 15 famously saluted the American flag during the 4th moon landing, cigarette ads were banned on tv and radio, Greenpeace was founded, and Charles Manson was convicted of first-degree murder. But, in happier news, Disney World officially opened near Orlando, Florida on October 1st.