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1973 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

A Quick Look Back at 1973

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1973?

  1. The U.S. economy was plagued with high inflation, an oil crisis, rising unemployment, and the worst recession since the 1930s. The recession came about because of an OPEC oil embargo against the U.S., major government spending on the Vietnam War, a large Soviet purchase of corn, wheat, and soybeans during 1972, and a Wall Street crash that caused a bear market.
  2. Inflation tripled from 3.4% to 9.6% and put an end to post-World War II economic expansion.
  3. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler laid off 100,000 workers. Wall Street was in a bear market, and stagflation presented a dilemma for U.S. economic policy.
  4. The Senate Watergate Committee began to televise its hearings, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, and the Endangered Species Act was passed.
  5. President Nixon signed legislation that approved construction of the Alaska pipeline.
  6. Martin Cooper invented the first handheld mobile phone, and Nathaniel Wyeth received a patent for shatter-resistant beverage bottles.
  7. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was invented by a team led by John Mallard.
  8. The 110-story Sears Tower opened in Chicago, and the Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car with a passenger airbag.
  9. Sales of vodka surpassed whiskey sales in the U.S. for the first time.
  10. The “Cod Wars” continued between the UK and Iceland.
  11. The “three-day working week” was announced in the United Kingdom.
  12. Back in the year 1973, Walkie Talkies were popular Christmas gifts, Stove Top Stuffing first appeared on grocery store shelves, and the average tuition at a four-year public college was $358.
  13. Michael and Jennifer were favorite baby names, and Hamburger Helper and pasta primavera were all the rage.
  14. The Exorcist was the most popular film, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was the best-selling fiction book, and All in the Family (CBS) was the top TV show.
  15. The Sting won an Oscar for Best Picture, M*A*S*H* (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Bette Midler won a Grammy for Best New Artist.
  16. Bonanza, Laugh-In, and Mission Impossible all ended their TV runs.
  17. The Miami Dolphins were the Super Bowl champs, the Oakland Athletics won the World Series, and the Montreal Canadiens clinched the Stanley Cup.
  18. In the year 1973, U.S. unemployment was 5.6%, the average family income was $12,900, and a new house cost around $32,500.
  19. The retail price for a gallon of gas averaged 39 cents, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour, and an ounce of gold cost $106.48.
  20. Eggs were 69 cents a dozen, Oreos were 59 cents for a 19-ounce package, and peanut butter was 99 cents for a 2½-pound jar.

Here are the most popular TV shows from 1973-74:

  1. All in the Family (CBS)
  2. The Waltons (CBS)
  3. Sanford and Son (NBC)
  4. M*A*S*H (CBS)
  5. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

Here are ten food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Carrot cake
  2. Crepes
  3. Deviled eggs
  4. Hamburger Helper
  5. Jello salads
  6. Pasta primavera
  7. Quiche
  8. Spam
  9. Tab
  10. Zucchini bread

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1973. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, books, foods, sports facts, and other pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1970s-themed trivia quiz.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1973.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and historical events from the year 1973.

Table of Contents

For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1973
  2. History Facts From the USA
  3. International News
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Best-Selling Books
  7. Highest-Grossing Films
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1973-74
  9. Cool Pop Music Artists
  10. Top Music Hits for the Year
  11. Food and Beverage Trivia
  12. Famous People Born in 1973
  13. Well-Known People Who Died
  14. America’s Largest Corporations
  15. Retailers From 1973 That No Longer Exist
  16. Companies and Brands Established
In 1973, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

In 1973, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1973

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Acorn squash: 10 cents per pound
  2. Apples: 28 cents per pound
  3. Applesauce: Five 16-ounce cans for $1.00
  4. Back ribs: 89 cents per pound
  5. Ballantine Beer: Six 12-ounce cans for 99 cents
  6. Beef bones: 59 cents per pound
  7. Beef liver: 79 cents per pound
  8. Broccoli: 39 cents per bunch
  9. Butter: $1.00 for a one-pound package
  10. California oranges: 25 for $1.00
  11. California strawberries: Three pints for $1.00
  12. Canfield’s Draft Root Beer: Six 16-ounce bottles for 79 cents (no deposit required)
  13. Carrots: 19 cents per pound
  14. Cascade: Giant size for 59 cents
  15. Chicken livers: $1.09 per pound
  16. Chop suey meat: 89 cents per pound
  17. Chun King Egg Rolls: Six-ounce package for 59 cents
  18. Coca-Cola: Eight 16-ounce bottles for 79 cents (plus deposit where required)
  19. Covered Wagon Sliced Beef: Three three-ounce packages for $1.00
  20. Creamed cottage cheese: 49 cents for 16 ounces
  21. Crisco Shortening: Three-pound can for 69 cents
  22. Cucumbers: Four for 39 cents
  23. Diet Rite or Dr. Pepper: Eight 16-ounce bottles for 69 cents (plus deposit where required)
  24. Drewrys Beer: 12 12-ounce bottles for $1.79
  25. Eggs: 69 cents per dozen
  26. El Dorado Pre-Cooked Shrimp: 10-ounce package for 79 cents
  27. Folgers Coffee: Three-pound can for $2.19
  28. Frozen orange juice: Three 12-ounce cans for $1.00
  29. Gain Laundry Detergent: Giant size for 69 cents
  30. Garlic: 19 cents per head
  31. Green Giant Niblets Corn: Four 12-ounce cans for $1.00
  32. Green beans: 29 cents per pound
  33. Green cabbage: 19 cents per pound
  34. Green onions: Four bunches for 39 cents
  35. Green peppers: Four for 39 cents
  36. Ground chuck: 99 cents per pound
  37. Haddock: 89 cents per pound
  38. Hot dogs: 85 cents for a 12-ounce package of 10
  39. Ice cream (assorted varieties): 79 cents per half gallon
  40. Italian sausage: 79 cents per pound
  41. Ivory Dish Detergent: Giant size for 49 cents
  42. Kraft Salad Oil: 48-ounce jug for 99 cents
  43. Lemons: Five for 59 cents
  44. Macaroni: One-pound bag for 25 cents
  45. Margarine: 39 cents for a one-pound package
  46. Miracle Whip: 56 cents per quart
  47. Monarch Charcoal: 20-pound bag for 97 cents
  48. Northern Paper Towels: Three jumbo rolls for $1.00
  49. Onions: 19 cents per pound
  50. Oreos: 19-ounce package for 59 cents
  51. Parkay Margarine: 29 cents for a one-pound package
  52. Parmesan cheese: 95 cents for eight ounces
  53. Parsley: 19 cents per bunch
  54. Peanut butter: 99 cents for a 2½ pound jar
  55. Pork loin: 98 cents per pound
  56. Pork roast: 63 cents per pound
  57. Pot roast: 79 cents per pound
  58. Potatoes: 10 pounds for 89 cents
  59. Purex Bleach: 49 cents for a gallon jug
  60. Radishes: Four bunches for 39 cents
  61. Red plums: 39 cents per pound
  62. Roasting chickens: 39 cents per pound
  63. Sliced bacon: $1.09 per pound
  64. Sour cream: 49 cents for 16 ounces
  65. Sunshine Hi-Ho Crackers: 16-ounce box for 43 cents
  66. Swanson Chicken TV Dinner: 49 cents each
  67. Swiss steak: 99 cents per pound
  68. Tomatoes: 19 cents per pound
  69. White Cloud Bath Tissue: Two-roll package for 14 cents
  70. White bread: Five 1¼ pound loaves for $1.00
  71. Yams: 19 cents per pound
  72. Yogurt (assorted varieties): 29 cents for eight ounces
Anti-Monopoly was a popular Christmas gift in 1973.

Anti-Monopoly was a popular Christmas gift in 1973.

2. History Facts From the USA

  1. Richard Nixon was President of the United States and Spiro Agnew was Vice President.
  2. The U.S. population was 211,908,788.
  3. In 1973, Inflation tripled from 3.4% to 9.6% and put an end to post-World War II economic expansion. (The inflation rate rose to 11.04% in 1974 and dropped to 9.13% a year later.)
  4. To make matters worse, 1973 marked the beginning of a recession in the U.S. and Europe that lasted until 1975. In the United States, the recession came about because of an OPEC oil embargo against the U.S., major government spending on the Vietnam War, a large Soviet purchase of corn, wheat, and soybeans during 1972, and a Wall Street crash that caused a bear market.
  5. Because of the recession, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler closed a number of plants affecting 100,000 workers.
  6. Due to the increase in gas prices, Japanese cars with smaller engines had an impact on the U.S. auto industry.
  7. In May 1973, a gallon of gas cost 38.5 cents. By 1975, the price was up to 57 cents a gallon.
  8. In 1973, the average miles per gallon was 13. According to the EPA, “GM's fuel economy rose to 23 miles per gallon in 2017.”
  9. Watergate hearings began and Richard Nixon told the nation in November: “I am not a crook.”
  10. Archibald Cox was appointed the special prosecutor in the Watergate scandals.
  11. The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 27, 1973, ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The agreement was signed between the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong.
  12. In a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court (Roe vs. Wade), abortion was legalized.
  13. On November 16, 1973, President Nixon signed legislation that approved construction of the Alaska pipeline.
  14. The Endangered Species Act was passed.
  15. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was invented.
  16. Nathaniel Wyeth received a patent for shatter-resistant PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles. Over the years, the PET bottle has replaced the glass bottle for many consumer products including alcohol, beer, cooking oils, household cleaning agents, juice, personal care items, soda, water, and wine.
  17. An ounce of gold was $106.48.
  18. The minimum wage was $1.60 per hour.
  19. The average household income was $12,900.
  20. The average home price was $32,500.
  21. The average monthly rent was $175.
  22. The prime rate was 9.75%.
  23. The mortgage interest rate was 8.82%.
  24. The Consumer Price Index was 44.4.
  25. Unemployment was 5.6%.
  26. The Dow Jones high for 1973 was 1,051; the low was 788.
  27. Federal spending was $245.71 billion.

3. International News

  1. Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark join the EEC.
  2. The “Cod Wars” continued between Great Britain and Iceland.
  3. The Bahamas gained independence from Great Britain.
  4. Syria and Egypt attacked Israel on Yom Kippur.
  5. The “three-day working week” was announced in the UK

4. Sports Trivia

This information has been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us. Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions and answers are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. World Series Champions: Oakland Athletics
  2. NFL Champions: Miami Dolphins
  3. NBA Champions: New York Knicks
  4. Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadiens
  5. NCAA Football Champions: Alabama & Notre Dame
  6. NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
  7. U.S. Open Golf: Johnny Miller
  8. U.S. Tennis (men/women): John Newcombe/Margaret Smith Court
  9. Wimbledon (men/women): Jan Kodes/Billie Jean King
  10. Kentucky Derby: Secretariat
Stove Top Stuffing first appeared in U.S. grocery stores in 1973.

Stove Top Stuffing first appeared in U.S. grocery stores in 1973.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1970s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture.

  1. For the first time in U.S. history, women were allowed to serve on juries in all 50 states.
  2. Life expectancy at birth was 71.4 years.
  3. The first metric-distance road signs in the United States were posted between Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio.
  4. Carl Sontheimer invented the Cuisinart.
  5. Motorola engineer Martin Cooper invented the first handheld mobile phone.
  6. The Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car to have airbags.
  7. Average college tuition at a public four-year school was $358 and $1,561 at a private four-year school.
  8. The Sydney Opera House opened.
  9. The Sears Tower opened in Chicago and was the tallest building in the world until the Petronas Towers in Malaysia was completed in 1998.
  10. Popular baby names were Amy, Jennifer, Kimberly, Michelle, Christopher, James, Jason, and Michael.
  11. Miss USA was Amanda Jones (Illinois).
  12. Miss America was Terry Meeuwsen (Wisconsin).
  13. The cost of a Super Bowl ad was $88,000.
  14. Popular Christmas gifts included Anti-Monopoly, Raleigh Chopper bikes, Dungeons & Dragons, Pente, and Shrinky Dinks.
  15. Time Magazine’s "Man of the Year" was John Sirica.
  16. Actor Allan “Rocky” Lane died. Between 1961-1966, he was the voice of the talking horse on the television show Mister Ed.
  17. American playwright William Motter Inge also passed away. He was the author of film classics like Picnic, Splendor in the Grass, and Bus Stop.
  18. English author and poet J.R.R. Tolkien died. He was the author of “high fantasy” works such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
  19. Promise Margarine and Stove Top Stuffing first appeared on U.S. grocery shelves.
  20. Flame seedless grapes first appeared in American grocery stores.
  21. California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) was founded in Santa Cruz, California.
  22. For the first time in U.S. history, sales of vodka surpassed whiskey sales.
  23. H.J. Heinz was unable to fill ketchup orders to McDonald’s because of a tomato shortage.
  24. Colman's Mustard celebrated its 150th anniversary.
  25. The following television shows ended their runs in 1973: Bonanza, Laugh-In, Mission Impossible, and The Mod Squad.
  26. The following television shows premiered in 1973: Kojak, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, and The Young and the Restless.
  27. The most popular CDs in 1973 were Brothers and Sisters (Allman Brothers), Chicago VI (Chicago), Goat’s Head Soup (Rolling Stones), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John), and Living in a Material World (George Harrison).
  28. Academy Award winners included The Sting (Best Picture), Jack Lemmon (Best Actor), Glenda Jackson (Best Actress), and George Roy Hill (Best Director).
  29. Grammy Award winners included Bette Midler (Best New Artist) and Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly with His Song (Best Pop Female Vocal, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year)
  30. Emmy Award winners included Masterpiece Theatre: Upstairs, Downstairs (PBS, Best Drama), M*A*S*H* (CBS, Best Comedy), Alan Alda (Best Actor in Comedy), Mary Tyler Moore (Best Actress in Comedy), and the Carol Burnett Show (Best Variety).
  31. A first-class stamp cost $0.08.
  32. Airmail was 10 cents per ounce.
  33. A postcard cost $0.05.
  34. A Ford Galaxie 500 cost $3,883.
  35. An AMC Javelin was $2,900.
  36. A walkie-talkie set cost $13.88.
  37. An eight-track stereo tape player was $44.50.
  38. A crock pot cost $17.79.
  39. A pair of men’s paisley slacks was $23.49.
  40. A metal ice cube tray cost 91 cents.
  41. A Raleigh Triumph bicycle was $97.95.
The Exorcist was the most popular film of 1973.

The Exorcist was the most popular film of 1973.

6. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

  1. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  2. Once Is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann
  3. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
  4. The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth
  5. Burr by Gore Vidal
  6. The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
  7. Evening in Byzantium by Irwin Shaw
  8. The Matlock Paper by Robert Ludlum
  9. The Billion Dollar Sure Thing by Paul. E. Erdman
  10. The Honorary Consul by Graham Green

7. Highest-Grossing Films

This movie news has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. The Exorcist
  2. The Sting
  3. American Graffiti
  4. Papillon
  5. The Way We Were
  6. Magnum Force
  7. Live and Let Die
  8. Robin Hood
  9. Paper Moon
  10. Serpico

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1973-74

1. All in the Family (CBS)

2. The Waltons (CBS)

3. Sanford and Son (NBC)

4. M*A*S*H (CBS)

5. Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

6. Maude (CBS)

7. Kojak (CBS)

8. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (CBS)

9. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS)

10. Cannon (CBS)

M*A*S*H (CBS) was a popular television show in 1973.

M*A*S*H (CBS) was a popular television show in 1973.

9. Cool Pop Music Artists

These fun facts and trivia from 1973 have been made available courtesy of Pop-Culture.us:

Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Barry White, Billy Preston, Bobby Womack, The Carpenters, Dawn featuring Tony Orlando, Diana Ross, Donny Osmond, Eddie Kendricks, Elton John, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Helen Reddy, The Jackson 5, James Brown, Jim Croce, Joe Simon, Johnnie Taylor, Kool & the Gang, Curtis Mayfield, Love Unlimited, The Manhattans, Marvin Gaye, Maureen McGovern, The O'Jays, Paul McCartney & Wings, Paul Simon, The Spinners, The Staple Singers, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, The Stylistics, The Temptations, Three Dog Night, Tower of Power, and War

10. Top Music Hits for the Year

These history facts from the American music industry have been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com:

  1. Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, Tony Orlando and Dawn
  2. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Jim Croce
  3. Killing Me Softly With His Song, Roberta Flack
  4. Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye
  5. My Love, Paul McCartney and Wings
  6. Why Me, Kris Kristofferson
  7. Crocodile Rock, Elton John
  8. Will It Go Round in Circles, Billy Preston
  9. You're So Vain, Carly Simon
  10. Touch Me In the Morning, Diana Ross
  11. The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia, Vicki Lawrence
  12. Playground In My Mind, Clint Holmes
  13. Brother Louie, Stories
  14. Delta Dawn, Helen Reddy
  15. Me and Mrs. Jones, Billy Paul
  16. Frankenstein, The Edgar Winter Group
  17. Drift Away, Dobie Gray
  18. Little Willy, Sweet
  19. You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Stevie Wonder
  20. Half-Breed, Cher
  21. That Lady, Parts 1 & 2, The Isley Brothers
  22. Pillow Talk, Sylvia
  23. We're An American Band, Grand Funk Railroad
  24. Right Place, Wrong Time, Dr. John
  25. Wildflower, Skylark
Charms Blow Pop, a candy and bubble gum in one, was branded in 1973.

Charms Blow Pop, a candy and bubble gum in one, was branded in 1973.

11. Food and Beverage Trivia

Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1973:

  1. Black forest cake
  2. Carrot cake
  3. Cheese balls & logs
  4. Crepes
  5. Deviled eggs
  6. Hamburger Helper
  7. Hungry Man Frozen Entrees
  8. Jello salads
  9. Koogle - A peanut spread in flavors like cinnamon, banana, vanilla, and chocolate. Koogle was released by Kraft in 1971 and became an immediate hit among children due to its wacky commercials.
  10. Pasta primavera
  11. Quiche
  12. Spaghettios
  13. Spam
  14. Tab
  15. Zucchini bread

12. Famous People Born in 1973

  1. Seth MacFarlane: Actor, filmmaker, and singer
  2. Adrien Brody: Actor and producer
  3. Tori Spelling: Actress, television personality, socialite, and author
  4. Juliette Lewis: Actress and singer
  5. Heidi Klum: Model, television personality, businesswoman, fashion designer, singer, television producer, author, and actress
  6. Neil Patrick Harris: Actor, writer, producer, comedian, magician, and singer
  7. Pharrell Williams: Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, performance artist, and fashion designer
  8. Kate Beckinsale: Actress
  9. Dave Chappelle: Stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer
  10. Tyra Banks: Television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, former model, and occasional singer
  11. Ichiro Suzuki: Former professional baseball outfielder
  12. Monica Lewinsky: Activist, television personality, fashion designer, and former White House intern

13. Well-Known People Who Died

  1. William Nolde: Last U.S. soldier killed in Vietnam
  2. Wallace "Wally" Cox: American comedian and actor (Mister, Underdog, Peepers, Hollywood Squares)
  3. Pearl S. Buck: American author (Good Earth)
  4. Murat "Chic" Young: U.S. comic strip artist (Blondie)
  5. Noel Coward: English playwright (Private Letters)
  6. Ralph Miller: 19th century baseball player (Brooklyn Bridegrooms & Baltimore Orioles)
  7. Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.: U.S. tire manufacturer
  8. Elizabeth "Betty" Grable: American singer, dancer, pin-up girl, and actress (I Wake Up Screaming, How to Marry a Millionaire, Gay Divorcee)
  9. Richard Marshall: U.S. Army General
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien: British author (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings)
  11. Paavo “Flying Finn” Nurmi: Athlete who won six Olympic gold medals
  12. David Ben-Gurion: Founding father of Israel
Quiche was a real crowd-pleaser in 1973.

Quiche was a real crowd-pleaser in 1973.

14. America’s Largest Corporations

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Chrysler
  6. IBM
  7. Mobil
  8. Texaco
  9. ITT Industries
  10. AT&T

15. Retailers From 1973 That No Longer Exist

Ames, Arthur Andersen, Bonwit Teller, Crazy Eddie, E.F. Hutton, Eastern Airlines, FAO Schwarz, Fashion Bug, G.C. Murphy, General Foods (not to be confused with General Mills), Howard Johnson’s, J.J. Newberry, McCrory’s, Montgomery Ward, Paine Webber, PanAm, Sam Goody, Service Merchandise, TWA, Thom McAn, Venture, Waldenbooks, Woolworth’s, W.T. Grant, and Zayre.

Here are 21 grocery store chains from 1973 that no longer exist:

A&P, Alpha Beta, Bell Markets, Big Bear, Cala Foods, Dominick’s, Fazio’s, Food Fair, Grand Union, Great Scott, Jitney Jungle, Loblaws, Lucky Stores, Mayfair Markets, National Tea, Pantry Pride, Pathmark, Penn Fruit, Pick-N-Pay, Thorofare, and Waldbaums.

16. Companies and Brands Established

Startups included Arctic Circle Air, Argos, Baymont Inn & Suites, Billabong (clothing), Bimota, Bird’s Eye, Cablevision, Chapman’s, Cherokee Inc., Compuware, Crabtree & Evelyn, Expro, FedEx, Glen Dimplex, Good Guys, Lipper, Louisiana-Pacific, Men’s Wearhouse, NHS, Inc., RE/MAX, Republic Airlines, Roots Canada, Viking Air, and Wellby Super Drug.

Mission: Impossible (CBS) ended a seven-year run on March 30, 1973.

Mission: Impossible (CBS) ended a seven-year run on March 30, 1973.

References

© 2018 Gregory DeVictor