North America 1974.0809
America in World War II, the Cold War and today (9 August 1974)
Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean
Outside the Americas, the US had been fighting communism in Vietnam since the early 1960s. Meanwhile American society was being transformed by the wave of liberalism sweeping much of the Western world. Alongside pushing for minority rights and challenging authority, protesters also demanded an end to the extensive US involvement in Vietnam. From 1969, President Nixon worked to defuse tensions abroad - signing agreements with the Soviet Union, Communist China, and finally communist North Vietnam - before being forced to resign after the Watergate scandal. At the same time, US scientists out-competed their Soviet counterparts in the "Space Race" by landing a man on the moon.
The British colony of Barbados became an independent state and member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Tensions between El Salvador and Honduras, coinciding with rioting over football matches, resulted in brief war.
First humans land on moon
Apollo 11 landed US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
Nixon visit to China
United States President Richard Nixon visited the People's Republic of China, ending over 24 years of separation between the two states and allowing the American public to see images of mainland China for the first time in a generation. The trip shifted the balance in the Cold War, aligning the PRC and the US against the Soviet Union. As a result of the visit, the PRC agreed to a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question, although the US would not end official ties with the Nationalists in Taiwan until it established full diplomatic relations with China in 1979.
Paris Peace Accords
The United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government (Viet Cong) signed the Paris Peace Accords. This treaty established a ceasefire in Vietnam, allowing the US to withdraw and end its direct military involvement in the conflict there. The accords also pushed for a negotiated peaceful reunification of Vietnam and democratic elections, although this agreement would soon fall apart as North and South Vietnam resumed fighting.
The British colony of the Bahamas became independent and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
OAPEC oil embargo begins
The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) decided to cut oil production to force the United States to end its support of Israel.
The British colony of Grenada became an independent state.
Following the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the first United States President to resign.
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