Ed Kirtz: Well, there was no official act of war declared in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews, the air was filled with incidence of violence and reprisal, guerilla attacks and sporadic bombing raids. One of the saddest events of the lingering Mideast struggle took place in the town of Ma'alot. Three Arab terrorists held 90 students hostage in a school building. Israeli troops stormed the school. When the gun fire ended, 18 of the students were dead. Just before their funeral started, a demonstration took place with the crowd shouting in the streets, death to the terrorists. The scene soon shifted to one of mourning and grief. 20,000 people in the sun soaked funeral procession, many fainting, standing atop buses and trucks for better vintage spots, while 18 of their sons and daughters were put to rest.
Unknown Speaker: The emotions of this crowd expressed in shouting, expressed in wailing and crying as they bury the 18 children at the spot. The crowd on the whole quiet and restrained, but some segments, shouting and yelling behind me and tears, this is 01:33 cemetery.
Ed Kirtz: All was not bleak in the Middle East in 1974. Agreements were reached between Israel and Egypt which defined troop limitations and troop separation along the Suez canal. The agreements came about in large measure through the untiring efforts of Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State. The government of Israel was deeply divided during debate on who was responsible for Israel not being prepared for the October 1973 war.
As a result of the division Golda Meir resigned as premier and Yitzhak Rabin was named to form a new coalition government. President Nixon visited the Middle East in June. During the trip, he assured Israel of continuing US military and economic assistance. He also visited Syria and while he was there announced that the two countries would resume diplomatic relations which had been broken off since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. But it was Nixon's visit to Egypt which made the trip memorable. It was the first leg of the Middle East journey when the President arrived in Cairo. He joined Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in a motorcade through the city's ancient, but modernized streets. The crowd seemed genuinely pleased to see Nixon. An estimated two million persons packed the streets and sidewalks waving flags of Egypt and United States. Diplomatic relations had been resumed four months earlier so the atmosphere was charged with new hope that perhaps soon peace could be a reality in the Middle East. Nixon encouraged that hope.
Nixon: Today marks the day, we cement the foundations of a new relationship, a new relationship between two great peoples, two great peoples who will dedicate themselves in the future to working together for great causes.
Ed Kirtz: In England, Prime Minister Edward Heath was forced to resign on March the 4th. Britain was experiencing one of its worst economic setbacks since World War II. A three-week coal miner strike was underway. A three-day work week had been instituted and a state of emergency had been in effect for four months. Herald Wilson was the new Prime Minister and three days after he assumed his post, the coal strike was settled, the three-day work week was ended and the state of emergency lifted. After new elections in October, when Wilson's labor party won the slim majority, he warned the British that it was still a time of indecision and that sacrifices would still have to be made.
Herald Wilson: Well, whatever has divided us in this keenly fought election campaign, we have all agreed that Britain faces the grievous economic crisis since the war and every one in industry and in our wider national family now needs to work together, sharing the effort and sharing the burden of Britain's economic fight.
Ed Kirtz: Rebel army forces took over the control of Portugal and replaced Premier Marcello Caetano with General Antonio de Spinola. Three months later, Spinola turned over the leadership of the country to General Francisco Da Costa Gomes, head of the armed forces. West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt was forced to resign when it was revealed an East German spy had become a member of his staff. Brandt stunned and shaken, quit his post rather than have the affairs of his private life investigated. Isabel Perَn, became the first women chief of the State in the Western Hemisphere following the death of her husband, Argentinian President Juan Perَn.
For the residents of a tiny island in the Mediterranean, 1974 would hold vivid memories, memories of war. This was Cyprus in 1974. 650 Greek officers of the Cypriot National Guard staged a bloody coup. The government leader, Archbishop Makarios was overthrown and forced to flee his home. Turkey responded by invading Cyprus five days later with 40,000 troops. Intensive negotiations lead to a cease fire. Makarios took his case to the United Nations.
Archbishop Makarios: I can say with certainty, that the resistance and the reaction of the Greek Cypriot people against the conspirators will not end and feel there is restoration of their freedom and their democratic rights. The Cypriot people will never bow to dictatorship even though for a moment in brutal force of the Armour cars and tanks may have prevailed.
Ed Kirtz: By the end of the year, no acceptable agreement had been reached on the course of the future of Cyprus. And the Lion of Judah, emperor Haile Selassie who had ruled Ethiopia for an incredible 58 years was peacefully deposed, but by the end of the year, 60 former members of Selassie staff were rounded up and executed. England, formally outlawed the IRA to help combat the terrorism campaign which was started by the IRA, to shock the British public into demanding British withdrawal from Ulster. The most severe incident of IRA terrorism took place in 1974 when an IRA bomb attack on two pubs in Birmingham left 19 persons dead and nearly 200 injured. One dramatic bombing took place in the Tower of London, an historic landmark and museum which was filled with tourists at the time of the explosion.
Unknown Speaker: The 06:54 was talking to us and as I stood there, I could hear a siren and I looked to the right and I saw a man and approximately he was running by, running for his life actually. It looked --
Unknown Speaker: Why do you say he was running for his life?
Unknown Speaker:Oh! You could tell I mean, his hair was flying and he was really running by and people kind of glanced at him and didn't think too much of it except of the fact that more police cars were coming and then an ambulance came up and people were to be brought out.
Ed Kirtz: India surprised the world once it became the sixth member of that exclusive club of nations which had exploded a nuclear device and in Canada it was out again and again for the government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In May his government fell when it lost a vote of confidence which the opposition claim was a result of his not doing anything about escalating inflation. But in July, Trudeau's liberal party swept the elections in a major victory.