11 April 1970

Apollo 13 is launched.

Apollo 13, NASA’s third crewed mission to the moon, launched on April 11, 1970. Two days later, on April 13, while the mission was en route to the moon, a fault in the electrical system of one of the Service Module’s oxygen tanks produced an explosion that caused both oxygen tanks to fail and also led to a loss of electrical power. The Command Module remained functional on its own batteries and oxygen tank, but these were usable only during the last hours of the mission. The crew shut down the Command Module and used the Lunar Module as a “lifeboat” during the return trip to Earth. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, and a shortage of potable water, the crew returned to Earth, and the mission was termed a “successful failure.”

This photograph of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center now Johnson Space Center, Houston, was taken on April 13, 1970, during the fourth television transmission from the Apollo 13 mission. Eugene F. Kranz foreground, back to camera, one of four Apollo 13 flight directors, views the large screen at front as astronaut Fred W. Haise Jr., Lunar Module pilot, is seen on the screen.

10 April 1970

Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles.

The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney “self-interview” was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.

The occasion for the statements Paul released to the press that day was the upcoming release of his debut solo album, McCartney.Nothing in Paul’s answers constituted a definitive statement about the Beatles’ future, but his remarks were nevertheless reported in the press under headlines like “McCartney Breaks Off With Beatles” and “The Beatles sing their swan song.” And whatever his intent at the time, Paul’s statements drove a further wedge between himself and his bandmates. In the May 14, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, John Lennon lashed out at Paul in a way he’d never done publicly: “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos,” John said. “I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a word about quitting.”

By year’s end, Paul would file suit to dissolve the Beatles’ business partnership, a formal process that would eventually make official the unofficial breakup he announced on this day in 1970.

22 January 1970

The world’s first “jumbo jet”, The Boeing 747, enters commercial service.

Thanks to its distinctive hump, Boeing’s 747 “jumbo jet” is the world’s most recognised aircraft. Since its first flight, on 22nd January 1970, it has carried the equivalent of 80% of the world’s population.

In the 1960s air travel was booming. Thanks to falling ticket prices, more people than ever were able to take to the skies. Boeing set about creating the largest commercial aeroplane yet, to take advantage of the growing market.

Around the same time, Boeing won a government contract to build the first supersonic transport plane. Had it come to fruition, the Boeing 2707 would have travelled at three times the speed of sound, carrying 300 passengers.

This new and exciting project was a major headache for the 747. Joseph Stutter, chief engineer on the 747, struggled to maintain funding and support for his 4,500-strong team.

The supersonic project was eventually scrapped but not before it exerted a significant impact on the design of the 747. At the time, Pan Am was one of Boeing’s best clients and the airline’s founder, Juan Trippe, had a great deal of influence. He was convinced that supersonic passenger transport was the future and that aircraft like the 747 would eventually be used as freighters. As a result, the designers mounted the flight deck on top of the passenger deck in order to allow for a hinged nose for loading cargo. Increasing the width of the fuselage also made loading freight easier and, in a passenger configuration, made the cabin more comfortable. Initial designs for the upper deck produced too much drag, so the shape was extended and refined into a teardrop shape.

But what to do with this added space? Trippe persuaded Boeing to use the space behind the cockpit as a bar and lounge. He was inspired by the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser of the 1940s that featured a lower deck lounge. However most airlines later converted the space back into extra seating.

12 January 1970

The Nigerian Civil War ends as Biafra capitulates.

On this day in 1970, Biafra capitulates ending the civil war. The Civil war in Nigeria lasted for three years between 6 July 1967 – 12 January 1970

Also on this day in 2006, Governor Rasidi Ladoja of Oyo state was impeached on allegations of corruption. His impeachment was later reversed by the courts.

The Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War, was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government. The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain’s formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role.

Within a year, the Federal Military Government surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt. The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine. During the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died from starvation.

In mid-1968, images of malnourished and starving Biafran children saturated the mass media of Western countries. The plight of the starving Biafrans became a cause célèbre in foreign countries, enabling a significant rise in the funding and prominence of international non-governmental organisations. Britain and the Soviet Union were the main supporters of the Nigerian government in Lagos, while France, Israel and some other countries supported Biafra. France and Israel provided weapons to both combatants.

4 September 1970

Salvador Allende is elected as the President of Chile.

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Salvador Allende ran for the presidency for the first time in 1952 but was temporarily expelled from the Socialist Party for accepting the support of the outlawed Communists; he placed last in a four-man race. He ran again in 1958—with Socialist backing, as well as the support of the then-legal Communists—and was a close second to the Conservative-Liberal candidate, Jorge Alessandri. Again with the same support he was decisively defeated (1964) by the Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei. For his successful 1970 campaign Allende ran as the candidate of Popular Unity, a bloc of Socialists, Communists, Radicals, and some dissident Christian Democrats, leading in a three-sided race with 36.3 percent of the vote. Because he lacked a popular majority, however, his election had to be confirmed by Congress, in which there was strong opposition from the right. Nevertheless, it was confirmed on October 24, 1970, after he had guaranteed support to 10 libertarian constitutional amendments demanded by the Christian Democrats.

Inaugurated on November 3, 1970, Allende began to restructure Chilean society along socialist lines while retaining the democratic form of government and respecting civil liberties and the due process of law. He expropriated the U.S.-owned copper companies in Chile without compensation, an act which set him seriously at odds with the U.S. government and weakened foreign investors’ confidence in his government. His government also took steps to purchase several important privately owned mining and manufacturing sectors and to take over large agricultural estates for use by peasant cooperatives. In an attempt to redistribute incomes, he authorized large wage increases and froze prices. Allende also printed large amounts of unsupported currency to erase the fiscal deficit created by the government’s purchase of basic industries. By 1972 Chile was suffering from stagnant production, decreased exports and private-sector investment, exhausted financial reserves, widespread strikes, rising inflation, food shortages, and domestic unrest. International lines of credit from the United States and western Europe had completely dried up. Allende’s inability to control his own radical left-wing supporters further incurred the hostility of the middle class. In foreign affairs, he established relations with China and Cuba.

11 April 1970

Apollo 13 launches.

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The Apollo 13 mission was launched at 2:13 p.m. EST, April 11, 1970 from launch complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Apollo 13 Launch The space vehicle crew consisted of James A. Lovell, Jr. commander, John L. Swigert, Jr., command module pilot and Fred W. Haise, Jr. lunar module pilot.

The Apollo 13 Mission was planned as a lunar landing mission but was aborted en route to the moon after about 56 hours of flight due to loss of service module cryogenic oxygen and consequent loss of capability to generate electrical power, to provide oxygen and to produce water.

Spacecraft systems performance was nominal until the fans in cryogenic oxygen tank 2 were turned on at 55:53:18 ground elapsed time. About 2 seconds after energizing the fan circuit, a short was indicated in the current from fuel cell 3, which was supplying power to cryogenic oxygen tank 2 fans. Within several additional seconds, two other shorted conditions occurred.

Electrical shorts in the fan circuit ignited the wire insulation, causing temperature and pressure to increase within cryogenic oxygen tank 2. When pressure reached the cryogenic oxygen tank 2 relief valve full-flow conditions of 1008 psi, the pressure began decreasing for about 9 seconds, at which time the relief valve probably reseated, causing the pressure to rise again momentarily. About a quarter of a second later, a vibration disturbance was noted on the command module accelerometers

6 April 1970

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Four California Highway Patrol officers are killed in a shootout in Newhall, Los Angeles.

In April 06, 1970, four California Highway Patrol Officers were murdered in a tragedy that became known across the nation as “The Newhall Incident.” These murders served as a wakeup call for law enforcement training nationwide. In fact, many of the tactics that officers still use today originated from this terrible event.

However, I recently learned that one of the most notorious “facts” about this incident is not true. As one of the countless officers and instructors who accepted and repeated this myth, I would like to do what I can to help set the record straight. For those of you who are not already aware, the Newhall Incident occurred about 15 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. At around midnight, two California Highway Patrol Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle wanted in a firearms brandishing incident. As these officers began to remove the suspects from the vehicle they were ambushed and murdered by the occupants. Their cover unit arrived just moments after the ambush however these officers were also murdered in an intense gun battle.

The Newhall Incident is the single pivotal moment in law enforcement training that started the ball rolling toward the modern research and practices that became survival training. The investigation and willingness to examine why things happened helped tens of thousands of cops win. The truth of the matter is that is Officer Pence is a hero and a martyr for law enforcement, and to tell the truth to make us better as a profession has NEVER denigrated his sacrifice. In fact, to tell the Newhall story is to add greater meaning to the sacrifice of all four Newhall officers, and this week especially they should be remembered. Whether Pence had brass in his pocket or not — and we’re reviewing alternative sources related to the incident since it is such an important and widely-used incident for ongoing training — the Pence story is equally valid. Do not allow yourself to accumulate scars in training which could adversely affect your ability to win in real world.

5 March 1970

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty comes into effect.

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely. A total of 191 States have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance.

The provisions of the Treaty, particularly article VIII, paragraph 3, envisage a review of the operation of the Treaty every five years, a provision which was reaffirmed by the States parties at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.To further the goal of non-proliferation and as a confidence-building measure between States parties, the Treaty establishes a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Safeguards are used to verify compliance with the Treaty through inspections conducted by the IAEA. The Treaty promotes cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear technology and equal access to this technology for all States parties, while safeguards prevent the diversion of fissile material for weapons use.

19 September 1970

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The first performing arts festival, the Glastonbury Festival is held at Michael Eavis’s farm in Glastonbury, United Kingdom.

Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. Leading pop and rock artists have headlined, alongside thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas. Films and albums recorded at Glastonbury have been released, and the festival receives extensive television and newspaper coverage. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world, and is now attended by around 175,000 people,requiring extensive infrastructure in terms of security, transport, water, and electricity supply. The majority of staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for good causes.

The festival takes place in south west England at Worthy Farm between the small villages of Pilton and Pylle in Somerset, six miles east of Glastonbury. In recent years the site has been organized around a restricted backstage compound, with the Pyramid stage on the north, and Other stage on the south of the compound. Attractions on the east of the site include the acoustic tent, comedy tent and circus.

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