|January 4||Austrian Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary-General of the United Nations.|
|January 5||Nixon orders development of space shuttle program.|
|January 11||Following a bloody civil war, East Pakistan gains independence and is renamed Bangladesh.|
|January 25||Shirley Chisholm announces her candidacy for the presidency at Brooklyn's Concord Baptist Church.|
|Feburary 4||NASA scientists unveil the first close-up photos of Mars, sent by Mariner 9.|
|Feburary 21-27||President Nixon becomes the first president to visit China, establishing a new working relationship between China and the United States.|
|March 8||The Goodyear blimp flies for the first time.|
|March 22||Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment.|
|March 22||The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Eisenstadt v. Baird that the right to privacy means single people are entitled to contraceptives.|
|April 16||The fifth American mission to the moon, Apollo 16, launches.|
|April 17||Women are allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon for the first time. Nina Kuscsik is the first winner.|
|May 2||J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, dies.|
|May 15||Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace is shot and paralyzed by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland.|
|May 26||Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev sign the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) in Moscow.|
|June 4||Black activist Angela Davis found not guilty of murder in California.|
|June 23||Title IX passes, prohibiting sex discrimination in sports funding in schools receiving federal money.|
|June 29||In a 5-4 ruling in Furman v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the death penalty is unconstitutional.|
|July 1||First issue of Ms. Magazine published.|
|July 10||Democratic National Convention opens in Miami Beach.|
|August 12||The last American ground forces are withdrawn from Vietnam.|
|September 5-6||Eleven Israeli athletes murdered by terrorist group at Munich Olympics.|
|September 17||First episode of MASH is aired.|
|October 25||The FBI hires its first female agents.|
|November 5||American Indian Movement activists occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs|
|November 14||The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1000 for the first time. (1003.16)|
|December 11||Apollo 17, the last American moon mission, lands on the moon.|
|December 22||Earthquake strikes Managua, Nicaragua.|
» Wikipedia: 1972
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President Nixon meets with China's Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse-Tung, 2/29/1972. Source: National Archives.
The Goodyear blimp. Source: National Archives.
Angela Davis. Source: Library of Congress.
Cover of first issue of Ms. Magazine.
Launch of Apollo 17. Source: NASA.