The big news for this November 2nd in 1979 was the death of Jacques Mesrine; France’s John Dillinger – Public Enemy Number 1 in both France and Quebec, gunned down by police as he sat in his car in a suburb north of Paris. Jacques Mesrine, who became something of a Folk-legend was wanted both in Quebec and France on an assortment of murder charges, bank robberies, kidnappings and prison escapes. Ironically, he was once decorated by French President Charles DeGaulle for bravery during the Algerian War. In Quebec, he was arrested and sent to prison on charges of murdering two Quebec Game Wardens in 1972. Following a dramatic escape he went on to commit a series of spectacular crimes before meeting his final end.
In less spectacular news – the U.S. unemployment rate inched up 2 tenths of a percentage point to 6%. The Labor Department said it represented an increase of some 200,000 jobless people, bringing the total to an estimated 6.2 million with the biggest job losses among Women and Black workers.
On Capitol Hill – Senator Sam Nunn called for a larger Defense Budget in exchange for his vote to approve the SALT Treaty with the Soviet Union. Calling on President Carter to give a “clear and unambiguous commitment for higher military spending”, Nunn went on the say the budget needed to be increased in real terms, discounting the impact of inflation by at least 5% a year through 1985.
And while that was going on, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was meeting secretly with Iran’s Prime Minister in Algiers, where both men were attending ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the start of Algeria’s War for Independence. Iran’s Pars News Agency said Brzezinski met with Mehdi Bazargan for 90 minutes, in a meetting the Iranian leader called “very important toward easing strains between Washington and Iran’s Islamic Republic.
And a Federal Judge in Tennessee dismissed a suit by Cherokee Indians who sought to hold completion of the controversial Tellico Dam. The Tribe claimed the dam would flood sacred burial grounds. But the Judge denied a temporary restraining order that would have prevented the closing of the dam’s gates. Attorneys for the group said they would appeal the decision.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this 2nd day of November in 1979, as presented by CBS Radio’s Hourly News.