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SMPS Headquarters
625 North Washington Street
Suite 302 Alexandria, VA 22314-1936
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SMPS at 50
A Snapshot
In 1973, several important business trends emerged that had a significant impact on various industries and the global economy. Here are some of the key trends from that year:

1. Oil Crisis

The oil embargo of 1973 led to a sharp increase in oil prices, prompting a renewed focus on energy conservation and sustainable design. Architects and engineers began incorporating energy-efficient features into buildings, such as better insulation, passive solar design, and the use of renewable energy sources.

2. Stagflation

The 1970s marked a period of economic stagnation coupled with high inflation, commonly referred to as "stagflation." This challenging economic environment created difficulties for businesses as they faced rising costs, declining productivity, and sluggish growth.

3. Skyscraper Boom

The 1970s witnessed a boom in the construction of skyscrapers, particularly in the United States. Iconic structures such as the World Trade Center in New York City and the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago were completed during this period.

4. Environmental Awareness

Growing environmental awareness in the 1970s led to the development of sustainable design principles. Organizations like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were established, promoting green building practices and setting standards for energy efficiency and environmental impact.

5. Market Globalization

Businesses increasingly looked beyond their domestic markets and expanded their global reach. International trade and foreign investments grew as companies sought new opportunities and markets outside their home countries.

6. Technological Advancements

The 1970s witnessed significant advancements in technology, particularly in the field of computing. Businesses started adopting computer systems for various functions, such as data processing, inventory management, and financial analysis, which paved the way for increased automation and efficiency.

7. Building Regulations and Safety

The 1970s saw the establishment of stricter building codes and safety regulations in response to high-profile incidents, which resulted in improved fire safety measures and building codes in the hospitality industry.

8. Consumer Activism

Increasingly, consumers became conscious of their power as buyers and started demanding ethical practices and better product quality from businesses. Consumer activism gained momentum, forcing companies to respond to consumer concerns and adapt their practices accordingly.

9. Shifts in Labor Dynamics

The workforce experienced significant changes, with more women entering the workforce and an increased demand for skilled labor. This shift influenced company policies and practices related to diversity, equal opportunity employment, and work-life balance.

10. Financial Market Developments

The 1970s witnessed the emergence of new financial instruments and market innovations. For example, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) introduced exchange-traded options, providing investors with new avenues for risk management and speculation.
These trends in 1973 laid the foundation for future developments in various aspects of the business world and had far-reaching implications on industries, economies, and society as a whole.

A Closer Look at the Year SMPS Was Organized

U.S. Prices

New home $32,500
Gallon of milk $1.31
First-class stamp $0.08
New car $3,200
Gallon of reg. gas $0.40

In the News

Oil-producing countries launched an embargo in response to U.S. support of Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, which led to an energy crisis causing prices to skyrocket by 200% and resulted in fuel shortages.
The United States ends its involvement in the Vietnam War.
U.S. inflation rate running at 6.16%; in Canada, it’s 7.49%.
Construction is completed on the world’s tallest buildings: the World Trade Center.

Work begins on the construction of the CN Tower in Toronto.
The U.S. Supreme Court makes its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, making abortion, with some exceptions, legal.
Skylab, the first American space station, is launched.
The American Psychiatric Association officially declares that homosexuality is not a “mental disorder.”
Montreal announces Canada's first lottery to help pay for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

The first handheld mobile phone call is made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper on April 3.
The Oldsmobile Toronado becomes the first car offered to the public with airbags.
Pride Week 1973, a national gay rights event takes place in Canada.

Pop Culture

#1 Song Tony Orlando and Dawn’s “Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree”
#1 Movie The Exorcist
#1 Late Night TV Host
Johnny Carson
#1 Female Comedian Carol Burnett
#1 TV Show All in the Family


In tennis, two “Battle of Sexes” matches are held with Bobby Riggs winning the first against Margaret Court and he lost to Billie Jean King on the second match.
Jack Nicklaus won his 12th major at the PGA Championship.

George Foreman becomes the heavyweight championship in boxing.
The Super Bowl is held in Los Angeles and won by Miami.
The Montreal Canadiens win the NHL’s Stanley Cup by beating the Chicago Black Hawks.
The Baseball World Series won by Oakland Athletics.


U.S. President Richard Nixon
Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau
The Watergate scandal blows wide open. President Nixon gives his famous “I am not a crook” speech in November.