Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s - 1970s - 1980s 1990s 2000s
Years: 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 - 1979 - 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
- January 1 - United States and the People's Republic of China establish diplomatic relations[?]
- January 4 - State of Ohio agrees to pay $675,000 to families of dead and injured in Kent State University shootings.
- January 7 - Vietnam and Vietnam-backed Cambodian insurgents announce the fall of Phnom Penh, Cambodian capital, and the collapse of the Pol Pot regime.
- January 16 - The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocate to Egypt after a year of turmoil.
- February 1 - Convicted bank robber Patty Hearst is released from prison after her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
- February 1 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is welcomed back into Tehran, Iran after nearly 15 years of exile.
- February 11 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seizes power in Iran.
- February 14 - In Kabul, Muslim extremists kidnap the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs[?] who is later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and police.
- February 17 - The People's Republic of China invades northernVietnam
- February 22 - Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.
- March 14 - In China, a Trident aircraft[?] crashes into a factory near Beijing killing at least 200.
- March 25 - The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.
- March 28 - Nuclear power plant accident at Three Mile Island, Pa., releases radiation
- April 1 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini proclaims Iran to be an Islamic Republic.
- April 6 - President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto[?] of Pakistan is executed.
- May 4 - Conservatives win the British election; Margaret Thatcher becomes the new prime minister.
- May 10 - The Federated States of Micronesia becomes self-governing.
- May 25 - American Airlines flight 191: In Chicago, Illinois, a DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport killing 271 on board on two people on the ground.
- June 4 - Joe Clark becomes Canada's sixteenth, and youngest, prime minister.
- July 17 - Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigns and flees to Miami; Sandinistas form a new government on July 19.
- June 18 - Jimmy Carter and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna.
- August 27 - Lord Mountbatten killed by the I.R.A..
- November 4 - Iranian militants seize the U.S. embassy in Teheran and take hostages.
- November 28 - Air New Zealand DC-10, on a sightseeing trip, crashes into Mount Erebus, Antarctica, killing all 257 people on board.
- December 24 - Soviet Union invades Afghanistan
- December 27 - The Soviet Union seizes control of Afghanistan and Babrak Karmal replaces overthrown and executed President Hafizullah Amin.
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 3 - Conrad Hilton, hotelier
- January 5 - Charles Mingus, American jazz musician
- January 26 - Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of New York, Vice President of the United States
- February 2 - Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols
- February 7 - Josef Mengele, Nazi war criminal
- February 12 - Jean Renoir, Film Director
- February 23 - W.A.C. Bennett, British Columbia politician
- February 28 - "The famous Mr. Ed[?]", the talking horse, dies.
- March 28 - Emmett Kelly, clown
- April 4 - Ali Bhutto[?], President and Prime Minister of Pakistan
- April 10 - Nino Rota, composer
- May 29 - Mary Pickford, actress, studio founder
- July 3 - Louis Durey, composer, member of Les Six
- July 16 - Alfred Deller, singer, early modern countertenor
- August 27 - Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 79, British World War II hero, and three others are killed by a blast on a fishing boat off the Irish coast; two I.R.A. members are accused on August 30.
- September 8 - Jean Seberg, actress
- October 10 - Christopher Evans, British psychologist and computer scientist
- December 7 - Prince Chahryar Shafik[?], nephew of the Shah of Iran, murdered in Paris, France.
- December 23 - Peggy Guggenheim, art collector
- December 27 - Hafizullah Amin, president of Afghanistan