How Well Do You Remember … 1973?

Cost of Living in 1973 – How Much things cost…

  • Yearly Inflation Rate USA 6.16%
  • Yearly Inflation Rate UK 8.4%
  • Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 850

  • Average Cost of new house $32,500
  • Average Income per year $12,900
  • Average Monthly Rent $175
  • AMC Javelin car $2,900
  • Ford Galaxie 500 $3,883
  • Datsun 210 $3,869
  • Dodge Colt $4,785
  • Cost of a gallon of Gas $0.40 cents

  • 8-track stereo tape player $44.50
  • CB Radio $147
  • King Size Bean Bag Chair $19.99
  • Warm Leather Lined Boots $39.99
  • A Dozen Eggs 45 cents
  • Pork Roast Lb 59 cents
  • Mortons TV Dinner 36 cents
  • Miracle Whip $1.09

  • Crock pot Cooker $17.79
  • Walkie Talkie Sets $13.88
  • Mens Paisley Slacks $23.49
  • Mod Wall Clock $150.00
Top 10 "Hot Songs" of 1973

The Top 10, was revealed in the year-end edition of Billboard Magazine dated December 29, 1973, based on Hot 100 charts from the issue dates of November 25, 1972 through November 17, 1973.

#1 – “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn
#2 – “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce
#3 – “Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Roberta Flack
#4 – “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
#5 – “My Love” by Paul McCartney & Wings
#6 – “Why Me” by Kris Kristofferson
#7 – “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
#8 – “Will It Go Round in Circles” by Billy Preston
#9 – “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
#10 – “Touch Me in the Morning” by Diana Ross

Movies - Movies - Movies!
  • The Sting – Comedy, Crime, Drama – Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con. Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning
  • American Graffiti – Comedy, Drama – A group of teenagers in California’s central valley spend one final night after their 1962 high school graduation cruising the strip with their buddies before they pursue their varying goals. Director: George Lucas | Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Charles Martin Smith.
  • Paper Moon – Comedy, Crime, Drama – During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership. Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman.
  • The Exorcist – Horror – When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb.
  • The Last Detail – Comedy, Drama – Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison, but decide to show him one last good time along the way. Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young, Clifton James
  • Sleeper – Comedy, Sci-Fi – A nerdish store owner is revived out of cryostasis into a future world to fight an oppressive government. Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck, Mary Gregory.
  • Papillon – Biography, Crime, Drama – A French convict in the 1930s befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence in the South American penal colony on Devil’s Island, which inspires the man to plot his escape. Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon.
  • Bang the Drum Slowly – Drama, Sport – The story of the friendship between a worldly-wise star pitcher and a half-wit catcher as they cope with the catcher’s terminal illness through a baseball season. Director: John D. Hancock | Stars: Michael Moriarty, Robert De Niro, Vincent Gardenia, Phil Foster.
  • Soylent Green – Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi – A nightmarish futuristic fantasy about the controlling power of big corporations and an innocent cop who stumbles on the truth. Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors.
Oscar Night - The Godfather’ vs. Cabaret

‘The Godfather’ vs. ‘Cabaret’ and Marlon Brando refuses to accept Best Actor trophy

Fifty years ago, Angela Lansbury opened the 45th Academy Awards ceremony, with a song-and-dance number that paid homage to a day on a movie set. Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Rock Hudson shared Oscars hosting duties on March 27, 1973, a historical night of Academy controversies, record-making, and memorable moments.

It began with Heston running late due to a flat tire; he was scheduled to deliver the voting rules in a “Ten Commandments” manner. Asked to fill in at the last minute was Clint Eastwood, who humorously claimed, “They pick the guy who hasn’t said but three lines in 12 movies to substitute for him.” Fortunately, Moses showed up and saved Dirty Harry about midway through the speech.

Horse Racing - Secretariat Triple Crown

Secretariat becomes the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win the Triple Crown in United States horse racing, after placing first in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, 1973.

In what was considered one of the best horse races in history, Secretariat set a dirt-track record for the one and a half mile race with a time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

He was ridden by Ron Turcotte during the race and he won the race by an astounding 31 lengths. He was trained by Lucien Laurin and his owner was Penny Tweedy.

United States - Vice President Agnew Resigns

Spiro Agnew, the Vice President of the United States under Richard Nixon, resigned during October of 1973. Agnew had been dealing with charges of tax evasion and receiving bribes prior to his resignation.

After he left office he pleaded no contest to the criminal charges and was fined and given probation. He was replaced by Gerald Ford, who, less than a year later, would become the President after Nixon resigned.

Spiro Agnew was the second US Vice President to resign, the first for criminal reasons.

Battle of the Sexes Tennis Match

Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs competed in “The Battle of the Sexes” exhibition tennis match during September of 1973.

In tennis, “Battle of the Sexes” describes various exhibition matches played between a man and a woman, or a doubles match between two men and two women in one case. The term is most famously used for an internationally televised match in 1973 held at the Houston Astrodome between 55-year-old Bobby Riggs and 29-year-old Billie Jean King, which King won in three sets. The match was viewed by an estimated fifty million people in the United States and ninety million worldwide.

King’s win is considered a milestone in public acceptance of women’s tennis.

Vietnam - Paris Peace Accords

The United States ends its involvement in the Vietnam War after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords during January. The agreement was signed between North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and the United States. The formal name of the agreement was “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” and it detailed an all-around ceasefire in Vietnam and the withdrawal of all US forces and removal of US bases to be completed within 60 days. It also mandated that North Vietnam release all prisoners of war and outlined the details and terms for an eventual peaceful reunification of Vietnam.

Chicago Sears Tower is Completed

The Sears Tower is completed during May. The 108 floor 1,729 foot tall structure became the tallest building in the world, a title that it held for 25 years until the Petronas Towers in Malaysia were completed in 1998.

Located in Chicago, Illinois, the building originally housed the Sears, Roebuck & Co. headquarters. It was designed by architect Bruce Graham and engineer Fazlur Khan, who had previously worked together creating another iconic Chicago skyscraper, the John Hancock Center.

OPEC Oil Increases by 200%

Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), announce they will restrict flow of crude oil to countries supporting Israel on October 17 causing price of oil to increase by 200%. 

Recession begins in Europe following OPEC Oil price increases. 

NASA launches Mariner 10 Mercury Probe Spacecraft

The Mariner 10 spacecraft launched at the beginning of November in 1973. It had the mission of becoming the first probe to study the planet of Mercury.

The Mariner 10 probe also became the first spacecraft to visit two planets during a single mission, as it passed Venus on its way to Mercury.

The craft sent over 12,000 images of the two planets back to Earth. The mission was considered successful and ended in March of 1975 as it began its orbit around the Sun that it continues in to this day.

The total cost of the spacecraft was about $100 million which would be equivalent to nearly $500 million today.

Alaska Oil Pipeline

Alaska Oil Pipeline bill is passed to allow construction of a pipeline to access oil from the North Slope of Alaska.

Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court of the United States rules on Roe v. Wade. January 22nd. 

Roe v. Wade makes abortion a US constitutional right. 

The Occupation of Wounded Knee

About 200 Oglala Lakota Native Americans and members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) began their occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota during February of 1973.

AIM, a militant civil rights organization, was created in the late 1960s with the intention of bringing attention to injustices faced by Native Americans.

Wounded Knee was located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in 1890 it was the site of a massacre of 300 unarmed Sioux by the U.S. Cavalry.

At the start of their occupation AIM took 11 hostages and asked that the U.S. Government start investigating broken treaties, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and all of the South Dakota Sioux reservations.

The occupation lasted 71 days during which they negotiated with U.S. Marshals and exchanged regular gunfire with federal agents. In May the group surrendered and government officials agreed to start investigations as demanded.

  • Car Plants Close – Chrysler and other US car makers close a number of plants affecting 100,000 workers.
  • World Trade Center – World Trade Center in New York becomes the tallest building in the world.
  • Sydney Opera House – Sydney Opera House is opened.
  • Israel – Israel Shoots Down Libyan Passenger Plane.
  • Princess Anne – Princess Anne, marries Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey.
  • Endangered Species Act of 1973 – The wide ranging Endangered Species Act of 1973 is signed into law to “protect species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”
  • Bahamas – The Bahamas Gains Independence From Great Britain.
  • Mississippi River Flood – The Mississippi River reaches its peak level in St. Louis during a record 77-day flood.