Learn more about 1972
1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday.
- Designated International year of the book by UNESCO
- April 3 - The first cellular phone call is made in New York.
- April 7 - U.S. Mafioso Joe Gallo is shot in Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy.
- April 10 - The U.S. and the Soviet Union join some 70 nations in signing an agreement to ban biological warfare.
- April 10 - A 7.0 Richter scale earthquake kills 5,000 people in the Iranian province of Fars.
- April 10 - The 44th Annual Academy Awards are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
- April 13 - The Universal Postal Union decides to recognize the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate Chinese representative, effectively expelling the Republic of China administering Taiwan.
- April 15 - Roberta Flack's song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" reaches #1 on Billboard, remaining #1 for 6 weeks. Only 2 songs remain #1 for 6 weeks (the longest in 1972) - the other is "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan on July 29.
- April 16 - Charlie Chaplin re-enters the U.S. to receive a Special Oscar (Academy Award) from Daniel Taradash.
- April 16 - Apollo 16 (John Young, Ken Mattingly, Charlie Duke) is launched. During the mission, the astronauts achieve a lunar rover speed record of 11 mph.
- April 16 - Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue offensive - Prompted by the North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.
- April 18 - The Roland Corporation is founded in Osaka.
- April 22 - Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax finish rowing across the Pacific.
- April 27 - A no-confidence vote against German Chancellor Willy Brandt fails under obscure circumstances.
- April 29 - The fourth anniversary of the Broadway musical Hair is celebrated with a free concert at a Central Park bandshell, followed by dinner at the Four Seasons. There, 13 Black Panther protesters and the show's co-author, Jim Rado, are arrested for disturbing the peace and marijuana use.
- May 5 - An Alitalia DC-8 crashes west of Palermo, Sicily (115 dead).
- May 7 - General elections are held in Italy.
- May 8 - U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the mining of Haiphong Harbor in Vietnam.
- May 13 - Fire in a nightclub atop the Sennichi department store in Osaka, Japan, leaves 115 dead.
- May 15 - Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur Herman Bremer at a Laurel, Maryland political rally.
- May 17 - The closing notice is posted for the Broadway musical Hair.
- May 18 - Four troopers of both SAS and SBS are parachuted onto the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, 1,000 miles off Britain in the Atlantic, after a bomb threat and ransom demand, which turns out to be bogus.
- May 19 - Three out of 6 bombs explode in the Springer Press building in Hamburg, Germany, injuring 17 (the Red Army Faction claims responsibility).
- May 21 - In Rome, Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo's Pieta statue with a sledgehammer, shouting that he is Jesus Christ.
- May 22 - An earthquake lasting 20 seconds destroys most of Bingöl, Turkey - more than 1,000 are killed, 10,000 made homeless.
- May 22 - Ceylon becomes the republic of Sri Lanka under prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, when its new constitution is ratified.
- May 24 - Rangers lift the Cup Winners Cup, defeating Dynamo Moscow in the final at the Nou Camp. Their supporters cause a riot, with the team banned from defending the trophy the following season.
- May 24 - A RAF bomb explodes in the Campbell Barracks of the U.S. Army Supreme European Command in Heidelberg, West Germany. Three U.S. soldiers (Clyde Bonner, Ronald Woodard and Charles Peck) are killed.
- May 26 - Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT I treaty in Moscow, as well as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and other agreements.
- May 26- First failed attempt at Watergate first break-in: the "Ameritas dinner" at the Watergate.
- May 26 - Willandra National Park is established in Australia.
- May 27 - Second failed attempt at Watergate first break-in.
- May 28 - Watergate first break-in.
- May 30 - The Angry Brigade goes on trial in the United Kingdom.
- May 30 - Three Japanese Red Army members kill 24 and injure 100 in Lod Airport, Israel.
- July 1 - The Broadway production of the musical Hair closes after 1,752 performances.
- July 2 - Following Pakistan's surrender to India in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, both nations sign the historic Simla Agreement, agreeing to settle their disputes bilaterally.
- July 4 - The first Rainbow Gathering is held in Colorado.
- July 8 - The U.S. sells grain to the Soviet Union for $750 million.
- July 10 - A stampede of elephants kills 24 in the Chandka Forest in India.
- July 10-July 14 - The Democratic National Convention meets in Miami Beach. Senator George McGovern, who backs the immediate and complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Vietnam, is nominated for President. He names fellow Senator Thomas Eagleton as his running mate.
- July 15 - The Pruitt-Igoe housing development is demolished in Saint Louis, Missouri.
- July 18 - Anwar Sadat expels 20,000 Soviet advisors from Egypt.
- July 21 - Bloody Friday: 22 bombs planted by the Provisional IRA explode in Belfast, Ireland; 9 people are killed and 130 seriously injured.
- July 21 - Comedian George Carlin is arrested by Milwaukee, Wisconsin police for public obscenity, for reciting his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” at Summerfest.
- July 23 - The United States launches Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.
- July 25 - U.S. health officials admit that blacks were used as guinea pigs in a syphilis experiment.
- July 29 - A national dock strike begins in Britain.
- October 1 - The first publication reporting the production of a recombinant DNA molecule, marks the birth of modern molecular biology methodology.
- Jackson, David A.; Symons, Robert H.; and Berg, Paul. (1972). Biochemical Method for Inserting New Genetic Information into DNA of Simian Virus 40: Circular SV40 DNA Molecules Containing Lambda Phage Genes and the Galactose Operon of Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 69(10), 2904-2909.
- October 2 - Denmark joins the European Community. The Faroe Islands stay out.
- October 5 - The United Reformed Church is founded out of the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches.
- October 6 - A train crash in Saltillo, Mexico kills 208.
- October 8 - R. Sargent Shriver is chosen to replace Thomas Eagleton as the U.S. vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
- October 12 - En route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. Nearly 50 sailors are injured.
- October 13 - Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571: A Fairchild FH-227D passenger aircraft transporting a rugby union team crashes at about 14,000' in the Andes mountain range, near the Argentina/Chile border. Sixteen of the survivors are found alive December 20 but they have had to resort to cannibalism to survive (a movie based on these events was directed by Frank Marshall (movie producer) in 1993 starring Ethan Hawke (see external links).
- October 16 - A plane carrying U.S. Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana and 3 other men vanishes in Alaska. The wreckage has never been found, despite a massive search at the time.
- October 16 - Rainbow, a British television programme for children, debuts.
- October 16 - Rioting Maze Prison inmates cause a fire that destroys most of the camp.
- October 17 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visits Yugoslavia.
- October 25 - The first female FBI agents are hired.
- October 25 - Belgian Eddy Merckx sets a new world hour record in cycling in Mexico City.
- October 26 - Following a visit to South Vietnam, U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger suggests that "peace is at hand."
- October 29 - The Black September group hijacks a Lufthansa Boeing 727 over Turkey, and demands the release of 3 of their comrades still held for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games.
- October 30 - U.S. President Richard Nixon approves legislation to increase Social Security spending by US$5.3 billion.
- October 30 - A commuter train collision in Chicago kills 45, injures hundreds.
- November 1 (exact date not known) - At a scientific meeting in Honolulu, Herbert Boyer and Stanley N. Cohen conceive the concept of recombinant DNA. They publish their results in November 1973 in PNAS. Separately in 1972, Paul Berg also recombines DNA in a test tube. Recombinant DNA technology has dramatically changed the field of biological sciences, especially biotechnology, and opened the door to genetically modified organisms.
- November 5 - A group of Amerindians occupies the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- November 7 - U.S. presidential election, 1972: Republican incumbent Richard Nixon defeats Democratic Senator George McGovern in a landslide (the election had the lowest voter turnout since 1948, with only 55 percent of the electorate voting).
- November 11 - Vietnam War: Vietnamization - The United States Army turns over the massive Long Binh military base to South Vietnam.
- November 14 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1,000 (1,003.16) for the first time.
- November 16 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization adopts the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage .
- November 22 - Vietnam War: The United States loses its first B-52 Stratofortress of the war.
- November 29 - Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of their seminal arcade version of PONG, the first game to achieve commercial success.
- November 30 - Vietnam War: White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler tells the press that there will be no more public announcements concerning United States troop withdrawals from Vietnam due to the fact that troop levels are now down to 27,000.
- December 2 - Edward Gough Whitlam becomes the first Labour Party Prime Minister of Australia for 23 years. He is famously sworn in on the election night and his first action using executive power is to withdraw all Australian personnel from the Vietnam War.
- December 7 - Apollo 17 (Gene Cernan, Ron Evans, Harrison Schmitt), the last manned mission to the Moon to date, is launched.
- December 7 - PIRA kidnaps Jean McConville in Belfast.
- December 7 - Imelda Marcos is stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant; her bodyguards shoot him.
- December 8 - United Airlines Boeing 737 from Washington National to Chicago Midway crashes short of the runway, killing 43 of 61 onboard and 2 on the ground.
- December 8 - Over $10,000 cash is found in the purse of Watergate conspirator Howard Hunt's wife.
- December 8 - International Human Rights Day is proclaimed by the United Nations.
- December 15 - The Commonwealth of Australia ordains equal pay for women.
- December 19 - Apollo program: Apollo 17 returns to Earth, concluding the program of lunar exploration.
- December 21 - East Germany and West Germany recognize each other.
- December 21 - ZANLA troopers attack Altera Farm in north-east Rhodesia.
- December 22 - Two small earthquakes are felt at about 9:30 and 10:15 local time in Managua, Nicaragua.
- December 22 - Australia establishes diplomatic relations with China and West Germany.
- December 23 - A 6.25 Richter scale earthquake in Nicaragua kills 5,000-12,000 in the capital, Managua; President Somoza will later be accused of pocketing millions of dollars worth of foreign aid intended for relief.
- December 24 - The highest recorded temperature in Australia is recorded in Birdsville, Queensland of 49.5C (121.1F).
- December 28 - The bones of Martin Bormann are identified in Berlin.
- December 29 - An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 crashes into the Everglades in Florida, killing 101 of 163 onboard.
- December 31 - Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash off the coast of Puerto Rico while en route to deliver aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims.
 Unknown dates
- January 2 - Taye Diggs, American actor
- January 9 - Jay Powell, American baseball player
- January 12 - Espen Knutsen, Norwegian hockey player
- January 13 - Nicole Eggert, American actress
- January 17 - Ken Hirai, Japanese singer and songwriter
- January 18 - Mike Lieberthal, American baseball player
- January 19 - Drea de Matteo, American actress
- January 22 - Romi Paku, seiyu (voice actress)
- January 23 - Marcel Wouda, Dutch swimmer
- January 27 - Mark Owen, British singer and Take That member
- January 27 - Keith Wood, Irish rugby player
- February 1 - Yoshi DeHerrera, American television personality
- February 2 - Klára Dobrev, wife of Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány
- February 4 - Giovanni Silva De Oliveira, Brazilian footballer
- February 5 - Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
- February 5 - Koriki Chōshū, Japanese comedian
- February 7 - Alex Bassi, American race car driver
- February 8 - Paul Wight, American professional wrestler (billed as The Big Show)
- February 11 - Craig Jones, a member of the band Slipknot
- February 11 - Steve McManaman, British footballer
- February 13 - Gus Hansen, Danish poker player
- February 14 - Drew Bledsoe, American football player
- February 14 - Hiroshi, Japanese comedian
- February 15 - Jaromir Jagr, Czech hockey player
- February 16 - Jerome Bettis, American football player
- February 17 - Billie Joe Armstrong, American musician (Green Day)
- February 17 - YUKI, Japanese singer (JUDY AND MARY)
- February 17 - Philippe Candeloro, French figure skater
- February 19 - Malky Mackay, Scottish footballer
- February 21 - Seo Taiji, Korean musician
- February 22 - Michael Chang, American tennis player
- February 23 - Steve Holy, American country singer
- February 24 - Richard Chelimo, Kenyan athlete (d. 2001)
- February 28 - Nick Wright, English football player
- February 29 - Antonio Sabato Jr., Italian actor
- March 6 - Terry Murphy, Northern Irish snooker player
- March 6 - Shaquille O'Neal, American basketball player
- March 8 - Angie Hart, Australian pop singer
- March 10 - Takashi Fujii (Matthew Minami), Japanese television performer
- March 10 - Matt Kenseth, American race car driver
- March 10 - Eugene Roshal, Russian-born computer programmer
- March 15 - Mark Hoppus, American musician (blink-182)
- March 17 - Mia Hamm, American soccer player
- March 18 - Dane Cook, American comedian
- March 20 - Alexander Kapranos, British singer and guitarist (Franz Ferdinand)
- March 21 - Chris Candido, American Professional Wrestler (d.2005)
- March 22 - Shawn Bradley, American basketball player
- March 22 - Elvis Stojko, Canadian figure skater
- March 22 - Cory Lidle, American baseball player (d.2006)
- March 23 - Judith Godrèche, French actress
- March 27 - Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Dutch footballer
- March 27 - Charlie Haas, American Professional Wrestler
- April 3 - Jennie Garth, American actress
- April 5 - Krista Allen, American actress
- April 11 - Jason Varitek, American baseball player
- April 12 - NiCole Robinson, American actress
- April 13 - Mariusz Czerkawski, Polish ice hockey player
- April 17 - Tony Boselli, American football player
- April 17 - Jennifer Garner, American actress
- April 17 - Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lankan cricketer
- April 19 - Rivaldo, Brazilian footballer
- April 20 - Le Huynh Đuc, Vietnamese footballer
- April 22 - Sarah Patterson, British actress
- April 24 - Chipper Jones, American baseball player
- April 29 - Roman Dirge, American artist, writer and cartoonist
- May 2 - The Rock, American professional wrestler and actor (birth name – Dwayne Johnson)
- May 2 - Paul Adcock, English footballer
- May 4 - Mike Dirnt, American musician (Green Day)
- May 5 - James Cracknell, British Olympic winning rower
- May 8 - Darren Hayes, Australian musician
- May 10 - Radosław Majdan, Polish goalkeeper
- May 20 - Busta Rhymes, American musician and actor
- May 21 - The Notorious B.I.G., American musician (d. 1997)
- May 23 - Rubens Barrichello, Brazillian racecar driver
- May 28 - Michael Boogerd, Dutch cyclist
- May 30 - Manny Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
- May 31 - Dave Roberts, Major League Baseball player
- June 2 - Wayne Brady, American comedian
- June 4 - Derian Hatcher, American hockey player
- June 4 - Rob Huebel, American comedian
- June 4 - Debra Stephenson, English actress
- June 5 - Pavel Kotla, Polish conductor
- June 5 - Justin Smith, American drummer
- June 5 - Mike Bucci, American Professional Wrestler, Nova, Simon Dean
- June 6 - Cristina Scabbia, Italian singer
- June 7 - Karl Urban, New Zealand actor
- June 14 - Matthias Ettrich, the computer scientist who founded the KDE project
- June 15 - Andy Pettitte, American baseball player
- June 17 - Iztok Čop, Slovenian rower
- June 19 - Brian McBride, American soccer player
- June 21 - Irene van Dyk, South African-born netball player
- June 21 - Christopher Matthews, English musician
- June 22 - Miguel Del Toro, Mexican baseball player
- June 23 - Zinedine Zidane, French footballer
- June 24 - Robbie McEwen, Australian professional road bicycle racer
- June 24 - Denis Zvegelj, Slovenian rower
- June 25 - Carlos Delgado, Puerto Rican baseball player
- June 25 - Mike Kroeger, Canadian bass guitarist (Nickelback)
- June 28 - John Heidenreich, American Professional Wrestler
- June 29 - Samantha Smith, American activist (d. 1985)
- August 1 - D-Von Dudley, American Professional Wrestler
- August 6 - Geri Halliwell, British musician (Spice Girls)
- August 7 - Sarah Cawood, British Television Presenter
- August 11 - Jonathon Prandi, American model and actor
- August 14 - Ed O'Bannon, American basketball player
- August 15 - Ben Affleck, American actor
- August 16 - Emily Robison, American country music performer (Dixie Chicks)
- August 25 - Marvin Harrison, American football player
- August 27 - Jimmy Pop, American Musician (Bloodhound Gang)
- August 30 - Cameron Diaz, American actress
- August 30 - Pavel Nedvěd, Czech footballer
- September 2 - Sergei Zholtok, Latvian hockey player (d. 2004)
- September 2 - Terry Bradshaw, American Football Hall of Famer
- September 8 - Lisa Kennedy, American disc jockey and political satirist
- September 8 - Tomokazu Seki, Japanese seiyu (voice actor)
- September 10 - Ghada Shouaa, Syrian athlete
- September 12 - Budi Putra, Indonesian journalist, writer and blogger
- September 12 - Jason Statham, British actor
- September 17 - Bobby Lee, American comedian
- September 21 - Liam Gallagher, British singer (Oasis)
- September 21 - Jon Kitna, American football player
- September 22 - Bob Sapp, American boxer and kickboxer
- September 24 - Karyn Bosnak, American author
- September 27 - Sylvia Crawley, American basketball player
- September 28 - Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress
- September 28 - Dita Von Teese, American burlesque artist
- September 30 - Ari Behn, Norwegian author
- October 5 - Grant Hill, American basketball player
- October 5 - Aaron Guiel, Canadian baseball player
- October 8 - Tricia Vessey, American actress
- October 9 - Etan Patz, disappeared school boy
- October 17 - Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. Eminem American rapper and actor
- October 17 - Wyclef Jean, Haitian rapper
- October 17 - Tarkan, Turkish singer
- October 24 - Pat Williams, American football player
- October 28 - Terrell Davis, American football player
- October 28 - Brad Paisley, American country music performer
- October 28 - Trista Rehn, American television personality
- October 29 - Takafumi Horie, Japanese entrepreneur (Livedoor)
- December 1 - Norbert Wójtowicz, Polish historian and theologian
- December 4 - Nikki Tyler, American actress
- December 7 - Hermann Maier, Austrian skier
- December 7 - Tammy Lynn Sytch, American Wrestling Valet and Topless Model
- December 9 - Tre Cool, German drummer (Green Day)
- December 10 - Brian Molko, Belgian singer (Placebo)
- December 12 - Joel Cahen, Israeli artist
- December 13 - Chris Grant, Australian footballer
- December 16 - Chris Hart, American Traveler, Actor, & Founder Travel-Journal.org
- December 18 - DJ Lethal, member of Limp Bizkit and House of Pain
- December 19 - Alyssa Milano, American actress
- December 19 - Warren Sapp, American football player
- December 22 - Vanessa Paradis, French singer and actress
- December 26 - Leroy Dickson, American photographer
- December 28 - Patrick Rafter, Australian tennis player
- December 29 - Jason Kreis, American soccer player
- December 29 - Jude Law, British actor
- December 30 - Kerry Collins, American football player
 Nobel prizes
 Ship events
 External links
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