- The city of Saigon is surrendered and remaining Americans are evacuated, ending the Vietnam War (April 30).
- American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued in operation by US Navy and Marines, 38 of whom are killed (May 15).
- Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft take off for US-Soviet link-up in space (July 15).
- John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman found guilty of Watergate cover-up (Jan. 1); sentenced to 30 months to 8 years in jail (Feb. 21).
- President Ford escapes assassination attempt in Sacramento, Calif. (Sept. 5).
- President Ford escapes second assassination attempt in 17 days (Sept. 22).
US GDP (1998 dollars): $1,630.60 billion
Federal spending: $332.33 billion
Federal debt: $541.9 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars): $11,800
Consumer Price Index: 53.8
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.10 ($0.13 as of 12/31/75)
- ABC, CBS and NBC agree to create a "family hour," an early evening time slot that is free of violence and sex.
- Saturday Night Live premieres on NBC. George Carlin hosts the first show.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest sweeps the top Oscars, winning Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Actress.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws, Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, Barry Lyndon
- Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift
- E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime
- Galway Kinnell, The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World
- William Safire, Before the Fall
- Anne Sexton, The Awful Rowing Toward God