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What Happened in 1976?

Whether or not you were around to experience 1976 yourself, it’s safe to say it was a pretty major year for political events, technological advancements, and, yes, the rise of disco music. For people in the UK, it was a scorching time indeed – but what else happened this year, and which famous people were born within these magical 12 months?

Let us take you through the biggest events of 1976, month by month.

In this year



Pakistan and Bangladesh officially established diplomatic relations on January 18th, 1976. This was a huge moment in the nations’ relationship – especially as it came just five years after the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War.

facts about earthquakes


A 7.5 magnitude earthquake, affecting both Honduras and Guatemala, killed 23,000 people on February 4th, 1976. The natural disaster is said to have injured at least 76,000 more.

Storm Troopers, Star Wars


The space opera begins here! On March 22nd, 1976, George Lucas’ epic sci-fi movie, Star Wars, started filming in Egypt. The movie would go on to be Lucas’ magnum opus, spawning multiple sequels, a merchandising empire, and a legion of fans who can never quite agree to disagree!

Apple Logo


On April 1st, 1976 – and this really isn't an April fool – the Apple Computer Company was formed by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in California, US. After a decade-plus of designing and retailing home computers, the firm would,, of course,, become most famous for the release of the iPod, which revolutionized how we listen to music – and, ever heard of the iPhone before?

national wine day. February 18th


The wine industry changed forever on May 24th, 1976 – as this was the date of the Judgment of Paris. This event saw wines from California pitted against those from France – and, in a shock blind taste test, US wines came out on top. This moment is thought to have been pivotal in opening up the global wine trade.

Flag of Ireland


As of June 1st, 1976, the UK and Iceland officially ended the Third Cod War. This event saw the UK finally accept Iceland's extension of its territorial waters to within a margin of 200 nautical miles. This was done so in exchange for fishing rights – it was no joke!

facts about USA


As of July 4th, 1976, the USA officially celebrated its bicentennial – its 200th anniversary of having declared independence from the United Kingdom.

Ellis Clarke


As of August 1st, Trinidad and Tobago officially became a joint republic. Thus, Elizabeth II was replaced as its head of state by Ellis Clarke, the territory’s new President.

The Muppets


It’s time to light the lights! The Muppets made a major TV first on September 13th, 1976, as The Muppet Show aired on ITV in the UK for the first time. You read correctly – it was British TV that helped the Muppets break through to the mainstream!

The Damned


The punk movement “officially” started as of October 22nd, 1976, with The Damned releasing “New Rose” as their first official single. Music historians regard this as the first song released in the genre – and the Sex Pistols, who are otherwise regarded as the pioneers of punk, wouldn’t release music for a few weeks after.

Jimmy Carter


Jimmy Carter made US history by beating Gerald Ford in the US General Election of November 2nd, 1976. He became the first Presidential candidate to hail from the Deep South of America to win the Presidency since the end of the Civil War! Carter would be inaugurated in the following January. He would serve one term in office before being replaced by Ronald Reagan for the Republican Party.

United Nations Human Rights Committee


The United Nations welcomed two new member states during the month of December, 1976. At the start of the month, The UN inducted Angola on December 1st, with Samoa joining as of December 15th.

1976 was the year of the…

year of the dragon


Like 1952, 1964, 1988, 2000, 2012, and 2024, 1976 celebrated Dragons everywhere – that is, according to the legends of the Chinese Zodiac.. People born in the Dragon years are very charismatic and confident. They are intelligent and are generally considered to be quite gifted. And, just like the mighty dragon itself, they are also very powerful. The next Dragon year won't be until 2036.

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This page was last modified on June 13, 2024. Suggest an edit

Celebrity Births in 1976

Reese Witherspoon, American actor, and producer, born March 22nd, 1976

Cillian Murphy, Irish actor, born May 25th, 1976

Diane Kruger, German actor born July 15th, 1976

Benedict Cumberbatch, British actor, born July 19th, 1976

Ryan Reynolds, Canadian actor, born October 23rd, 1976

Famous People We Lost in 1976

Agatha Christie, British author, died aged 85

Howard Hughes, American aerospace engineer, and businessman, died aged 70

Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect and designer, died aged 78

Fritz Lang, Austrian director, and writer, died aged 85

Anissa Jones, American actor, died aged 18

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