1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year that began on a Saturday in the Gregorian calendar. This year was two seconds longer than usual, when, in addition to the shooting day, two shooting seconds were also introduced.
Kurt Waldheim takes over as UN Secretary-General
Stockholms Enskilda Bank and Skandinaviska Banken merge Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, with Marcus Wallenberg as Chairman of the Board.
January 7 - A Caravelle from the Spanish airline Iberia Airlines crashes over Ibiza, Spain and 104 people die.
January 14 - At the death of the Danish king Fredrik IX, he is succeeded to the throne by his daughter Margrethe II, who thus becomes the reigning queen of Denmark.
January 16 - Drilling for petroleum begins on Gotland.
January 21 - A tanker truck with 23 tonnes of phenol slips into the waterworks in the Jutland village of Simmerstedt in Denmark. Toxic fumes are spread, the drinking water is poisoned and 80 tonnes of farmed salmon trout are killed.
January 26 - 27 people are killed when JAT Flight 367, on its way from Stockholm to Zagreb, crashes at the town of Srbská Kamenice in Czechoslovakia after a bomb detonated on board. Croatian separatists, linked to Ustasha, take on the act. A 28th person, the flight attendant Vesna Vulović, is seriously injured but miraculously survives the fall at an altitude of over 10,000 meters.
January 27 - The first issue of the Swedish magazine Folket i Bild / Kulturfront is published with Jan Myrdal as the responsible publisher.
January 30 - 13 people are shot dead and about 50 injured during clashes in Londonderry in Northern Ireland between protesters and the British military.
February 3 - The 11th Winter Olympics are inaugurated in Sapporo with participants from 35 countries. Sweden's Sven-Åke Lundbäck, who wins the men's 15-kilometer cross-country skiing, has success.
February 17 - The number of Volkswagen bubbles sold exceeds the number of T-Fords, with over 15 million copies.
February 21 - US President Richard Nixon begins a week-long visit to China and meets Mao Zedong for the first time.
February 26 - The women's group Skärholmsfruarna demonstrates against high food prices in Sweden.
March 14 - A Carling from Sterling Airways crashes into a mountain outside Dubai on the Persian Gulf, killing 112 people.
March 23 - The Swedish Conscription Parliament dissolves into chaos and accusations of opinion registration when a person who is believed to belong to SÄPO has made notes about those who spoke.
24th of March
The British government is taking over the rule of Northern Ireland after the recent unrest.
The film The Godfather premieres in the United States.
March 31 - SJ takes its last active operational steam locomotive for passenger trains out of regular service.
March - The Swedish Constitution Committee submits its final report.
April - 5,374 people are killed in an earthquake in Qir, Iran.
April 6 - US resumes bombing of North Vietnam as North Vietnamese troops invade South Vietnam.
April 8 - The Swede Kjell Isaksson breaks a new world record in pole vault of 5.51 m and is thus the first in the world to jump over five and a half meters.
April 9 - Approximately 2,000 tonnes of oil-damaged birds are killed on the east coast of the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The oil is assumed to be due to emissions at sea.
April 16 - Following a new North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes bombing Hanoi and Haiphong in the so-called Nguyen Hue offensive during the Vietnam War.
April 21 - Apollo 16 lands on the moon.
115 people die when a DC-8 collides with a rock wall outside Palermo, Italy.
15-year-old Björn Borg will be the youngest ever to play a Davis Cup match in tennis, when he defeats New Zealander Onny Parun in his debut for the Swedish national team.
May 11 - In Stockholm, 10,000 people participate in an environmental march for a car-free inner city.
May 18 - The Swedish government issues a ban on heavy t