My family were a small minority that did not buy into 1975 being the end. We read the same articles and saw they were couched in language that could be interpreted either way. Likely, no doubt, apparently, etc.
We remember the scripture Matthew 24:44. If it sounds vaguely familiar it is just before the faithful discreet slave scripture.
(Matthew 24:44) . . .. 44 On this account YOU too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that YOU do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.
---------Think it is coming in 1975 then it is not. The WTS does not mention this point from 1966 to 1975 but after 1975 came and went
*** w76 7/15 p. 441 pars. 16-17 A Solid Basis for Confidence ***
16 However, say that you are one who counted heavily on a date, and, commendably, set your attention more strictly on the urgency of the times and the need of the people to hear. And say you now, temporarily, feel somewhat disappointed; are you really the loser? Are you really hurt? We believe you can say that you have gained and profited by taking this conscientious course. Also, you have been enabled to get a really mature, more reasonable viewpoint.—Eph. 5:1-17.
17 The Scriptures repeatedly tell us that the end will come as a complete surprise upon the world. The apostle spoke of this, saying: “You yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day [for judgment] is coming exactly as a thief in the night.” (1 Thess. 5:2) So that true Christians would not be ‘overtaken as thieves,’ Jesus said even to his disciples back there, and to us today: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” Thereafter he said: “Prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.” (Matt. 24:42-44) These clear statements of Jesus indicate that God’s servants will never be given the date of Christ’s “coming” for judgment until it actually takes place. In fact, it will come at what appears to them an ‘unlikely’ time.—Luke 12:39, 40.
So we will not expect to see this world’s systems grind almost to a halt or reach a state of virtual collapse as a necessary prelude to the “great tribulation.” We will not be deceived if these systems seem to make an apparent ‘comeback’ from severe crises, as if that apparent recuperation would have a postponing effect on the arrival of God’s day of judgment. We will not start ‘rebuilding’ with the world, as though this system will continue indefinitely. The apostle Paul’s inspired words at 1 Thessalonians 5:3 show that men of this world will actually be proclaiming, “Peace and security!” just before ‘sudden destruction comes instantly upon them like the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman,’ with every possibility of escape being cut off from them.
22 Clearly, then, the fact that we do not know just when the “great tribulation” will break nor when the thousand-year reign of God’s Son will begin does not lessen the need for alertness today. It greatly increases and heightens the need for being awake, watchful, ready. If we knew the exact time we might be tempted to relax and to feel that as that time drew nearer we could begin to get ourselves ready. But our not knowing requires us to be ready all the time. The whole tenor of God’s Word the Bible, and particularly the counsel of his Son, is to that effect.
(and 28 more times until 2012)