Billie Jean King won her 6th Wimbledon singles championship in 1975 and in the men's final Arthur Ashe won his first Wimbledon title. "It's about the closest I have ever played to a perfect match," said she. "Everything I hit was so close to the net she couldn't read it." Said he, "The fact that I'm the first black finalist doesn't matter. It's not a novelty any more. Nobody talks about Evonne Goolagong being Aborigine or El Shafei being Egyptian. It's passé." Also in 1975, Chiang Kai-shek, a follower of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, died. "Morality," Chiang Kai-shek had said, "is ever the mortal enemy of tyranny." Gerald Ford expressed, "His passing marks the end of an era in Chinese history."
Also in April 1975, the Himalayan country of Sikkim (pronounced sic-em) became India's 22nd state. Located south of Tibet, east of Nepal, west of Bhutan and north of Bangladesh, Sikkimese voted in a referendum reportedly organized in less than 4 days (59,637 votes to 1,496) in favor of abolishing the country's 300 years old monarchy and allowed Sikkim to be annexed into India. Chogyal (King) Palden Thondup Namgyal was removed as the constitutional head of Sikkim and declared a commoner (an ordinary citizen). Crown Prince Tenzing Kunzang Jigme was heard saying, "I am not going to be party to the liquidation of Sikkim."
In 1949 Indian soldiers intervened in the country's uprising. In 1950, Sikkim became an Indian protectorate following the signing of the Treaty of Gangtok (the capital of Sikkim). American born Hope Cooke, a Sarah Lawrence graduate and a New York and Washington, D.C. socialite became Gyalmo (Queen) in 1963. The Namgyal dynasty had ruled Sikkim since the 16th century. Wangchuk Namgyal explained in 1982, "As far as tradition and custom go there is an automatic succession. When my grandfather died, my father...instantly proclaimed himself Chogyal according to custom. The coronation took place after the one-year mourning period." Kazi Landhup Dorji Khangsarpa opposed the monarchy married English woman Elisa-Maria Langford Rae. About 75% of Sikkimese in 1973 were Nepali. The Lepchas were the indigenous people and the Bhutias were descendants of Tibetans.
In 1981 Hope published her autobiography, 'Time Change'. In it she revealed that during her marriage Palden was having an affair with another American-born socialite. "I told him I hated her, that I couldn't stand it," she recounted. But she said she later apologized for her fit of temper. "Don't feel badly," Palden reportedly said to her. "In many ways, it showed your love for me and that you're a real woman." 'People Weekly' pondered "Why did she tolerate it?" She reasoned, "I was so young and flaky then. I wasn't inept, but it took me a long time to be a responsible adult." They divorced in 1980. "I'm a different person now," she maintained. "If I'd had a sense of myself when I married, I wouldn't have lost my boundaries in Asia."