Upstaging An Inauguration With A Hostage Release – January 20, 1981

Timing was auspicious, and a bit suspicious.

Timing was auspicious, and a bit suspicious.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup + News reports via KNX-AM – January 20, 1981 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

A busy day, this January 20th 34 years ago. While pre-Inaugural balls were going on in one part of Washington for the upcoming swearing-in of Ronald Reagan, negotiations were reaching a fevered pitch in the final hours of the Carter White House. And while the Inauguration was getting ready to take place, it was announced the hostages were finally released and heading home to the U.S.

A lot of breath holding, since the amount of potential stumbling blocks were numerous. Transfer of funds, approval of banks, final consents – crossing t’s and dotting i’s before the 52 American hostages were put on a plane in Tehran and sent first to Algeria and then off to Wiesbaden, West Germany.

So while the Inauguration of the 40th President was about to take place, an eye was focused on Tehran and an Algerian jet, sitting on the tarmac, waiting to take off.

So the day was filled with reports, bulletins and pundits, and very little else. All of this January 20th in 1981 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup with reports from CBS and KNX in Los Angeles.

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