July 1970

A look back at the world in Smithsonian Magazine’s first year

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Where Are They Now?

Alvin Toffler
Author of Future Shock

Alvin Toffler remembers July 29, 1970, well. Not only was it his and wife Heidi's 20th wedding anniversary, it was also the day Random House published their book Future Shock. "We had no idea it would be such a success," he says today. "We thought the book would sell 30,000 hardcover copies at best." Future Shock sold more than 5 million paperback copies in the United States alone.

The book chronicles the rapid acceleration of change in society, such as "fractured families," which include temporary marriages. "Things were becoming more short-lived," says Toffler, 76, "not just products, but relationships." The impact of all this change, the Tofflers argued, leads to feelings of stress and disorientation—a.k.a. "future shock."

The couple, who live in California, continue to write and lecture about what's coming our way.

— Mimi Kirk


Prince Charles, 21, and his sister, Princess Anne, 19, make their first visit to the United States July 16. Their itinerary includes a Camp David barbecue and a Washington Senators baseball game. "You know that Prince Charles," President Nixon commented. "He's a nice fellow."


In The News

Egypt's Aswan High Dam is completed July 21, and the New York Times declares it the "country's greatest engineering work since the construction of the pyramids." The dam, which regulates the water level in the Nile Valley, prevents floods and droughts. It also supplies power to thousands of villages that previously lacked electricity.

Egypt's Aswan High Dam is completed July 21, and the declares it the "country's greatest engineering work since the construction of the pyramids." The dam, which regulates the water level in the Nile Valley, prevents floods and droughts. It also supplies power to thousands of villages that previously lacked electricity.

On July 15, a House investigating committee reports that Army and State Department officers covered up a March 1968 massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers in the hamlet of My Lai. Twenty-five officers and enlisted men were eventually charged with murder and related crimes. But only Lt. William Calley was convicted; he served three years of house arrest and now lives in Atlanta.


The List: 1970 Academy Awards

Best Picture: Patton
Best Actor: George C. Scott, Patton
Best Actress: Glenda Jackson, Women in Love
Best Supporting Actor: John Mills, Ryan's Daughter
Best Supporting Actress: Helen Hayes, Airport
Best Director: Franklin J. Schaffner, Patton
Best Original Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North, Patton
Best Cinematography: Freddie Young, Ryan's Daughter


Comings & Goings

Born:
Jennifer Lopez
Singer/Actor, July 24

Died:
Antonio Salazar, 81,
Prime Minister of Portugal, July 27


"I don't even think about those things. I just want to keep playing and don't want to stop now."
—Willie Mays, on cracking the 3,000th hit of his major league career, in the July 19 Washington Post.

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