World History 1975

1975 Helsinki Accords Thirty-five nations signed the Helsinki Accords. The Accords recognized the borders of Europe as they had been at the end of the World War II, thus recognizing Soviet domination of the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). All nations, however, agreed to promote personal liberties in their own countries.
1975 Franco Dies, Juan Carlos Takes Over On November 20, Francisco Franco died. This ended a dictatorship that had lasted since the Spanish Civil War.
1975 Soviets Buy Grain from the US The Soviet Union began buying grain from the United States to prevent famine. The US soon signed a long-term contract for the sale of grain.
1975 Pol Pot Takes Over Cambodia On April 17, Communist forces captured Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The new communist regime was headed by Pol Pot, who ruthlessly tried to remake Cambodia. He implemented the forced relocation of millions of people, resulting in the deaths of at least hundreds of thousands of individuals. The world stood by as the deaths mounted.
1975 Communist Capture South Vietnam On April 30, communist forces captured Saigon, ending the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese began their offensive in early March when they captured Ban Me Thuot, the capital of Dariac province. The North Vietnamese attack was spearheaded by tanks and other heavy forces. As the North Vietnamese forces advanced, the South Vietnamese Army disintegrated. The United States' only intervention was to airlift key South Vietnamese personnel to safety.
1975 Mayaguez A US-registered merchant vessel was seized by the Cambodians and towed to Cambodia. The US responded by sending a 1,000-man force to free the Mayguez and its crew. The US forces arrived to find the crew gone. The Cambodians subsequently agreed to release the US personnel, but there had been a loss of 38 crewmen dead in the episode.
1975 Mozambique Gains Independence A further consequence of the changes in government policy in Portugal was the granting of independence to Mozambique on June 25. A Marxist state, with Samora Moises Machel as President, was declared.
1975 Angola Gains Independence Angola declared its independence from Portugal. Two separate governments were proclaimed: the Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). A civil war ensued, during which the MPLA accepted Cuban troops to support its cause. UNITA received aid from South Africa, which hurt its cause in the West.
1975 Civil War In Lebanon In April, civil war broke out in Beirut. The war was triggered when 25 Palestinian Arabs were killed by Phalange-Lebanese Christian militiamen. The conflict spread throughout Beirut, which was soon divided into Christian and Muslim sectors. The Muslims quickly attained the upper hand in the conflict. In June 1976, however, the Syrian Army intervened on behalf of the Christians.
1975 King Faisel Assassinated King Faisal ibn Abd-al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia was assassinated by his half brother, Faisal ibn Musad ibn Abd-al-Aziz. The King was succeeded by Crown Prince Khalid. The assassin was publicly beheaded.
1975 Suez Canal Reopened On June 5, the Suez Canal was reopened. The reopening followed the second disengagement agreement between Israel and Egypt, under which Israel pulled its forces further from the Canal Zone. For their part, the Egyptians pledged to open the Canal and rebuild the Canal cities.