- Jan 30 'Bloody Sunday': 27 unarmed civilians are shot (of whom 14 were killed) by the British Army during a civil rights march in Derry; this is the highest death toll from a single shooting incident during 'the Troubles'
- Feb 9 British government declares state of emergency after month-long coal miners' strike
- Feb 17 British Parliament votes to join the European Common Market
- Mar 30 Northern Ireland's Government and Parliament dissolved by the British Government and 'direct rule' from Westminster is introduced
- Apr 10 US, USSR & 70 other nations agree to ban biological weapons
- May 28 White House "plumbers" first break in at the Democratic National Headquarters at Watergate Complex in Washington D.C.
- Jun 23 Hurricane Agnes becomes America's costliest natural disaster, effecting 15 states, with 119 deaths and $3 billion in damage
- Aug 3 U.S. Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
- Sep 17 "M*A*S*H," premieres on NBC TV
- Jan 7 LA Lakers win their 33rd straight game, setting a still standing NBA record for longest streak
- Jan 13 Bernice Gera wins anti-discrimination case against the National Baseball Congressl, initiated March 15, 1971 to be allowed to umpire
- Feb 5 Bob Douglas is 1st African American elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
- Aug 28 Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut becomes media darling at the Munich Olympics; wins gold in the teams all-round ; follows with 2 gold and a silver
- Sep 1 American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer beats Russian champion Boris Spassky 12.5-8.5 in Reykjavik, Iceland; most publicised world title match ever played; Fischer 1st American to win title
Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense, is almost thrown overboard on a ferry by an artist wanting to confront him on his role in escalating US involvement in the Vietnam war (no charges pressed)
On September 29, 1972