As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.
* Pawn to King 4 and the Soul of a New Machine -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* We're from the government, and we've come to help -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben
* The Sky Marshals Are at Your Service -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged
* Notable Births -- See below.
* This Year in Film -- See below.
* This Year in Music -- See below.
* In Other News -- See below.
Pawn to King 4 and the Soul of a New MachineThis year the UNIX clock begins its count. There are no microprocessors. A personal computer must be custom built using Transistor-Transistor-Logic (TTL). Mainframes, such as the IBM 360, have a whopping 4 K of memory. NASA uses people (mostly women with slide rules) as human "computers". Computers are complex and ornery beasts that often break down. One time a computer programmer "debugged" a problem by pulling out a dead moth that had shorted out a logic circuit. Xerox has established a new research center that will develop Ethernet, laser printers, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the mouse. Carnegie-Mellon has poured its research dollars into a speech recognition machine. It is a military-sponsored project, so when the General asks for a demonstration, they set up a chessboard and a microphone to catch the General's voice. The machine will challenge the General to a game of chess, but as he clears his throat, the computer interprets the General gurgling as a chess move. The computer responds, "Pawn to King 4". This is going to take some time.     
We're from the government, and we've come to helpContributed by Southpaw Ben
On December 2nd, the EPA was formed in response to the many ecologically damaging practices of many in the US, which had been publicized and criticized in the growing environmental movement of the 1960s. Many in industry thought the environmental protection movement was merely a fad, which caused William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator to the EPA, to establish the fact that the EPA had the power to effectively combat pollution and punish those found guilty of pollution. This year, the groundwork for the creation of OSHA is laid, with the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by President Nixon on December 29th. The same environmental movement that created the EPA also pushed for OSHA, which would allow the Federal Government to impose and enforce regulations on workplace safety.
The Sky Marshals Are at Your ServiceContributed by Alex Shrugged
- "All we can do is hang our heads and admit that what we did was wrong even though it felt right at the time. We were idealistic students who wanted to change the world and challenge a USA determined to wage war."
- -- Emiko Kaneko, co-conspirator with the Yodo-go skyjackers, on trial 32 years later. 
- Paul Ryan: Speaker of the House (R) and VP candidate. 
- Ted Cruz: US Senator (R) and Presidential hopeful. 
- Nicole de Boer: Ezri Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She played the "Trill" symbiont. 
- -- In Comedy: Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman. 
- -- In Movies: Matt Damon, Heather Graham, and Rachel Weisz (Evelyn in The Mummy). 
This Year in Film
- Airport: A guy, down on his luck, blows up the plane, so his wife can collect the insurance money. (Very exciting.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in TV
- NFL Monday Night Football: Howard Cosell pokes fun at Don Meredith while Keith Jackson does the play by play. 
This Year in Music
- Bridge over Troubled Water: Simon & Garfunkel. 
- Whole Lotta Love: Led Zeppelin. 
- Let It Be: The Beatles. NOTE: Paul McCartney leaves the Beatles, and puts out his own album. 
In Other News
- Finally, the Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega are introduced: As if we didn't have enough problems.