1970-1974: A Timeline On and Off Campus

Refresh your memory of the events we lived through from the day our acceptance letters arrived, until the day we bade Yale farewell. Yale-related events appear in the left column; world and national events appear on the right.
—Compiled by Brad Graham and Max Graham ’20

Yale-related events at left

World and national events at right



April 18 — Class of 1974 admission letters mailed

The Beatles break up

At faculty meeting, Kingman Brewster expresses doubts that Black revolutionaries could get a fair trial anywhere in the United States

First Earth Day celebrated, founded by Gaylord Nelson

Spiro Agnew calls on Yale alumni to demand Brewster be fired

U.S. troops invade Cambodia


May Day demonstrations support Black Panthers on trial in New Haven

Four students shot dead by National Guard at Kent State

100,000 people in Washington, D.C. demonstrate against the Vietnam War


Edwin Land patents the Polaroid camera

Muhammad Ali’s boxing license reinstated

Elton John performs in US for first time


Class of 1974 arrives on campus (second year of coeducation at Yale, first year with women in all four classes)

Elvis Presley begins concert tour, his first since 1958

Trustees extend Kingman Brewster’s tenure

Egypt’s President Nasser dies


Our first Bladderball (Dartmouth weekend)

Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins go on trial

Doonesbury debuts in 28 newspapers

Oldenburg Lipstick sculpture leaves Yale, gets reworked and returns in 1974


The Game: Harvard 14, Yale 12

Scientists perform first artificial synthesis of live cell

John Baker becomes Yale’s first Black law professor

Pope Paul VI wounded in Philippines by Bolivian painter dressed as a priest


Symphony holds concert in honor of Beethoven’s 200th birthday

“Love Story,” year’s highest grossing film, is released

The Sisterhood leads rally on Beinecke Plaza to demand full coeducation

North Tower of World Trade Center in NYC is completed, becoming tallest building in the world

Yale-related events at left

World and national events at right



Cross Campus Library opens

Cigarette advertising banned on TV and radio in US

Charles Manson and family convicted of murder


2,500 students attend anti-war rally at Woolsey Hall

Second-largest stock exchange, the NASDAQ, is established

Brewster warns of moral erosion in speech criticizing Vietnam War

Satchel Paige is first Black league player elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

South Vietnamese troops, backed by U.S. airpower, invade Laos


Prom shrinks after Yale stops funding it

Muhammad Ali’s 31-fight winning streak ended by Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden

Starbucks is founded in Seattle


Local 35 strikes dining halls; students get $3.35 per diem to eat

Supreme Court approves school busing

Secret societies Book and Snake, Manuscript, Berzelius, and Elihu and fraternity society St. Anthony Hall accept women

Mao invites U.S. ping pong team to China

Soviet Union launches first space station, Soyuz 10


Students hold vigil and fast outside Woodbridge Hall in support of striking workers

Charges against Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins dismissed after trials end in deadlock

Marian Wright Edelman, Hanna Holborn Gray become first women named to Yale Corporation

May Day anti-war protest in DC, 12,000 arrested


Union demonstrations interrupt commencement, strike ends a few days later

New York Times publishes first Pentagon Papers

26th Amendment lowers voting age to 18


Katherine Lustman-Finding becomes Yale’s first woman college master, heads Davenport

Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev dies at 77

Yale Russian Chorus returns to Soviet Union for first time in eight years

New York Times reports more white youths are becoming interested in black gospel music


Yale adds vegetarian options and “health foods” to dining hall menus

Disney World opens in Orlando

The Yale Political, a new journal, is established

Billie Jean King becomes first female athlete to win $100,000 in prize money in a single year

Jesus Christ Superstar opens on Broadway

UN admits mainland China, expels Taiwan


Bladderball breaks tradition, goes on half-hour tour around New Haven

Eisenhower dollar put into circulation in the US

The Game: Harvard 35, Yale 16

Mariner 9 becomes the first space probe to orbit another planet by orbiting Mars


Yale Biological Field Station buys island in Long Island Sound

The song “American Pie” by Don McLean is released

Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” premieres

Gloria Steinem’s magazine Ms. publishes first issue

Yale-related events at left

World and national events at right



Yale announces tuition will rise $300 in ’72–’73 to $3,200

Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland


Protest against Marines’ ROTC recruitment

Nixon goes to China

Fence Club admits women for first time


Campus police hires first female cop

Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” is released

Congress votes to send the Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification.


Students call for moratorium on classes to protest escalation of Vietnam War, hundreds of students fast

US and Soviet Union join 70 nations in signing Biological Weapons Convention

Dining halls begin serving a meat substitute made of soybeans


Yale Club of NYC does away with the “female only” areas

Nixon and Brezhnev sign SALT I and ABM treaties

Brewster threatens to arrest anyone who protests Sec’y of State William Rogers speech; Rogers cancels speech

Alabama Gov. George Wallace is shot


Title IX is enacted by Congress and signed into law

Burglars break into DNC offices at the Watergate in DC


Grading system reverts to A, B, C from Honors, High Pass, Pass

Eleven Israeli athletes murdered in terrorist attack at Olympics in Munich

Yale unveils designs for two new residential colleges across from TD

Connecticut lowers drinking age to 18


Three-day jazz convocation at Woolsey with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, other greats

Dining hall director Albert Dobie says “maybe we have gone too far” in response to student frustrations over new menu items


Brewster, in YDN interview, says “grim professionalism” has seized current generation

President Richard Nixon re-elected

Yale women hang banner in response to influx of female dates on weekends: “HAPPINESS IS NOT IMPORTABLE”

Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 1,000 for first time

The Game: Yale beats Harvard 28–17, notching first win at Harvard since 1960


Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur perform at Sprague Hall

Nixon bombs Hanoi and mines Haiphong Harbor

Trustees eliminate sex quotas, vote to accept more women and eventually achieve 60–40 male–female ratio

Apollo 17 lands on moon and Eugene Cernan is last person so far to walk there

Yale-related events at left

World and national events at right



Yale adopts trimester schedule, moves fall exams to before Xmas

Supreme Court decides Roe v Wade

Paris Peace Accords signed, ending Vietnam War


YSO performs Bernstein’s Mass

American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee

Office of Special Assistant to the President for Education of Women is disbanded. Elga Wasserman enters Yale Law School.


City rejects Yale’s plan for two new residential colleges

Last U.S. troops leave Vietnam

Trustees vote to let NY Giants play home games in Yale Bowl

Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In” last airs on NBC-TV


Ex-priests charged with stealing hundreds of rare books from Yale Library

LexisNexis computerized research service begins

World Trade Center opens in Manhattan


Davenport and TD hold formal proms

Sears Tower opens in Chicago

Supreme Court approves equal rights for women in military

Senate Watergate hearings begin


Soviet leader Brezhnev visits U.S.

Watergate tapes disclosed

U.S. Senate passes the War Powers Act

George Lucas’s American Graffiti opens


Yale changes to exams before Xmas

Hanna Gray becomes provost, first woman to serve at top level of Yale administration

Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in “Battle of the Sexes”

Concorde makes its first nonstop crossing of the Atlantic


600 Jewish students gather at Battell Chapel to offer aid to Israel

Yom Kippur War erupts as Syria and Egypt attack Israel

Faculty approve plan for first-ever Summer term in 1975

Spiro Agnew pleads no contest to income tax evasion, resigns Vice Presidency

Nixon releases first White House tapes


The Game: Yale beats Harvard 35–0

US economy enters 17-month recession


Whiffs decline holiday invitation to sing for Nixon family at White House

OPEC more than doubles oil prices

Yale issues Woodward Report, which says “paramount obligation of a university is to protect the right of free expression”

Nixon signs Endangered Species Act into law

Yale-related events at left

World and national events at right



Yale fuel costs soar, prompting university to lower thermostats to 65 degrees

Nixon cuts speed limit to 55 mph to save energy

Yale adopts sex blind admissions

Sherrod Brown declares candidacy for state representative from Ohio’s 61st district


Political Union cancels debate on race and genetics between Shockley and Innis

Patty Hearst is kidnapped

Joni Mitchell plays Woolsey Hall

Alexander Solzhenitsyn deported to Germany

Three sophomores put on probation after Streaking from Stiles to Trumbull

People magazine begins sales


Mory’s admits women as members

Arab oil embargo against US ends


Hundreds protest and disrupt debate between Shockley and Rusher, 11 students suspended

Ayatollah Khomeini calls for Islamic Republic in Iran


Class of 1974 graduates

House hearings to impeach Nixon begin

Local 35 workers go on strike for third time since 1968


Nixon resigns