On this September 29th in 1980, news was about the Iran-Iraq War, which was heading into its second week.
Iraq claimed to be winning, advancing some 60 miles into Iranian territory. Tehran didn’t dispute the claim, but said it would fight until the last man was standing. The night before, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein made an address in which he said Iraq would stop the fighting if Iran gave up all disputed border territories and complete control of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, the oil route over which the war was largely being fought and the return of three islands in the Straits of Hormuz which were seized by the Shah of Iran in 1971 when Britain pulled out of the region. The last demand was a new one and it was largely felt Iran would be hard pressed to accept the conditions. But at the moment, Iraq was in the drivers seat and in a position to dictate terms.
The UN Security Council, who were in no position to dictate anything, urged the two countries to stop fighting, but there was a sense of futility in the gesture, what some referred to as “spitting into the wind”.
Meanwhile, the economic fallout of the war was being felt to the tune of some 3 million barrels of oil a day lost to the fighting.
And Election ’80 was still going full-speed. President Carter was scheduled to return to New York to campaign. New York was a crucial state and a needed win if Carter was to be re-elected. Carter lost to Ted Kennedy in the 1980 Primary, and it meant a lot of campaigning and arm-twisting.
Republican candidate Ronald Reagan was preparing to leave Los Angeles for a cross-country swing that would take him back to Washington later in the week. Independent candidate John Anderson was busy campaigning in the Capitol.
Six members of a militant neo-Nazi group were arrested in West Germany in connection with the Oktoberfest Bombing in Munich, but five were already released for lack of evidence. As of this day, 12 people had died from wounds received from the blast and authorities were fearful more of the 213 injured would be added to the list. The neo-Nazi group, responsible for the terrorist attack routinely carried out commando tactics in the Bavarian hills, preparing for a Hitler-like power takeover. The pipe bomb, containing nearly two pounds of explosives, went off prematurely, killing the terrorist instantly as well as 6 people at the crowded main entrance of the Oktoberfest grounds. It was not known why the traditional Oktoberfest celebration was the target of the terrorists. An anonymous phone call tip came, saying the group responsible was the same as the ones who carried out the attack on the railyway station in Bologna, Italy, killing 82 holiday travelers.
And violence was reportedly on the rise in Zimbabwe, Rhodesia – harbinger of things to come.
All that, and a lot more via The CBS World News Roundup for September 29, 1980.