Chapter 31

  • Detente

    President Nixon and Henry Kissinger pursued a policy of detente, a French word meaning a relaxation of tension, with the Soviet Union as a way to lessen the possibility of nuclear war in the 1970s.
  • Gay liberation movement

    Homosexuals began an effort to win social and legal acceptance and to encourage gays to affirm their sexual identity.
  • Shootings at Kent

    The governor of Ohio sent national guard troops to Kent state after rioters had firebombed an ROTC building. The guardsmen opened fired, killing four student and wounded eleven. All of them were innocent bystanders.
  • Creation of EPA

    Congress created the EPA in 1970 as part of a broader effort to protect the environment and curb the pollution of the nation's air and water.
  • 26 Amendment

    The states ratified the 26 amendment, giving 18-year-olds the right to vote
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Congress approved the ERA to the Constitution, a measure designed to guarantee women equal treatment under the law. Despite a three year old extension for ratification, ERA supporters fell three states short of winning adoption.
  • SALT 1 agreements

    During a visit to Moscow, Nixon signed two vital documents with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The first limited the two superpowers to two hundred antiballistic missiles apiece; the second froze the number of offensive ballistic missiles for a five-years period.
  • Watergate Scandal

    A break-in at the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington was carried out under the direction of White House employees. The break-in and cover-up forced President Nixon to resign in 1974 to aviod impeachment.
  • Election of 1972

    Richard Nixon faced George McGovern in the election. The cover-up to the watergate scandal succeeded long enough to ensure Nixon's landslide re-election victory over McGovern.
  • Roe v. Wade

    The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women had a constitutional right to abortion during the early stages of pregnancy.
  • OPEC oil embargo

    The arab members of the OPEC announced a 5 percent cut in oil production, and vowed additional cuts of 5 percent each month until Israel surrendered the lands it had taken in 1967
  • Ending the Vietnam War

    The U.S. signed a truce with North Vietnamese. In return for the release of all American prisoners of war, the US agreed to remove its troops from South Vietnam within 60 days.
  • Retirement age rises

    President Carter signed a law raising mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70
  • Camp David Accords

    President Carter mediated a peace agreement between the leaders of Egypt and Israel at Camp David, a presidential retreat near Washington, D.C.
  • Hyde Amendment

    With strong support from President Carter, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which denied the use of federal funds to pay for abortions for poor women
  • Iranian hostage crisis

    In 1979, Iranian fundamentalists seized the American embassy in Tehran and held fifty-three American dimplomats hostage for over a year. The hostages were finally released on January 20, 1981.
  • Boland Amendment

    This amendment prohibited any U.S. agency from spending money in Central America.
  • Iran-Contra Affairs

    The affair involved officails high in the Reagan administration secretly selling arms to Iran and using the proceeds to finance the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
  • Challenger

    The space shuttle, Challenger, exploded after 73 seconds into its flight killing all seven crew members.
  • INF treaty

    Reagan and Gorbachev sign INF treaty at Washington summit