President Richard M Nixon (R) 1969-1974

The Year was 1971.

The inflation rate had risen to 4.85  percent but the UK inflation rate was nearly  9 percent.

United States  President Richard Millhouse Nixon.

The US population was about 205 million and our life expectancy  was about 70 years.

The murder rate was hovering around 8. 5 murders per 100.

The Median Household Income was about $10,700 for the average laborer.

The minimum wage in 1971 was $1.60 per hour, the equivalent of $9.60 in 2018

A new house would cost you about $28,300 and if you rented a two bedroom the average monthly rent for that was around 155 dollars.

Groceries were beginning to rise slightly. Bacon was 75 cents a pound and eggs 53 for a dozen. A gallon of milk cost about $1.15 and a loaf of bread was approximately 60 cents.  You could get a fresh turkey for 65 cents a pound and potatoes were about one dollar for a ten pound bag.

Sending a letter across the country would cost you  $.08 in postage.

A gallon of gas cost about 36 cents.

We were wearing a lot of  suede coats and fringes on nearly everything. It was still an anti war sentiment time so that type clothing was all the rage. Paisley boots and turtlenecks were the order of the day as well.

The top selling car was the Chevy Impala. A 2-door convertible had a base price around $4,000.

1971 Chevrolet Impala
The 1971 Chevrolet Impala was America’s best selling car for the year. Your could drive a new one off the lot for around $4,000.

Top News for 1971

James Douglas Morrison, 1943-1971. Also knows as “Mr. Mojo Risin'” and “The Lizard King” Morrison died at age 27, nine months after the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Jim Morrison of The Doors found dead in bath tub in Paris

Idi Amin took control of Uganda, becoming one of the deadliest dictators of modern history.

Mt Etna erupted in Sicily.

Riots at Attica prison result in the deaths of 10 hostages and nearly 4o inmates.

65 people die in the stairway crush at a Rangers v Celtics football game.

Products introduced in 1971

Action Jackson action toy

Andy Capp’s fries snack food

Eve cigarettes

Monster cereals (Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry)

Hamburger Helper

Herbal Essences hair products

Lego Homemaker for girls

Pebbles cereal (Coco Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles)

Quarter Pounder hamburger – McDonald’s

One of the original Monster Cereal commercials


1971 Music, Television and Movies

Music – The Top 5 Songs of 1971

Song rankings are based on information from The Billboard Hot 100 Chart Data

1. Joy To The World – Three Dog Night (Dunhill)

2. Maggie May – Rod Stewart (Mercury)

3. It’s Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move – Carole King (Ode)

4. One Bad Apple – The Osmonds (MGM)

5. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart – Bee Gees (Atco)


Music – The Top 5 TV Shows of 1971

1. All in the Family (CBS),

Starring Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton. Sally Struthers, Rob Reiner, and Danielle Brisebois.

2. The Flip Wilson Show (NBC)

3. Marcus Welby, M.D. (ABC) with Robert Young and James Brolin

4. Gunsmoke (CBS) Still strong in its 16th of 20 seasons.

5. ABC Movie of the Week (ABC)

Movies – The Top 5 TV Movies of 1971

All but one of the top five movies in 1971 were, shall we say, intense. The top grossing movie of 1971, “Fiddler on the Roof” was a musical masterpiece.

1. Fiddler on the Roof (MGM)


2. The French Connection (20th Century Fox)

3. Diamonds Are Forever (MGM)

4. Dirty Harry (Warner Bros.)

Clint Eastwood and the infamous “Do I feel lucky? Well, do you punk?”

5. Billy Jack (Warner Bros.)


Isaac Hayes created the “Shaft” theme that was one of the iconic sounds that defined the 70s. Shaft was the #1 song in November, 1971.

Find Out More About the 1970s

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974