I was born in Wichita Falls, Texas on September 30th 1977. In this year, particularly the month, very many events took place in the world. The world experienced an avalanche of developments in the social, political and economic spheres. Development was slowly taking place in the world, and cultures were being developed. With the development of new cultures, it meant that the existing cultures had to be eroded like in the US. As much as there was development being seen in the world, disaster was also being experienced in other parts of the world. This, however, is what makes the world what it is. Construction and destruction, good and evil and other forms of aphorisms are what make the world what it is. Although I was not conscious and aware of what was taking place in the world around me, through some research I have been able to acquire some information on the world that I was born in. It has somehow given me a clear perspective, if not a glimpse, of the happenings in the world then. Through this paper, I seek to share these happenings. This paper will therefore address the issues, happenings, development and destruction of the world in September 1977. It will also give a comparison between the world then and that of today. This will mainly be done by analyzing the entertainment sector. What were the people’s tastes and preference then? This question will also be tackled in this paper.
What then were the major events in September 1977?
As a young man I was always taught that patriotism always showed a lot about a person. The love for one’s own country could tell a lot about a person. I therefore fill obliged to give an account of the major events at this time in history, September 1977, starting with those that were happening in the USA. First and foremost, it is important to note that the chief executive of the country at that time was President Carter. He had just been appointed following the Watergate scandal that saw the previous administration live office and welcome Carter’s administration (Alison; 1988). Categorized as one of the best administrations the US has ever experienced, Carter’s term in office saw the improved international relations with other countries, particularly China and he worked on reviving the US economy and improving the lives of people. On the matter pertaining to the economy of the US, 1977 saw the failed attempts not only by the US but by other countries in the world to revive their economies following the great depression. The world suffered a great deal in 1977 following the economic crisis experienced in the earlier years.
Outside the US, September 1977 saw the assassination of Steve Biko a South African revolutionist who fought against apartheid in South Africa.
On September 12th 1977, Africa and the rest of the world were shocked by the devastating news that he had been assassinated (2). He was to be buried the following week, which happens to be my week of birth. Biko’s death led to riots, boycotts and the death of many in South Africa. It also led to an increase in the zeal in the fight for liberation. On the same month in Africa, tension increased between Somalia and Ethiopia over the unresolved border issue. Surprisingly this issue is unresolved to date. The tension led to the massive lives and property. In Asia, relationship between the US and many Asian countries improved. The Vietnam War which was presumably the “war on Iraq” in those days came to an end some years earlier and on September 1977 the United Nations Organization welcomed a new member, Vietnam as a member country. The Middle East saw calls for peace and more mediation talks between the countries in conflict facilitated by the Carter administration. The Palestinian-Israeli war was top of the agenda. All was being done to ensure that peace was achieved and maintained in the Middle East. In September, president Sadat of Egypt formally announced that he will be visiting Israel in the coming months making him the first Arab leader to do so. 1977 saw friction increase between the Eastern and the Western blocks of Europe. As a result, a summit talk was held in September of the same year to agree on a way forward and probably cool the situation and grease the relationship between the two blocks.
Europe wraps it up for the major events that happened in the world in the political scene. But what was the situation like when it came to the social scene? The next few paragraphs will now address this issue and try to give a clear picture of how it was.
Social and Economic situation as at September 1977
I love cars. To be specific I love the Porsche model of cars. This might sound coincidental but I refer to it as fate. September 1977, saw a total revolution in the automobile industry following the debut of the Porsche 928 in September 1977. After years of designing and testing, the finished car debuted at the 1977 Geneva motor show before going on sale later that year. It sold for many years later going on record as the fastest and the most expensive automobile.
Entertainment was not left behind either. 1977 saw a steady rise in the music industry with hits topping the world charts on various grounds and accounts. The music group “ABBA” was the most recognized and great group at the time. ABBA was the most listened to music group in the 70’s. In 1977 they released the hit “knowing me, knowing you” which was their fourth number single in 15 months. It was also the year when ABBA ventured into the film industry. ‘ABBA’ the movie was produced in Australia and received massive acknowledgement from viewers. 1977 also saw the debut of the rock group “stranglers” into the world chart. The UK based group had had at least one hit every year from 1977 to 1992. Other songs that topped the charts in 1977 were mainly rock and roll. The type of music listened to in present day is more of meaningless words than organization of music.
The TV shows mainly watched then were American soap operas that were just emerging and some little science fiction. Star Wars was slowly becoming the order of the day as many children and young adults wanted to watch it. It was perhaps the best show at the time. This however did not surprise many as it had already showed a lot of potential in its comic release. Star Wars the comic was also on sale in 1977, it was one of the most sold comic books at the time. Though not many comics were recognized then, the 70’s saw a surge of underground comic books which reflected on the youth counterculture and drug culture. These were the comic books that were sold even in 1977.
Having looked at the entertainment sector in 1977, it is now important to know what the economic sector looked like in the year. As mentioned earlier, many world economies were still trying to recover from the economic recession that had hit the world in the great depression. The levels of unemployment were high and the prices of goods and services had drastically increased. The US, under the Carter administration, the economy continued to show some growth. However, the deficit in the trade balance increased sharply for such reasons as increased imports of crude oil. For that reason, we are told that the price of gas the price of gas shot up almost by 100%, (3). The US currency declined sharply against other major currencies in the world as a result of the depression. The economy was characterized b plant shut-downs and lay offs. In the rest of the world, the economy was also causing major shock waves. The great depression affected many countries in the world. Many of them were still trying to recover from it in 1977. The Middle East, which produces much of the world’s oil today, suffered a great deal since their ties with many of the Western nations were not on good terms and they relied on financial income from these nations from exporting oil and its products. Europe was not spared either from the effects of the great depression and they were also trying to recover. Asia also fell
in this category. The only difference between Asia and the rest of the world was that its recovery rate was higher and faster than those of many other continents (4). Major world economies however tried a great deal in 1977 to pull out of the great depression.
From the account given above, it is clear that 1977 was a year of mixed happenings. September was particularly an eventful month that was least of people’s expectations. From the inauguration of a new president in America to the assassination of a great South African leader. From economic melt downs, to the revolution in the automobile industry. The Entertainment sector also left people with a lot to be grateful for. ABBA ‘rocks’ the music industry to date. In a nut shell, I think 1977 was an eventful year that made the world what it is today. When compared to the world today, 1977 seems more underdeveloped than what we have today. This is allowed because time and change go hand in hand. However, many of the things that affected the world then are still being seen to date. The great depression for instance can be equated to the economic crisis being experienced today between Presidents Carter’s new administration and President Obama’s administration. And to top it all, both the presidents are attempting to improve on the ties between the US and the Middle East.
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