20 October 1973

The Sydney Opera House is opened by Elizabeth II after 14 years of construction.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world, located in Sydney, Australia. It is renowned for its distinctive and innovative design, which sets it apart as a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture.

Architectural Marvel: The Sydney Opera House was designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened on October 20, 1973. Its unique and modernist design features a series of sail-like shells or “sails” that appear to be billowing in the wind.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: In 2007, the Sydney Opera House was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its architectural significance and contribution to the cultural heritage of humanity.

Location: It is situated on Bennelong Point, a prominent peninsula that juts out into Sydney Harbour. This prime waterfront location offers stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city’s skyline.

Performance Venues: The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts center. It houses several performance venues, the most notable of which are the Concert Hall, Opera Theatre, Drama Theatre, and the Joan Sutherland Theatre. These venues host a wide range of performances, including opera, ballet, symphony concerts, theater, and more.

Versatile Programming: The Opera House is not limited to classical performances but also hosts a diverse array of events, including contemporary music concerts, comedy shows, talks, and cultural festivals.

Acoustics: Each of the performance venues in the Sydney Opera House has been acoustically designed to ensure optimal sound quality for different types of performances. The Concert Hall, for example, is known for its exceptional acoustics and is often used for orchestral and choral performances.

Tours: Guided tours are available to the public, allowing visitors to explore the interior of the Sydney Opera House, learn about its history, architecture, and enjoy panoramic views of Sydney Harbour from various vantage points.

Cultural Icon: The Sydney Opera House is not just a venue for the performing arts; it is also a symbol of Australian culture and a testament to human creativity. Its image is widely associated with Australia and is featured on various forms of media and merchandise.

Economic and Cultural Impact: The Sydney Opera House has a significant impact on both the cultural and economic aspects of Sydney and Australia as a whole. It attracts millions of tourists annually and contributes to the city’s cultural vibrancy.

Renovations and Maintenance: Over the years, the Sydney Opera House has undergone several renovations and maintenance projects to preserve its architectural integrity and ensure that it continues to serve as a world-class performing arts venue.

3 July 1973

David Bowie retires his stage persona Ziggy Stardust with the surprise announcement that it is “the last show that we’ll ever do” on the last day of the Ziggy Stardust Tour.

Ziggy Stardust was a fictional character created by the iconic British musician David Bowie. Bowie portrayed Ziggy Stardust during the early 1970s as part of his album and stage show titled “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” released in 1972.

Ziggy Stardust was an androgynous, flamboyant rock star who acted as a messenger from outer space. The character became synonymous with Bowie’s larger-than-life stage presence, extravagant costumes, and innovative musical style. Ziggy Stardust helped Bowie achieve international fame and left a lasting impact on the world of music and fashion.

“The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” is considered one of Bowie’s most influential and critically acclaimed albums. It featured hits like “Starman,” “Suffragette City,” and the titular track “Ziggy Stardust.” The concept album tells the story of an alien rock star who arrives on Earth, experiences fame, and ultimately faces a tragic end. Bowie retired the character of Ziggy Stardust in 1973, but his influence and legacy continue to resonate in the world of music and pop culture.

6 April 1973

Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.

Pioneer 11 was a NASA spacecraft launched on April 6, 1973, with the primary mission of studying the gas giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. It was the second spacecraft to visit Jupiter, after Pioneer 10, and the first to flyby Saturn.

The spacecraft was designed and built by NASA’s Ames Research Center, and it weighed about 260 kilograms (570 pounds). It was powered by four radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which provided electrical power for its scientific instruments and communication systems.

During its journey, Pioneer 11 made important scientific discoveries, including confirming the existence of a radiation belt around Jupiter, identifying new moons around both Jupiter and Saturn, and discovering the complex structure of Saturn’s rings.

The spacecraft continued to transmit data back to Earth until its last contact on September 30, 1995, when it was about 6.5 billion miles from Earth. Pioneer 11 is currently drifting through space and is expected to continue to do so indefinitely, as it is not on an intercept course with any known objects.

Pioneer 11 was a groundbreaking mission, paving the way for future exploration of the outer solar system. Its legacy lives on as an important milestone in the history of space exploration.

27 February 1973

The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee in protest of the federal government.

The American Indian Movement (AIM) is a civil rights organization that was founded in 1968 by a group of Native American activists in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AIM was formed in response to the social and political injustices faced by Native Americans, including discrimination, poverty, and the loss of their traditional lands and ways of life.

The goals of the American Indian Movement were to promote and protect the rights of Native Americans, to preserve their cultures and traditions, and to bring attention to the issues facing Native American communities. The organization used a variety of tactics, including protests, demonstrations, and legal actions, to achieve its goals.

AIM played a prominent role in a number of high-profile events and incidents during the 1970s, including the occupation of Alcatraz Island, the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. These actions brought national attention to the struggles of Native Americans and helped to increase awareness of their rights and issues.

Today, the American Indian Movement continues to advocate for Native American rights and works to preserve and promote Native American cultures and traditions.

23 August 1973

A bank robbery gone wrong in Stockholm, Sweden, turns into a hostage crisis; over the next five days the hostages begin to sympathise with their captors, leading to the term “Stockholm syndrome”.