I have to throw in a comment, without reading (most of) the article. It was my high-school grad year, and it's hard to see a year badly through that lens of youth. But my comment is because the article pretty much doesn't apply to my life in Calgary, Canada, which was the 1970s/1980s "Upside Down".

When the rest of the continent groaned under massive recession caused by a 500% increase in the world price of oil, Calgary was delivering that oil - growing at a staggering rate, for an already-large city. Everybody who could do anything useful had a job, and wages kept going up. My high-school friends thought me mad to go into University, there were so many good construction jobs at high wages.

Then the 1980s were a decade of pain, poverty and shame for Calgary, when the price of oil fell, all the contracts ended, there were 5 pages of "dollar sales" of underwater mortgages in the Calgary Herald. The population dropped for the only time in in its history, in 1982, and the houses were down 25%. 90% of my engineering firm was laid off.

Imagine our dropped jaws and clenched fists at Reagan running on "are you better off now" in 1984. Everybody else's cheap-oil, end-of-recession joy was our lost houses.

So, picking a "best year", man, is a VERY, VERY local decision, for some localities.

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True! For a new arrival from India, fleeing suspension of civil rights by Indira Gandhi’s ‘emergency’, Canada, Quebec, Montreal all seemed peaceable, and problems appeared or were navigable.

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1976 a good year: I got a call from UofGuelph in January. I came to Canada for one year in August. And I am still here. Good.

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1976 was the year of America's Bicentennial, which I didn't see you mention in your article. To 6yo me, the adults seemed to think it was a *huge* deal. Or maybe it was just the TV shows.

Maybe that's why you're getting votes for it? The year of "Hey, we've built a pretty solid legacy."

For me personally, 1977 was better, since it was the year of Star Wars, which was transformative for young me.

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The seventies have gotten a bit of a re-evaluation in recent years, especially the music. Much-maligned disco is now hailed for having emerged from the gay community, and the backlash is attributed to honphobia and racism. (That certainly contributed, but I think simple oversaturatuon of the market killed it off, kind of like hair metal around 1991 and boy bands in the early 2000s.) It wasn't that long ago that The Carpenters, the Bee Gees and ABBA were considered hopelessly lame.

The "Super 70s Sports" Twitter account makes the seventies (and the eighties) look like an easygoing non-stop party.

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Yes Dan, I recall some of these dark things from ‘76, yet what lingers is a memory of Montreal and Canada in a remarkably peaceable time. Proving your point about how we tend to forget the harder issues we have had to face.

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