1970s America; When All The Fighting Stopped [Photos]

Kids raised in the 70s knew little of war, not until the gulf wars unless one counts Somalia. That was the first time we saw troop deployment in anything resembling a conflict. Even if one was born in 1970, by the time that baby was five, the Vietnam conflict was over. That generation of kids grew up in a world where our idea of conflict was the rebel forces versus the galactic empire. What we didn’t see was the oil crisis, the rising inflation or the eminent Cold War brewing. It was a time of terrible fashion for the adults and blissful naivety for kids.

World Trade Center Towers Under Construction–1970


Most people know another view of these towers. They’ve come to capture a time in New York History. When you see them in a picture or grafted into the background of a movie, you know it somewhere between the ’70s and the ’90s. This view captures the towers under construction from the Manhattan Bridge.

Disney World Opened In Florida–1971

The first ladies of Walt Disney World, in Central Florida, are polished and ready for opening day. Disneyland was first, but Disney World brought an overhaul to Orlando and the surrounding area. There, Walt built a city. Once upon a time, that dream opened for the first time in 1971.

Painted Bus Home in Rifle, Colorado–October 1972

Perhaps leftovers from the ’60s or just a young family who wanted the freedom to move, this couple took it on the road with three kids and two dogs. That’s a full bus. The question remains, is it a “Magic Bus?” I think this family was more influenced by the so-named 1970 hit from The Who.

John Amos Power Plant Near Poca, West Virginia–1973

Still, in operation, the coal-fired the John Amos Power Plant opened in August of 1971. Gizmodo ranked the John Amos Plant as one of the dirtiest power plants, with an annual carbon dioxide emission of 13.9 million metric tons.

Gas Crises–1974

This station appears to be one-stop shopping. You can find your salvation and fill ‘er up. Unfortunately, when the photographer took this picture, there was one option. The petroleum shortages that started in 1973, not only affected weekend motorist, they impacted other industries like architectural design. Buildings designed in the wake of this crisis tried to solve for fuel efficiency.

Couple on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois–July 1975

There is no further information on this stunning couple, but that they were standing on the street in Chicago in 1975. Their outfits, the cut, and the color scream 1970s. Admittedly, the size of the man’s bowtie is intimidating.

Bicentennial Parade at Disneyland–1976

1976 marked 200 years since the United States declared its independence. For those of us who remember the bicentennial, it was a year for three colors only. You wore red, white, and blue or you wore nothing at all. It was like all the drab colors of the ’70s took a year off.

Jimmy Carter & Andy Warhol–1977

Probably no presidency disappointed more people than Jimmy Carter’s. Probably no artist disappointed Carter more than Andy Warhol. I can’t decide which of the two men looks more uncomfortable in this shot. As far as I know, Carter had no issues with the painting. The collective sentiments about Carter’s presidency one could measure by the fact that we didn’t reelect him.

The New York A-train–1978

At one time, riding the trains in New York was at your own risk, even if you owned a pair of sassy wedges to keep you above the rabble. Subways were plagued with graffiti, crime was rampant, and apparently sitting on the floor was acceptable. I’d love to see these folks pull this off during rush hour today.

Times Square–1979

Since we started with New York icons, we’ll end here too. This picture was taken in April, long before crowds filled the square to usher in the 1980s. When the photographer snapped this shot, Reagan was barely a dot in Carter’s rear view, we’d only experienced one movie by the name of Star Wars, and the actual space race was the most boring thing since the Moon landing. In fact, Christa McAuliffe hadn’t even accepted her first teaching job yet, let alone considered she would climb aboard the Challenger Shuttle in six years.