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- January 26, 1972 - A bomb explodes aboard a Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 at 33,000 feet. Incredibly, a stewardess survives the crash.
- February 3, 1972 - Japan becomes the first Asian nation to host the Winter Olympics.
- February 21, 1972 - Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to visit China.
- April 15, 1972 - Bombing of North Vietnam by the U.S. begins again.
- May 3, 1972 - J. Edgar Hoover dies ending a 48-year reign of terror as director of the FBI. L. Patrick Gray is named as acting FBI director.
- May 15, 1972 - The island of Okinawa is returned to Japan by the United States.
- May 15, 1972 - President candidate and noted-racist George C. Wallace is shot while campaigning in Maryland. He is left paralyzed but does not withdraw from the race, finishing third.
- June 17, 1972 - Five "third-rate buglers" are arrested after breaking into the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex in Washington.
- August 26, 1972 - The Summer Olympics are held in Munich, Germany. Arab terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.
- September 1, 1972 - Temperamental Bobby Fischer becomes the first American to win the world chess title.
- September 23, 1972 - Martial law is declared in the Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos.
- October 24, 1972 - Jackie Robinson, who was the first black baseball player to play in the major leagues, dies at age 53.
- November 7, 1972 - Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew easily win reelection over George McGovern and R. Sargent Shriver.
- November 14, 1972 - The Dow-Jones Industrial Average reaches 1,000 for the first time.
- December 19, 1972 - NASA's Apollo mission ends with the splash-down of Apollo 17. The Apollo 17 astronauts would be the last people of the century to walk on the moon.
- December 29, 1972 - An Eastern Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 crashes into the Everglades killing 99 of 163 onboard.
- December 31, 1972 - Baseball superstar Roberto Clemente is killed in an airplane crash while attempting to deliver disaster relief supplies to his homeland of Puerto Rico.
- January 22, 1972 - All state laws preventing a woman's right to an abortion during the first three months are ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
- August 22, 1972 - Henry Kissinger is named U.S. secretary of state.
Ocean City Fight Song