February 26, 1972The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam kills 125 in West Virginia.
The Buffalo Creek Flood was a disaster that occurred on February 26, 1972, when the Pittston Coal Company's coal slurry impoundment dam #3, located on a hillside in Logan County, West Virginia, USA, burst four days after having been declared 'satisfactory' by a federal mine inspector. The resulting flood unleashed approximately 132,000,000 US gallons (500,000 m3) of black waste water, cresting over 30 ft high, upon the residents of 16 coal mining hamlets in Buffalo Creek Hollow. Out of a population of 5,000 people, 125 were killed, 1,121 were injured, and over 4,000 were left homeless. 507 houses were destroyed, in addition to forty-four mobile homes and 30 businesses. The disaster also destroyed or damaged homes in Lundale, Saunders, Amherstdale, Crites, Latrobe and Larado. In its legal filings, Pittston Coal referred to the accident as "an Act of God."
July 23, 1972The United States launch Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.
Landsat 1, originally named "Earth Resources Technology Satellite 1", was the first satellite of the United States' Landsat program. It was a modified version of the Nimbus 4 meteorological satellite and was launched on July 23, 1972 by a Delta 900 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The near-polar orbiting spacecraft served as a stabilized, Earth-oriented platform for obtaining information on agricultural and forestry resources, geology and mineral resources, hydrology and water resources, geography, cartography, environmental pollution, oceanography and marine resources, and meteorological phenomena.
December 23, 1972The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster are rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.
Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, also known as the Andes flight disaster, and in South America as Miracle in the Andes (El Milagro de los Andes) was a chartered flight carrying 45 people, including a rugby team, their friends, family and associates that crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972. More than a quarter of the passengers died in the crash, and several more quickly succumbed to cold and injury. Of the 29 who were alive a few days after the accident, another eight were killed by an avalanche that swept over their shelter in the wreckage. The last 16 survivors were rescued on December 23, 1972, more than two months after the crash.
May 24, 1972
Asta Nielsen was a Danish silent film actress who was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1910s and one of the first international movie stars. Seventy of Nielsen's 74 films were made in Germany where she was known simply as Die Asta (The Asta). Noted for her large dark eyes, mask-like face and boyish figure, Nielsen most often portrayed strong-willed passionate women trapped by tragic consequences. Due to the erotic nature of her performances, Nielsen's films were heavily censored in the United States and her work remained relatively obscure to American audiences.
June 12, 1972
Edmund Wilson was an American writer, literary and social critic, and noted man of letters.
November 23, 1972
Katherine Elisabeth Wilson, better known by her stage name, Marie Wilson, was an American radio, film, and television actress. She may have been remembered best as the title character in My Friend Irma.