Suddenly, the landscape was awash with thankful billboards.
Suddenly, the landscape was awash in thankful billboards.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio: The World This Week – February 3, 1980 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

The big news for the week which ended on this February 3rd in 1980 was the successful escape of 6 Americans who had barely avoided being part of the 50 other Americans held hostage in Tehran were finally smuggled out.

The 6 Americans, who were working in the U.S. Embassy at the time of the attack, escaped out the rear and eventually fled to the Canadian Embassy where they were hidden for some 3 months before an opportunity arrived. When Canada closed Embassy operations, the Americans were given Canadian Diplomatic passports with forged Iranian exit visas, and they were headed home.

The daring escape prompted the U.S. to shower Canada with gratitude and appreciation. Thank-You billboards sprung up all over the U.S. and President Carter phoned Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark and expressed his thanks publicly to the Canadian government and people for their support.

Iran as was expected, wasn’t pleased, calling the move deceitful and a violation of International Law. But also as was expected, nobody paid any attention.

Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan was bolstering calls for a stronger U.S. defense. On a visit to India, Presidential envoy Clark Clifford took the opportunity to issue a warning to Moscow, that if it the Russian plan was to move to the Persian Gulf, that would be considered an act of War. However Secretary of State Vance, seeking to tone down the saber-rattling chided Clifford, saying he wouldn’t have chosen those words.

In other news this week – China and Japan joined in the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow as did a few other nations. Opposition to a new registration for the Military Draft gained momentum, with demonstrations against the move springing up all over the country. It prompted Presidential hopeful Ted Kennedy to roundly condemn the action as a sign of Cold War II and a badly considered solution by the Carter White House. He also called for immediate gas rationing along with wage and price controls.

A bribery scandal was developing on Capitol Hill. Treasury Secretary William Miller came under fire when the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Textron, the company Miller worked for, had actively solicited bribes, and had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign companies when Miller was running the firm. At his confirmation hearing two years earlier, Miller denied any Textron bribes. But asked recently if the story was still true, Miller admitted he got his information from senior members of Textron and was mistaken. The FBI was saying it had evidence that several top government officials, including a Senator and several Congressmen may have taken bribes as well. Shocking, I tell you!

And the Entertainment world lost one of its most legendary and iconic figures. Comedian and Personality Jimmy Durante died this week at the age of 86. He was hugely popular throughout the 1930s to the 1950s and beyond. He was one of the first big stars on Radio as well as the Vaudeville Stage and later in film. He also had a very successful recording career.

All that, and a lot more for the week that ended on this February 3rd in 1980, as presented by CBS Radio‘s The World This Week.

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