- War Powers Resolution of 1973 passed.
- Film The Paper Chase is released.
- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson publishes Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.
- Kurt Vonnegut publishes Breakfast of Champions.
- Bureau of Narcotics and and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) and Office of National Narcotics Intelligence (ONNI) are merged into the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
- Alfred M.McCoy publishes The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia.
- China's population is 892.11 million.
- Octavio Paz publishes Alternating Current.
- Ursulla K. LeGuin publishes The Lathe of Heaven.
- Thomas Pynchon publishes Gravity's Rainbow.
- Henri Charriere dies.
- January 17: Timothy Leary is arrested in Afghanistan.
- January 22: Lyndon Johnson dies at his ranch in Johnson City, Texas. Bloody War in Vietnam continues.
- January 27: U.S. Secretary of State Henru Kissinger and Noth Vietnamese Foreign Minister le Duc Tho sign ceasefire agreement.
- January 30: U.S. Senator John Stennis of Mississippi is shot and seriously wounded in an attempted robbery outside his home in Washington, DC.
- February 7: U.S. Senate votes unanimously to establish a select committee to investigate Watergate.
- February 9: Bombing raids on Cambodia by B-52s resume. Over the next 6 months 257,000 tons of explosives would be dropped.
- February 12: Darwin Day
- March 3: Black September guerrillas execute two U.S. diplomats Cleo Noel Jr. and George Moore, held hostage. They had demanded the release of Sirhan Sirhan, Palestinians held in Jordan, all Arab women imprisoned in Israel, and members of the German Baader-Meinhof Group.
- March 29: Sergeant Max Bielike becoems the last American to leave Vietnam on a C-130 at the negotiated end of the war. Bielke will die aboard Boeing 767 on September 11, 2001.
- April 2: Georges Pompidou dies.
- May 11: American liberty is given a reprieve as the Pentagon Papers case against Daniel Ellsberg is dismissed.
- May 25: First Skylab crew arrives: Pete Conrad, Joseph P. Kerwin and Paul J. Weitz.
- July 23: Eddie Rickenbacker dies in Zurich, Switzerland.
- August 8: South Korean dissident and future president Kim Dae-jung is kidnapped by KCIA agents from his hotel near the Yasukinu Shrine in Tokyo.
- August 25: Runaway bride Jennifer Carol Wilbanks is born.
- September 8: CIA reports that the Chilean Navy is scheduled to start a military coup against the government of Salvador Allende.
- September 11: Right-wing military coup d'etat sponsored by the CIA overthrows the elected democratic government of Chile. President Salvador Allende is killed in the storming of La Moneda Palace.
- October 4: Chilean military secretly executes 4 political prisoners in Cauquenes as part of the Caravan of Death.
- October 10: Spiro T. Agnew resigns from the Vice Presidency.
- October 16: Chilean military secretly executes 15 political prisoners in La Serena and 16 political prisoners in Copiapo as part of the Caravan of Death.
- October 17: OPEC imposes an oil embargo on the U.S.
- October 18: Chilean military secretly executes 14 political prisoners in Antofagasta as part of the Caravan of Death.
- October 19: Calama Atrocity in Chile. Chilean military secretly executes 26 political prisoners in Calama as part of the Caravan of Death.
- October 20: Saturday Night Massacre.
- December 17-28: Christmas Bombings - U.S. Air Force B-52s, F-4s and F-111s drop 100,000 tons of explosives on Hanoi and Haiphong. Joan Baez, Rev. Michael Allen and retired Brig. Gen. Telford Taylor who are in Hanoi at the time survive the attacks. By January 4, North Vietnam had been hit with more explosives than were the Japanese Home Islands during all of WWII. The North Vietnamese would still win the war.