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The Year 1972



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Prior Lake High School

The Year 1972

Some facts from 1972:

What things cost in 1972 (average)

  • A loaf of bread:  .25
  • A gallon of gas:  .36
  • First class postage:  .18
  • Call from a pay phone:  .10
  • New home:  $40,000
  • New car:  $4,500
  • Median family income:  $14,000
  • Minimum hourly wage:  $1.60

Science and Technology

  • HBO, the first pay cable network, is born.
  • CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scanning is developed in England
  • The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) is developed by Bryan B. Malloy (Scotland) and Klaus K. Schmiegel (US)
  • Apollo XVII, the last manned moon landing to date, returns to Earth with 250 pounds of lunar samples.
  • Richard Nixon orders the start for the space shuttle program
  • Digital Watches are introduced
  • First scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced (price: $395)
  • The Volkswagen Beetle becomes the most popular car ever sold with in excess of 15 million sold
  • Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of PONG, the first game to achieve commercial success.


  • Super Bowl - Dallas d. Miami (24-3)
  • World Series - Oakland A's d. Cincinnati (4-3)
  • NBA Championship - LA Lakers d. New York (4-1)
  • Stanley Cup - Boston d. NY Rangers (4-2)
  • Wimbledon - Women: Billie Jean King d. E. Goolagong (6-3 6-3)

    Men: Stan Smith d. I. Nastase (4-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 7-5)

  • Kentucky Derby Champion - Riva Ridge
  • NCAA Basketball Championship - UCLA d. Florida St. (81-76)
  • NCAA Football Champions - USC (12-0-0)
  • The summer olympics were held in Munich, Germany (American Swimmer Mark Spitz wins a record 7 gold medals).
  • The winter olympics were held in Sapporo, northern Japan

World Events

  • Nixon orders "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam
  • Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed
  • Nixon visits China
  • Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot
  • The Watergate scandal starts as five men are apprehended while attempting to bug the Democratic National Committee HQ
  • Harry S. Truman and J. Edgar Hoover die
  • Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24)


  • M*A*S*H television series premieres on CBS
  • Oscar for best picture goes to French Connection
  • The most Emmys went to All In The Family (4)


  • Carole King wins Grammys for Record (It's Too Late), Album (Tapestry), and Song of the Year (You've Got a Friend)
  • Carly Simon wins Grammy for Best New Artist


  • 1985 graduates enter kindergarten
  • 1990/1991 graduates are born
  • The Largest Diamond, The Star of Sierra leone, is unearthed.  It is 969.8 carats.