Thursday, August 9, 2007

Headlines of the Near Future (1972)

The 1972 book Futures Conditional contains essays and lists from many different futurists of the era. This list of headlines of the near future, by Billy Rojas, presents readers with events that will "probably happen - in some cases undoubtedly happen - although not necessarily in the order presented."

1972

February
Chiang Kai-shek dead in Taiwan; new regime is created that seeks to "modernize" Formosa. Ten year plan to replace most ideographs with Roman letters is announced. Major effort is made to organize "overseas" Chinese - the millions is southeast Asia, the tens of thousands in America - into a series of formalized trade associations.

March
Safe cigarettes invented: Lorillard stock advances 20 points in one day.


July
Chicago firm begins marketing robot "housekeepers": mechanical mice to vacuum rugs and clean floors, automated kitchens that prepare hot meals according to consumer specifications, etc.


November
Team of Muskie and Adlai Stevenson III defeats Republicans for Presidency.


1973

January
J.Edgar Hoover resigns post as head of FBI.


June
Astronauts find evidence of sub-cellular life on the moon - two billion years ago.


July
Jackie divorces Ari; she plans to marry David Brinkley.


September
New Jersey becomes first state to legalize marijuana.


November
Stones break up. New music stirs U.S.; Cheyenne native rock-and-tom-tom group tops charts.


December
Peace settlement reached in Middle East; version of Allon plan adopted on a "phase-out" basis; Israel-Jordan to become joint secular state.


1974

March
Mao-Tse-tung suffers heart attack in China. Succeeded by Chou En-Lai. Red Guard "party" forms to challenge authority of the government, cultural revolution becomes an underground movement.


April
Hovercraft "grass highway" bonds approved by Congress: Boston-Richmond route.


May
Haile Selassie dies in Washington hospital. His death removes last obstacle to United States in East Africa, a new nation made up of the former states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda.


July
South Sudan secedes from Arab Federation; civil war erupts as rebels receive encouragement and aid from Addis Ababa.


October
Houston doctor discloses discovery of selective memory-erasing drug.


November
Reagan defeated by 350,000 votes.


1975

February
Rescue in space; Russians save Americans endangered on orbiting space platform.


April
U. of Oklahoma student disorders reach insurrection proportions; social science building destroyed, 4 police, 18 students killed.


June
"Electro-pop," completely synthetic beverage starts a new food craze: Electro-snax, Electro-suppers are marketed.


August
First space hospital (4 "beds") established by U.S.S.R.


September
Socialists return to power in Britain.


1976

May
Cabinet restructure in U.S., new secretaries of Education, Environment.


October
Sex-selection industry booms. Chemical treatments enable prospective parents to predetermine sex of offspring.


November
Allard Lowenstein defeats Buckley in N.Y. Senate contest.


1977

January
Temporary lunar base set up by U.S. - 6 men, 2 months.


June
Famine conditions worsen in India, Java. Communist revolution develops.


October
Sexual intercourse allowed in Yale sex ed. classes. Harvard follows suit.


November
Brazilian church secedes from Rome; "second reformation" as Dutch, some Americans, also walk out.


December
Tito dies in Yugoslavia, unsuccessful leftist coup to oust hand-picked successor.


1978

March
Religious revival reported in Africa: Nigeria, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, Guinea become Baha'i countries.


July
Japanese firm announces opening of sea-chains, series of floating cities to accommodate 10,000 people each; located in Polynesia.


August
Police force retired in Seattle; replaced by paid, plain clothes community people.


1979

February
First "time traveler." Star of ten-year hibernation for Minneapolis man.


September
Radio signals from vicinity of 41 Y Cygni indicate intelligent life in the universe.


October
Laser "arrays" used by commercial ships to navigate Antarctic waters; business firms start pilot plants on southernmost continent.


December
U.S. court system reformed. New features include "maximum wait law" - no more than 30 days between arrest and trial - and "obsolete statute law" - any law on the books is retired after 20 years unless specifically renewed by legislative act.


See also:
Sea City 2000 (1979)
The Future of Leisure That Never Arrived (New York Times, 2007)
Space Colony Possible (The News, 1975)
Civilized Adultery (1970)
Space Colony Pirates (1981)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 1 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 2 (1970)
The Population Bomb: Scenario 3 (1970)
Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)

3 comments:

Eric Meyer said...

Wait. "U. of Oklahoma student disorders reach resurrection proportions..." So their disorders create a "Dawn of the Living Dead" scenario?

Matt said...

Nice catch Eric. I tend to zone out when transcribing. I'll correct it. Thanks for spotting it.

Anonymous said...

1974 is not a presidential/leap year.