40 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1977

Four decades ago Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th president of the United States, the original Star Wars movie was released in theaters, the Trans-Alaska pipeline pumped its first barrels of oil, New York City suffered a massive blackout, Radio Shack introduced its new TRS-80 Micro Computer, Grace Jones was a disco queen, the Brazilian soccer star Pele played his “sayonara” game in Japan, and much more. Take a step into a visual time capsule now, for a brief look at the year 1977.





1. The Concorde supersonic transport lifts off the runway at JFK International Airport on October 20, 1977. Its first test flights stayed well below the threshold of acceptable noise levels.




2. The rock band Boston poses for a CREEM Magazine Stars Cars shoot in Swampscott, Massachusetts, in August of 1977. Band members, from left, are Barry Goudreau, Sib Hashian, Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, and Fran Sheehan.




3. Chief Justice Warren Burger administers the oath of office to Jimmy Carter as the 39th President of the United States on January 20, 1977, as Mrs. Carter watches, in Washington, D.C.




4. Ethiopian youths in red communist uniforms attend celebrations on May 1, 1977, in the capital city of Addis Ababa. At the time, the country was a one-party communist state called the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.




5. Radio Shack’s new TRS-80 Micro Computer System uses a computer keyboard to plug into an included 64 column video monitor, programmed by cassette tapes played on a home cassette player, shown at the Boston Computer Show on August 25, 1977. From left, visitors Robert Lundgren of Des Plaines, Illinois, Malcolm MacLeod of Montreal, and Radio Shack salesman Steven Carlozzi of Brockton, Massachusetts.




6. Trying to adjust a hose, a fireman slips and falls on the frozen site of a warehouse fire on New York's west side on January 13, 1977.




7. A string of white vehicles follow the hearse carrying the body of rock and roll musician Elvis Presley along Elvis Presley Boulevard on the way to Forest Hills Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee, on August 19, 1977. Thousands of people lined the route for the city's final tribute to Elvis. He died at home in Memphis on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42.




8. A black Rhodesian prisoner stands with a rope tied around his neck, to prevent escape, placed there by Rhodesian cavalrymen, background, who detained him for questioning in Lupane, Southern Rhodesia, in September of 1977. Rhodesia's white-dominated government was countering black Rhodesian guerrilla activities with militant armed forces. The minority white government, descendants of European settlers, fought to maintain control of the unrecognized state of Rhodesia from 1965 until 1979, when pressure from international sanctions and years of guerrilla war forced a settlement leading to a vote, which resulted in majority rule, and the creation of the country we now know as Zimbabwe.




9. With help from his parents, David Vetter, 6, of Houston, Texas, walks for the first time outside the isolation bubble he has lived in all his life. David is wearing a germ-free suit called the Mobile Isolator System, developed by NASA in cooperation with the Texas Children's Hospital, at an estimated cost of $20,000. David was born with severe combined immune deficiency. The cart carries a life-support system and a chair for David. David died in February of 1984, at the age of 12, following a bone marrow transplant.




10. A view of the New York City skyline and Brooklyn Bridge at sunset during a citywide blackout on July 14, 1977.




11. Looters, young and old, leave an A&P supermarket at Ogden Avenue and 166th Street in the Bronx through a broken window as they carry off their stolen wares. Authorities arrested thousands of looters, in at least three boroughs of the city, as the looters took advantage of the city's massive blackout in July of 1977.




12. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger poses during the 38th Cannes film festival. The actor presented the movie Pumping Iron, a documentary which was to spread his fame beyond bodybuilding circles, on May 19, 1977.




13. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (left) and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat meet in Ismailia, Egypt, for Christmas Day talks on reaching a Middle East Peace settlement in 1977.




14. American golfer Arnold Palmer kicks off the Trophée Lancôme golf tournament on November 13, 1977, hitting a shot from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.




15. An unidentified man is chased by a group of demonstrators protesting the visit of the Shah of Iran in Washington, D.C., on November 15, 1977. The man reportedly made a comment supporting the Shah.




16. The space shuttle orbiter Enterprise, riding piggy-back on its 747 mothership, takes off from the test facility at Edwards Air Force base in California on June 18, 1977, for its maiden manned flight. Aboard the space shuttle on its first manned flight are orbiter astronauts Fred C. Haise and Charles G. Fullerton.




17. Anthony Kiritsis holds a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun wired to Richard Hall's head in front of scores of newsmen and police in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 10, 1977. He demanded several million dollars ransom, gave a rambling, obscenity-filled statement, then released Hall later. He had kidnapped Hall from his downtown office 63 hours earlier and held his hostage in his apartment. Hall was released unharmed, and Kiritsis, while found not guilty by reason of insanity, ended up spending years in a mental institution.




18. Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five with Lola Falana at the 1977 American Music Awards in Santa Monica, California.




19. In 1977, two Boeing 747 airliners collided on the runway of Tenerife Los Rodeos Airport, resulting in the death of 583 people, making it the worst accident in aviation history.




20. Brazilian soccer wizard Pele of the New York Cosmos lifts up Giorgio Chinaglia in his arms after Chinaglia scored the Cosmos' first goal in the "Pele Sayonara Game" at Japan National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan in September of 1977. The New York Cosmos thrashed the Japanese National All-Star team 3-1. At left are Carlos Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer.




21. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, puts on a feather headdress during a ceremony in which he became honorary Chief Red Crow of the Blackfeet Nation during a visit to Alberta, Canada, on July 1, 1977.




22. Theater-goers wait in line at Avco Center Theater in Los Angeles to see the smash-hit movie, Star Wars, which had seats sold out for every performance and has grossed $5.2 million since it opened 12 days prior, on June 7, 1977.




23. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has a test drive in a mock combat plane in the Taesong Amusement Park in Pyongyang, North Korea, on October 2, 1977.




24. The Ramones perform on stage. Pictured, from left, are Johnny Ramone, Joey Ramone, Marky Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone.




25. New York Yankees' Reggie Jackson hits a home run in the sixth inning of the fourth game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series on October 15, 1977.




26. Reporters and pipeline officials wait for the pig, a plug that leads the oil down the pipeline, at the exit of the Alyeska oil pipeline pumping station number one on Alaska’s North Slope on June 21, 1977. Oil began flowing south through the 800-mile-long pipeline for the first time in June of 1977.




27. International model and disco queen Grace Jones had just won the award for most promising disco artist of 1977. Publicity photo made on September 9, 1977.




28. The assembly line in a factory making supersonic defect detectors and diagnostic devices in Shantou, China, in 1977.




29. Soviet SA-8 Gecko surface-to-air missiles roll through Red Square past a huge portrait of Vladimir Lenin at the annual Bolshevik Revolution anniversary parade in Moscow, U.S.S.R., on November 7, 1977.




30. Surrounded by fellow Nazis, Frank Collins, (left), the American Nazi Party Leader whose father is Jewish, announces "we still plan to march in Skokie before the year is out." A court order prevented the party from staging a march on July 4, 1977, in a Jewish section of Skokie, Illinois. Members of the Jewish Defense League were prepared for the march that never came, wearing combat helmets.




31. A member of the Ku Klux Klan and black man struggle over possession of a stick during an encounter in downtown Mobile, Alabama, on September 24, 1977. A large group of blacks disrupted the Klan’s march, resulting in at least two encounters between the two groups.




32. The platform being used by Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Bill Wilkinson (dark suit, center) lies on the ground smashed by a small sports car driven by a white man named Buddy Cochran, in Plains, Georgia, on July 2, 1977. Several people were injured in the crowd beyond the platform. Cochran, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, was intoxicated at the time, and reportedly said he "just didn't like the way Wilkinson talked."




33. Amid fantasies of a science-fiction world stand model-makers Paul Houston, Jonathan Erland, and Lorne Peterson, their feet solidly on the ground, in a Los Angeles studio. What they and their collectors did for the current hit movie, Star Wars, they’re doing for an upcoming children’s TV program, Space Academy. The special effects visible are the spaceship, “The Seeker,” at left, and the space academy complex on an asteroid in the background, photographed on July 26, 1977.




34. Making her first appearance in 15 years, Princess Grace of Monaco is pictured walking the narrow "catwalk" atop the Paris Opera House as she narrates a full-length documentary film, The Children of Theatre Street, which tells the story of children being trained at the prestigious Kirov Ballet School in Leningrad.




35. One black South African policeman lies dead on the ground, left, while another is aided by an unidentified man at right, after the two constables were stoned by an angry crowd at East London, South Africa, on September 26, 1977. The second policeman died later in a hospital. The bloodshed followed an emotional funeral for black leader Steve Biko.




36. David Berkowitz, a 24-year-old postal worker, is taken from the Gold Street station house to Brooklyn Criminal Courts Building on August 11, 1977. Berkowitz was arrested on August 10 outside his Yonkers home as a suspect in the "Son of Sam" murder case. He later pleaded guilty, and is now serving six consecutive life sentences.




37. Gene Simmons, bass guitarist for KISS, gets ready to breathe fire during the crescendo of "Firehouse," a number performed during a concert in Hartford, Connecticut, on February 18, 1977.




38. Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader, at a news conference on July 5, 1977, said a move in congress to overturn the proposal that all cars be equipped with air bags or automobile seat belts is "doomed to defeat." Three-year-old Lynn Sutcliffe takes part in a demonstration of the air bag system. She sits almost calmly, as the bag explodes in her face.




39. Among the dining spots that people who also eat with their eyes flock to is Windows on the World, one of the city's most talked-about restaurants, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower above New York City. From this vantage point one sees Governors Island (at left) and the Statue of Liberty. Photographed in 1977.




40. Actress Farrah Fawcett-Majors, on a tenis court in Los Angeles in May of 1977.




Previous Page Home