A day where activity of all sorts was on the rise – August 4th in 1978.
The good news was a surprise surge in the Stock Market, spreading a wave of giddy over Wall Street. No one was exactly sure why, but the day before was the single biggest jump in the NYSE ever, and fingers were crossed the same would happen on this day, but experts were not expecting the opening session begin with what was characterized as a “gap-opening” in the market – the same as what happened the day before, which set off all the fireworks. And even though the chance of something like that happening again were slim, and stock prices could slip, hopes were that stock prices would eventually go higher. Wall Street had its collective fingers crossed.
The not-such-good-news was the sudden surge in unemployment figures – 6.2 % in July , which was up from 5.7% in June. The numbers of people at work also declined because of the jobless rates among teenagers and women. However, the White House was upbeat and said the job picture was brighter than it was in January.
The bad news was the sudden upsurge in fighting along the Vietnamese/Cambodia border, going along with fears the Cambodians were enlisting more help from China, and that a bigger war was in the offing. Reports too, of a sudden surge in refugees into Thailand from Cambodia were adding fuel to the speculation, as fighting was intensifying.
In other news: Reports of President Carter‘s continuing efforts at reforming the Civil Service System. News from Britain that former leader of the Liberal Party was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He was accused of plotting with three others to kill former Male Model and onetime friend Norman Scott. Thorpe resigned his post with the Liberal Party in 1976, following allegations he was romantically involved with Scott. Unconfirmed reports from Vienna said that Soviet Russia was demanding the return of Arkady Shevchenko, who held a top post at the UN until he defected, in exchange for the release of jailed dissident Anatoly Sharansky, who had been sentenced to a long prison term on espionage charges.
As well as Middle East flareups, inclement weather in Texas and the mounting problem over a cement shortage in Los Angeles all came together to make August 4th in 1978 another in a series of head-scratching days, as reported by Dallas Townsend and The CBS World News Roundup.