1976 History Events: What Happened in 1976

1976 was a watershed moment in the computer/tech industry. This year saw the launching of Cray-1, the world’s first commercial supercomputer. Apple Computer Company was formed in this year by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. NASA’s Viking 2 spacecraft has successfully landed on Mars. Viking 2 got to work right away after landing, sending the first-ever close-up colour photos of the Martian landscape.

This year in the Disco Decade, music was not solely focused on disco. Ramones, the Ramones’ debut record, was released this year. Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder’s renowned album, was also released. In other rock headlines, 1976 saw the formation of U2 and the publication of the Eagles’ classic album, Hotel California.

This was the first year that The Muppet Show aired on the ITV network, and it was also the first year that The Muppet Show was released in theatres. Rocky, the famous sports drama, starred Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, “The Italian Stallion,” in 1976. The picture went on to win Best Picture at the 49th Academy Awards, as well as launching a franchise and Stallone’s career. This year also saw the release of Taxi Driver, a fantastic film starring Robert De Niro. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson, won the award for Best Picture at the 48th Academy Awards in 1976. This year also saw the start of production on the first Star Wars picture.

1976 was also a significant year in terms of literature and theatre. In the sphere of literature, novelist Anne Rice published her first novel, Interview With a Vampire, which would go on to become one of her most well-known works. With the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ian McKellen and Judi Dench gave a spectacular rendition of “The Scottish Play,” Macbeth.

Continue reading to discover more about the events of 1976.


(January 21, 1976)
The Concorde, a commercial aircraft built with financing from the British and French governments, commenced regular operation on this day in 1976, generating a sonic boom when it flew through the sky at supersonic speed.


(March 24, 1976)
Peyton Manning, an American professional gridiron football player and one of the game's best quarterbacks, was born.

(April 01, 1976)
Apple Computer Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, and it quickly became one of the world's most successful technology firms.

(June 26, 1976)
The CN Tower, officially opened to the public on this day in 1976, was the world's highest freestanding construction until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, surpassed it in 2007.

(July 18, 1976)
Nadia Comăneci of Romania became the first gymnast to receive a perfect score of ten in an Olympic gymnastic event for her performance on the uneven parallel bars at the Olympic Games in Montreal.


(July 28, 1976)
Tangshan is flattened by an earthquake with a magnitude between 7.8 and 8.2 that strikes in the People's Republic of China, killing 242,769 people and wounding 164,851.

(August 07, 1976)
Viking 2 has begun its journey around the planet Mars. photo source:

(September 03, 1976)
On this day in 1976, NASA's robotic spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars after a nearly yearlong trip, and began reporting information about the planet's atmosphere and soil, as well as colour images of the stony surface.

(September 09, 1976)
Mao Zedong, who died on this day in 1976, was the unchallenged leader of the Chinese Communist Party after the Long March (1934–35). photo source:


(November 02, 1976)
Jimmy Carter, a Democratic former governor of Georgia who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, was elected 39th President of the United States on this day in 1976, narrowly defeating Republican Gerald R. Ford. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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