Got themselves a hostage.
Got themselves a hostage.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Hourly News – February 20, 1979 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

News for this February 20th in 1979 started with a volcano and ended with a hostage crisis.

The volcano in question erupted in Indonesia, with initial reports putting fatalities at 155 and thousands driven from their homes. Mt Sinila in Central Java which last erupted some 20 years earlier. Some 9,000 villagers were being evacuated and full emergency aid programs were in effect.

And according to diplomatic sources, a U.S. Marine guard was abducted during the Embassy storming in Tehran earlier in the week. The Marine was taken by Revolutionary Guerrillas, who plan to put him on trial for murder. He was reportedly charged with killing three of their comrades when the attack on the embassy took place. The State Department confirmed the report and said the Marine was in the hands of forces loyal to Khomeni, but weren’t completely sure. They nonetheless hoped Sgt. Kenneth Krause would soon be freed.

It was reported in Jerusalem that long-secret contacts between the Shah of Iran and Israel were revealed. The Shah had been in contact with the Israeli government as late as January, saying he knew an overthrow was afoot and sent an urgent message to Israel asking for help. But the sources close to the Israeli government said they refused; that Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan said it was a lost cause and The Shah would be ousted.

A new round of Middle East Peace talks was slated to begin at Camp David later on that week. Hopes were high it would lead to a Second Camp David Summit.

Hawaii was getting record rainfall since the beginning of the year, with the latest storm bringing an estimated inch an hour. Rescuers were busy getting people out of their homes in low-lying areas. The forecast for the rest of the week; more rain.

And Mardi Gras was cancelled for the first time, due to a Police Strike which caused the festivities to be put on hold. The City of Baltimore was closed, with a dusk-to-dawn curfew in place as the city struggled to dig out of record snow.

Never a dull moment, this February 20th in 1979 as reported by the CBS Radio Hourly News.


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