President: Richard Nixon (R-California)
Vice President: Spiro Agnew (R-Maryland)
Chief Justice: Warren E. Burger (Minnesota)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: John William McCormack (D-Massachusetts) (until January 3), Carl Albert (D-Oklahoma) (starting January 21)
Senate Majority Leader: Mike Mansfield (D-Montana)
Congress: 91st (until January 3), 92nd (starting January 3)
January 1 – The Uniform Monday Holiday Act takes effect: Washington's Birthday and several other Federal holidays are always observed on certain Mondays, resulting in more three-day weekends for federal employees.
January 2 – A ban on radio and television cigarette advertisements goes into effect in the United States.
January 12 – The landmark television sitcom All in the Family, starring Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, debuts on CBS.
January 17 – Super Bowl V: The Baltimore Colts defeat the Dallas Cowboys 16–13 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
January 25 – In Los Angeles, Charles Manson and three female "Family" members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
January 31 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 (carrying astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell) lifts off on the third successful lunar landing mission.
February 9 – The 6.5–6.7 Mw Sylmar earthquake hits the Greater Los Angeles Area with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), killing 64 and injuring 2,000.
Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned Moon landing.
Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League player to become voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
February 11 – The US, UK, USSR and others sign the Seabed Treaty, outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor.
Fifty tornadoes rage in Mississippi, killing 74.
The U.S. Emergency Broadcast System sends an erroneous warning; many radio stations just ignore it.
March 1 – A bomb explodes in the men's room at the United States Capitol; the Weather Underground Organization claims responsibility.
March 8 – Boxer Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden.
U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is found guilty of 22 murders in the My Lai massacre and sentenced to life in prison (later pardoned).
A Los Angeles, California, jury recommends the death penalty for Charles Manson and 3 female followers.
April 9 – Charles Manson is sentenced to death; in 1972, the sentence for all California Death Row inmates is commuted to life imprisonment.
April 10 – Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia opens.
April 20 – Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education: The Supreme Court of the United States rules unanimously that busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation.
April 24 – Five hundred thousand people in Washington, DC and 125,000 in San Francisco march in protest against the Vietnam War.
May 1 – Amtrak begins inter-city rail passenger service in the United States.
May 3 – A Harris Poll claims that 60% of Americans are against the Vietnam War.
Anti-war militants attempt to disrupt government business in Washington, D.C.; police and military units arrest as many as 12,000, most of whom are later released.
May 5 – The US dollar floods the European currency markets and threatens especially the Deutsche Mark; the central banks of Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland stop the currency trading.
May 9 – Mariner 8 fails to launch.
May 29 – Al Unser wins the Indianapolis 500 in the Vel's Parnelli Jones Special Colt-Ford.
May 30 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched toward Mars.
June – Massachusetts passes its Chapter 766 laws enacting Special Education.
June 1 – Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, claiming to represent the majority of U.S. veterans who served in Southeast Asia, speak against war protests.
June 6 – A midair collision between Hughes Airwest Flight 706 Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a U.S. Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom jet fighter near Duarte, California, claims 50 lives.
June 10 – The U.S. ends its trade embargo of China.
June 13 – Vietnam War: The New York Times begins to publish the Pentagon Papers.
June 17 – Representatives of Japan and the United States sign the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, whereby the U.S. will return control of Okinawa.
June 18 – Southwest Airlines, the most successful low cost carrier in history, begins its first flights between Dallas, Houston, And San Antonio.
June 25 – Madagascar accuses the U.S. of being connected to the plot to oust the current government; the U.S. recalls its ambassador.
June 27 – Concert promoter Bill Graham closes the legendary Fillmore East, which first opened on 2nd Avenue (between 5th and 6th Streets) in New York City on March 8, 1968.
June 28 – Assassin Jerome A. Johnson shoots Joe Colombo in the head in a middle of an Italian-American rally, putting him in a coma.
June 30 – New York Times Co. v. United States: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Pentagon Papers may be published, rejecting government injunctions as unconstitutional prior restraint.
July 1 – The Postal Reorganization Act goes into effect replacing the Cabinet-level Post Office Department with the United States Postal Service.
July 3 – Jim Morrison, lead singer and lyricist of The Doors, is found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France.
July 5 – Right to vote: The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution, formally certified by President Richard Nixon, lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
July 19 – The South Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,362 feet (415 m), making it the second tallest building in the world.
July 26 – Apollo 15 (carrying astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden, and James Irwin) is launched.
July 31 – Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin become the first to ride in a lunar rover, a day after landing on the Moon.
August – the unemployment rate peaks at 6.1%.
August 1 – In New York City, 40,000 attend the Concert for Bangladesh.
August 7 – Apollo 15 returns to Earth.
August 11 – Construction begins on the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
August 15 – President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value, effectively ending the Bretton Woods system. He also imposes a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
August 20 – The USS Manatee (AO-58) spills 1,000 US gallons (3,800 L) of fuel oil on President Nixon's Western White House beach in San Clemente, California.
September 4 – A Boeing 727 (Alaska Airlines Flight 1866) crashes into the side of a mountain near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.
September 8 – In Washington, DC, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass.
September 9 – September 13 – Attica Prison riots: – A revolt breaks out at the maximum-security prison in Attica, New York. In the end, state police and the United States National Guard storm the facility; 42 are killed, 10 of them hostages.
September 22 – Ernest Medina is cleared of all charges connected with the Mylai massacre
September 28 – Cardinal József Mindszenty, who has taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Budapest since 1956, is allowed to leave Hungary.
October 1 – Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida
October 18 – In New York City, the Knapp Commission begins public hearings on police corruption.
October 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon nominates Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.
October 29 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: The total number of American troops still in Vietnam drops to a record low of 196,700 (the lowest since January 1966).
November 6 – Operation Grommet: The U.S. tests a thermonuclear warhead at Amchitka Island in Alaska, code-named Project Cannikin. At around 5 megatons, it is the largest ever U.S. underground detonation.
November 12 – Vietnam War – Vietnamization: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1, 1972, as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam.
November 13 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to enter Mars orbit successfully.
November 15 – Intel releases the world's first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
November 24 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington, a man calling himself D. B. Cooper parachutes from the Northwest Orient Airlines plane he hijacked, with US$200,000 in ransom money, and is never seen again.
December 8 – U.S. President Richard Nixon orders the 7th Fleet to move towards the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean.
December 10 – The John Sinclair Freedom Rally in support of the imprisoned activist features a performance by John Lennon at Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI.
December 11 – The Libertarian Party (United States) is established.
An explosion in a water tunnel beneath Lake Huron in Port Huron, Michigan, kills 22.
December 18 – The U.S. dollar is devalued for the second time in history.
December 25 – In the longest game in NFL history, the Miami Dolphins beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
Crude oil production peaks in the continental United States at approximately 4.5 million barrels per day (720,000 m3/d).
Cold War (1945–1991)
Space Race (1957–1975)
Vietnam War, U.S. involvement (1962–1973)
Détente (c. 1969–1979)
January 4 – Arthur Ford, American psychic, founded the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship (b. 1896)
March 16 – Thomas E. Dewey, 47th Governor of New York and Republican nominee for president (b. 1902)
April 6 – Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born American composer (b. 1882)
July 3 – Jim Morrison, singer, songwriter, and poet, died in Paris, France (b. 1943)
July 6 – Louis Armstrong, trumpeter and actor (b. 1901)
December 9 – Ralph Bunche, Nobel diplomat (b. 1904)
1971 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1971 in the United States.