1972 events in history

Jan 4 Rose Heilbron becomes the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London, England
Jan 5 United States President Richard Nixon orders the development of a Space Shuttle program
Jan 10 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returns to the newly independent Bangladesh as president after spending over nine months in prison in Pakistan
Jan 11 East Pakistan renames itself Bangladesh
Jan 13 Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia and President Edward Akufo-Addo of Ghana are ousted in a bloodless military coup by Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
Jan 14 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascends the throne, the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513
Jan 20 Pakistan launched its Nuclear weapons program few weeks after its defeat in Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Jan 24 Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II
Jan 30 The Troubles: Bloody Sunday — British Paratroopers open fire on and kill fourteen unarmed civil rights/anti-internment marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland
Jan 30 Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations
Feb 1 Kuala Lumpur becomes a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia
Feb 2 The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest at Bloody Sunday
Feb 3 The first day of the seven-day 1972 Iran blizzard, which would kill at least 4,000 people, making it the deadliest snowstorm in history
Feb 5 Bob Douglas becomes the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame
Feb 15 José María Velasco Ibarra, serving as President of Ecuador for the fifth time, is overthrown by the military for the fourth time
Feb 15 Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time
Feb 17 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T
Feb 18 The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, (6 Cal.3d 628) invalidates the state's death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment
Feb 19 The Asama-Sansō hostage standoff begins in Japan
Feb 21 President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations
Feb 21 The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon
Feb 22 The Official Irish Republican Army detonates a car bomb at Aldershot barracks, killing seven and injuring nineteen others
Feb 26 The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam kills 125 in West Virginia
Feb 28 Sino-American relations: The United States and People's Republic of China sign the Shanghai Communiqué
Feb 29 Vietnam War: Vietnamization – South Korea withdraws 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam
Mar 1 The Thai province of Yasothon is created after being split off from the Ubon Ratchathani province
Mar 2 The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets
Mar 3 Mohawk Airlines Flight 405 crashes as a result of a control malfunction and insufficient training in emergency procedures
Mar 14 Italian publisher and former partisan Giangiacomo Feltrinelli is killed by an explosion near Segrate
Mar 20 The Troubles: A Provisional IRA car bomb kills seven and injures 148 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was the first of many car bomb attacks by the group
Mar 22 The United States Congress sends the Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification
Mar 22 In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decides that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives
Mar 24 The United Kingdom imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland
Mar 30 Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive begins after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of South Vietnam
Apr 2 Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s
Apr 6 Vietnam War: Easter Offensive – American forces begin sustained air strikes and naval bombardments
Apr 10 Tombs containing bamboo slips, among them Sun Tzu's Art of War and Sun Bin's lost military treatise, are accidentally discovered by construction workers in Shandong
Apr 10 Vietnam War: For the first time since November 1967, American B-52 bombers reportedly begin bombing North Vietnam
Apr 10 Seventy-four nations sign the Biological Weapons Convention, the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of biological weapons
Apr 10 Twenty days after he is kidnapped in Buenos Aires, Oberdan Sallustro is murdered by communist guerrillas
Apr 11 First edition of the BBC comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is broadcast, one of the longest running British radio shows in history
Apr 13 Vietnam War: The Battle of An Lộc begins
Apr 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
Apr 16 Apollo program: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida
Apr 20 Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, lands on the moon
Apr 22 Vietnam War: Increased American bombing in Vietnam prompts anti-war protests in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco
Apr 25 Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive – The North Vietnamese 320th Division forces 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum
May 2 In the early morning hours a fire breaks out at the Sunshine Mine located between Kellogg and Wallace, ID, killing 91 workers
May 4 The Don't Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to "Greenpeace Foundation"
May 5 Alitalia Flight 112 crashes into Mount Longa near Palermo, Sicily, killing all 115 aboard, making it the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in Italy