January 20 – Richard Nixon is sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. This marks the first, and to date, the only person who has been sworn into both the Vice Presidency and the Presidency, twice each.
June 23 – A house fire in Kingston upon Hull, England, which kills a six-year-old boy is passed off as an accident; it later emerges as the first of 26 fire deaths caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.
The catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) occurs in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, killing 11 firefighters. This explosion becomes a classic incident, studied in fire department training programs worldwide.
A Delta Air LinesDC-9 aircraft flying as Delta Air Lines Flight 173 lands short of Boston's Logan Airport runway in poor visibility, striking a sea wall about 165 feet (50 m) to the right of the runway centerline and about 3,000 feet (914 m) short. All 6 crew members and 83 passengers are killed, 1 of the passengers dying several months after the accident.
American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper and torturerDean Corll is shot to death by one of his teenage accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley, at Corll's Pasadena, Texas home. Henley turns himself in and confesses, uncovering the Houston Mass Murders, a series of murders in which 28 young boys have been abducted, tortured and murdered by Corll and his accomplices Henley and David Brooks (who is also arrested).
The "Battle of the Sexes": Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match, 6–4, 6–4, 6–3, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. With an attendance of 30,492, this remains the largest live audience ever to see a tennis match in US history. The global audience that views on television in 36 countries is estimated at 90 million.
Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States and then, in federal court in Baltimore, pleads no contest to charges of income tax evasion on $29,500 he received in 1967, while he was governor of Maryland. He is fined $10,000 and put on 3 years' probation.
October 14 – Thai popular uprising Students revolt in Bangkok – In the Thammasat student uprising over 100,000 people protest in Thailand against the Thanom military government, 77 are killed and 857 are injured by soldiers, Thailand.
A large Song dynasty trade ship of c. 1277 A.D. is dredged up from the waters near the southern coast of China with 12 compartments in its hull. It confirms the descriptions of bulkheaded hull compartments for junks in Zhu Yu's Pingzhou Table Talks of 1119.