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75 Years


Historic moments from the 1970s


1970 - Conflict in Biafra

Biafran War
Images of starving Biafran children with swollen stomachs and skeletal limbs during the Nigerian civil war failed to move the world. Many Africans including Biafran rebellion Chief Emeka Ojukwu couldn't understand why the world didn't act on those pictures.

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1971 - Bangladesh war of independence

Bangladesh war of independence
During the Bangladesh war of independence from Pakistan, the BBC's Bengali service was required listening because it broadcast the facts when reliable information was scarce. The Bengali service correspondents were national heroes to those wanting independence.

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1972 - Horrors of the Vietnam War

Kim Phuc flees napalm attack
This iconic picture of naked nine-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war along with other terrified children from their burning village is one of those credited with helping to turn the world against the war.

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1973 - Yom Kippur war

Yom Kippur war
Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Israel came on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. Soldiers were on leave and most Israelis were at the synagogue or at home with tvs and radios switched off. The war ended two weeks later.

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1974 - The Watergate scandal

President Richard Nixon
An investigation by two young newspapermen Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward into a break-in at the Watergate Hotel headquarters of the US Democratic party resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

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1975 - The War on TV

Fall of Saigon
The Vietnam war was called 'the first television war' as Americans watched the nightly news and saw troops fighting as well as the coffins of dead soldiers being returned home. The US people viewed the fall of Saigon, the last humiliating chapter of the Vietnam war.

Listen to the media moment for 1975

1976 - The Soweto Riots

Soweto Riots
When pictures emerged from South Africa of dead and dying children, who were shot by the police, the world was shocked. The children from the black township of Soweto were protesting against having to learn Afrikaans at school when the police opened fire.

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1977 - Punks make waves

The Sex Pistols
Punk was sweeping the UK. This subculture was embodied by the Sex Pistols, a band that swore, spat and mocked the establishment. It's not surprising that their silver jubilee hit God Save the Queen was banned by the BBC.

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1978 - The 'Umbrella Murder'

Georgi Markov
After defecting from Bulgaria, critic of the communist regime Georgi Markov worked at the BBC World Service. One morning he was jabbed by a man with an umbrella and died of blood poisoning three days later. Doctors found a tiny pellet with traces of ricin in his thigh.

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1979 - The Iranian Revolution

Ayatollah Khomeini
More than three million noisy and exuberant people were on the streets of Tehran to greet Ayatollah Khomeini when he returned from exile during Iran's Islamic revolution. In contrast to the Ayatollah who is alleged to have said he felt "nothing".

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