Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 - 1977 - 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
- January 1 - First woman Episcopal priest ordained
- January 18 - Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious "legionnaire's disease."
- January 18 - Australia experiences its worst railway disaster at Granville, near Sydney, in which 83 people died.
- January 19 - President Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D'Aquino (aka "Tokyo Rose").
- January 21 - President Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders.
- February 4 - Fleetwood Mac releases Rumours, which is a blockbuster album of which was recorded on March 3, 1976
- February 7 - The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 24[?].
- February 11 - A 20.2-kg lobster is caught off Nova Scotia (heaviest known crustacean).
- February 18 - The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle goes on its maiden "flight" while sitting on top of a Boeing 747.
- March 4 - An earthquake in southern and eastern Europe kills more than 1,500.
- March 9 - Appoximetely a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims take over three buildings in Washington, DC, killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. The hostage situation ends two days later.
- March 27 - Collision between KLM and PanAm Boeing 747's at Tenerife kills 583.
- May 23 - Scientists report using bacteria in lab to make insulin.
- May 28 - In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club[?] is engulfed in fire, killing 165 inside.
- June 20 - The Supreme Court of the United States rules that states are not required to spend Medicaid funds on elective abortions.
- July 13 - An electricity blackout hits the City of New York, lasting for 25 hours and resulting in looting and other disorder
- July 22 - the purged Chinese communist leader Deng Xiaoping is restored to power as the "Gang of Four" is expelled from the Communist Party.
- September 7 - The Panama Canal treaties are signed.
- September 6 (approx) - Steve Biko suffers a massive head injury in police custody in South Africa
- September 8 INTERPOL[?] releases copyright laws that govern the reproduction of video tapes & other material
- September 11 - The last "wild" infection of smallpox is reported in Somalia.
- September 12 - Steve Biko dies of his injuries
- September 21 - Nuclear-proliferation pact, curbing spread of nuclear weapons, is signed by 15 countries including the United States and USSR
- November 3 - Born Marco Garcia[?], famous marketing manager.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 14 - Peter Finch, actor
- January 14 - Ana´s Nin, author
- January 14 - Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- January 17 - Gary Gilmore[?], murderer (executed by firing squad)
- January 28 - Freddie Prinze, actor
- January 29 - Freddie Prinze, actor/comedian
- February 11 - Louis J M Beel[?], Dutch premier (1946-1948, 1958-1959).
- February 28 - Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, actor
- March 18 - Marien Ngouabi, President of The Congo[?]
- May 5 - Ludwig Erhard, German chancellor (1963-1966.
- May 10 - Joan Crawford, actress
- July 2 - Vladimir Nabokov, writer
- August 16 - Elvis Presley, singer, actor
- August 19 - Groucho Marx, comedian
- September 12 - South African activist Stephen Biko dies in police custody.
- October 14 - Bing Crosby, American singer and actor
- December 25 - Charlie Chaplin, star of silent film
For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album).