NASDAQ opened as the world's first electronic stock market and would become the largest with over 3,000 companies listed.
February 21, 1971
China invited the American table tennis team to the country for an amiable tournament. This was a huge step in the improvement of the countries' relationship because the players were the first Americans allowed into Chinese borders since 1949. This "Ping Pong Diplomacy" would end a 20-year trade embargo the U.S. had on China and result in China lifting its isolationist policy.
February 28, 1971
Red, white, and blue leather suit-wearing Bobby "Evel" Knievel set a world record for jumping over 19 cars with his motorcycle.
March 1, 1971
Time magazine featured James Taylor on the cover. The psychedelic counterculture of the previous decade was winding down and the 1970s saw the emergence of soft, melancholic rock music with James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James" and "Country Road."
May 1, 1971
AMTRAK became a government-owned nation-wide passenger rail system after Congress passed the Rail Passenger Service Act the year earlier to revitalize this mode of transportation after its decline since 1920.
June 13, 1971
Defense Department employee Daniel Ellsberg leaked the "Pentagon Papers," highly classified documents on U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, to the New York Times. This would scandalize the White House as the documents revealed that the government deceived the American people in regards to successes in the war effort, how the South Vietnamese President was actually overthrown, and the viability of the "domino theory."
July 1, 1971
Congress passed legislation to ratify the 26th Amendment, changing the minimum voting age from 21 to 18. Previously American citizens could be drafted at the age of 18 yet had no say in government, an issue that was the leading force behind the change in law.
July 10, 1971
Feminist, political activist, and writer Gloria Steinem created Ms. magazine, a feminist publication that appeared in New York magazine (which she co-founded) before it would fully launch the following month.
October 29, 1971
Duane Allman, guitarist and head of the blues band The Allman Brothers, died after a tragic motorcycle accident and just months after recording one of the best live albums at the Fillmore East.