Marcia Strykowski

1973 fun facts

CALL ME AMY takes place in 1973. I picked that year for Pup, because it was soon after the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act had passed. I found it fascinating to research this time period (and to jog my memory, of course).

When I first started this site almost two years ago, I posted some 1973 fun facts. Being new to blogging, I enjoyed checking my site stats. For some reason my post titled 1973 consistently got more hits from all over the world than my other posts combined. This made me very curious. Were school children from Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Croatia and other exotic places really all doing homework assignments on 1973? Or was there just not much else out there about 1973 and anyone who happened to search for it landed on my blog? Partly because the post was popular and partly because I’m still curious, I’m posting an improved version of the entry to see what happens.

Top events from 1973 included the following:  The United States ended its involvement in the Vietnam War. In New York City, the World Trade Center officially opened. The first handheld cellular phone call was made in midtown Manhattan. Secretariat, the famous thoroughbred racehorse, became the first U. S. Triple Crown Champion. Skylab, the first American space station, was launched and the Sears Tower in Chicago became the world’s tallest building.

And last but not least, President Richard Nixon was up to his ears in Watergate while Elvis Presley’s concert in Hawaii was the first worldwide telecast by an entertainer. Here is a picture of Nixon and Elvis shaking hands during the early 1970s.

Stamps cost 8 cents and gas was 39 cents a gallon. The Academy Award for Best Picture went to “The Godfather.” The Grammy Award for Record of the Year was “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” by Roberta Flack (this was her first of four Grammy wins!)

Letter Carriers were first allowed to wear shorts in 1973. Speaking of fashion, denim blue jeans of all types were very big that year—embroidered, studded, painted, or faded. Platform shoes and hairstyles both reached new heights. Other popular hairdos were the ‘shag’ and the ‘afro’. Far out!



  1. I remember those stamps! My oldest sister got married that summer and she used them to send the invitations.


    • Makes you wonder how many memories stamps hold over the years–thanks for sharing!


  2. Ashley

    Strange to see Elvis and Nixon in a pic together, odd couple. 🙂


    • Apparently, Elvis asked if he could pop in to introduce himself to Nixon that same day and then they did a quick photo shoot of the meeting.


  3. I remember that picture of Elvis and Nixon. Never knew there was a time when mail carriers couldn’t wear shorts!


    • It’s one of the few pictures I could find from that time period in the public domain. Here’s the current postal guidelines: Hems of walking shorts should not be more than 3 inches above mid-knee. Shorts must be worn only with uniform socks. Who knew?


  4. If you look closely on the photograph, you’ll note that neither celebrity looks like they are having a wonderful time at this meeting. That’s what struck me…
    Why does 1973 seem so far away, but also not? Maybe it’s the resurrection of denim everywhere, even though pant-legs are a skinny now as they were bell-bottom then.


    • Yes, a lot of the 70s fashions are back again, such as florescent colors. Elvis brought Nixon a WWII Colt 45 pistol for a gift that day, along with some family photos. He hoped to get a narcotics badge in return. Maybe Nixon was star-struck?


  5. Bette Norton

    It was such fun to go down memory lane and revisit 1973 again!! There were many fun times with the Vietnam War over, fashions were bright and fun, jewelery was big as well as hairdos. The music was great and “times were a changing!!” Thank you for all of your research of this wonderful time period!! Another reason why I love your book, It took me right back to the wonderful 1970’s!!


  6. I love this, Marcia! I was 16 at the time, and more concerned about my friends and crushes than the news–thanks for such an interesting compilation and photos (always love your photos)!


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