First, let’s recall the natal potential associated with Mercury as 3L of action and expression in the 7H of others. It gives the USA a tendency to emphasize freedom of action and expression of others (including foreigners). Mercury also rules analysis and high tech activities. This is seen most clearly during its period. It helps a lot that the USA has a very strong sun-like Sun, as 2L of status and wealth, that empowers the 7H through its placement in full strength in the MEP of this house. This benefits the indications of Mercury. Indeed, at the outset of this period, the US President Richard M. Nixon adopted a policy of “Détente“ (thaw) in its relations with the Communist block countries, the Soviet Union and China. Nixon also redoubled efforts to end the Vietnam War, even at some cost for the image of the US military. These policy changes significantly eased the dangers of the cold war for not only the countries involved but also for the whole world. We can also recall that the cold war reached its peak in the major period of 8L Saturn (1953-1972), which rules death-like experiences, such as the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962. Moreover, at this time, the Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, perhaps the most ‘mercurial’ and prolific author of all Secretaries of State, initiated “Shuttle Diplomacy“ to resolve the crisis in the Middle East in October 1972, which coincided with first oil price shock, where oil prices began to react more to market conditions. President Nixon also abolished the Bretton-Woods international monetary arrangements of a fixed exchange rate of the US dollar towards gold, which had become a burden. The era of floating exchange rates was born. Mercury is also associated with flexibility and versatility. Later in the Mercury period, in 1981, President Ronald Reagan emerged with the supply side revolution, with an emphasis to lift regulations restricting entrepreneurial activity.
I have also mentioned the transformative role of the media in national affairs as the Mercury period opened, leading to President Richard M. Nixon being compelled to leave this the highest office in the land in August 1974 after a long standing battle with the newspapers. First, there was the battle to suppress the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which emboldened the media to act independently of the government. This was a prelude to it its efforts to find out and expose criminal acts of Nixon's political dirty works outfit in the Watergate Affair. Indeed, investigative journalism became a hallmark of the newly independent press.
A technological revolution was also heralded at the start of this period, which guided developments for years to come, with notably the development of the semiconductor chip, which made the personal computer possible as well as other advances emerging in 1972 leading to the realization of email and the world wide web, which both constitute the internet as we know it today.
Another cultural expression was the fact that US citizen Bobby Fischer became a globally recognized figure for his victory in the intellectual World Chess Championship match in Reykjavik, Iceland in the summer of 1972 over the reigning Svoiet World Chess Champion Boris Spassky. As it turned out, it became symbolic of the cold war being battled out in a sports match. Indeed, a similar development was seen in the prior Mercury major period, 1853-1869, when American lawyer, Paul Morphy, toured Europe and was recognized as the greatest chess player of his time.
To this list we can add a major academic work which has been cited as prophetic about the impending social transformation associated with this period. Indeed, Mehta (2013) cites the 1973 book “The Coming of Post-industrial Society” by sociologist Daniel Bell as heralding the United States’ transition from a labor-intensive economy that produced goods to a knowledge-based one geared toward providing services.” Note also that the preceding major planetary period was that of Saturn which rules labor and low skill economic activities, also fitting the description. Indeed, this is another important socio-economic change fitting the Mercury period in the 20° Cancer rising SAMVA USA chart.