Images from Havana brought a wave of rattled nerves on Capitol Hill.

Cuba Redux – September 8, 1979

Images from Havana brought a wave of rattled nerves on Capitol Hill.

Images from Havana brought a wave of rattled nerves on Capitol Hill.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Hourly News – September 8, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Shades of October 1962, this day in September 35 years ago. A flurry of reports claiming the presence of Soviet troops on Cuban soil brought a wave of paranoia sweeping over Capitol Hill.

All of this prompted the White House, along with Senate Majority leader Robert Byrd, to appeal for calm in the handling of the latest crisis. Byrd cautioned a Washington News conference not to jump to conclusions about the troops and he saw no link to their withdrawal to ratification of the SALT II treaty which was to take place by Senate vote in November. But many couldn’t help conjure a Missiles Of October scenario in their heads at the mere mention of Soviets and Cuba in the same sentence. Ironic, since a meeting of non-aligned Nations was going on in Cuba – and their current set of debates had to do with whether or not to throw Egypt out of the Union because of its treaty with Israel.

Meanwhile, in other news. Reports from Paris confirmed the body of actress Jean Seburg was found slumped over the the drivers seat of a car parked in the Right Bank district. She had been missing for 10 days and her death was suspected to be a suicide.

Former director of CBS News and later vice-Chairman of NBC, Richard Salant voiced stiff opposition to the Fairness Doctrine of the 1979 Federal Communications Act. He called it an “abominable disservice”, saying the doctrine worked against democracy because, as he stated “it keeps the electorate from becoming fully informed about the major candidates in elections”. The doctrine stipulated that all candidates for office may ask for equal time if one candidate gets air time. Salant said the policy would keep news organizations from airing “important broadcasts before elections”.

And peace talks were scheduled to begin in London regarding the situation in Zimbabwe Rhodesia.

Another day of Miracle and Wonder, this September 8th, 1979 as presented by CBS Hourly News.

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