A crackdown in Poland highlighted the news on this December 22nd in 1981. The Solidarity Movement, which was gaining momentum was abruptly halted when General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law and cited a threatened intervention by Soviet forces to seize control of the country.
But on this day in 1981, resistance was persistent and news was reported from Radio Warsaw that nearly 3,000 miners had taken control of two coal mines in Silesia since the previous Thursday. Government sources were quoted as saying attempts at negotiations withe the miners was continuing, fearing a replay of a similar strike in another part of the country the week before, where 7 miners were shot and killed by government forces.
Solidarity leader Lech Walesa remained in custody and was remaining silent. Unconfirmed reports reaching Vienna said Walesa was refusing to talk to Communist authorities unless Poland’s Roman Catholic Primate Józef Glemp was involved, and Glemp was balking unless Walesa was involved in talks. And the drama dragged on.
Meanwhile, the situation in the Middle East was flaring up again, with the U.S. and Israel openly at odds over Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. The recent action caused the U.S. to suspend the recently signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement and Prime Minister Begin proclaimed the agreement cancelled, accusing the U.S. of treating Israel like a Vassal state. And on that note, Syria’s President Hafaz Assad was touring Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states, drumming up a response to the Israeli annexation move.
Back home – Florida was reported to be getting some relief from the recent cold wave, which hit the state earlier. But even so, Tallahassee was reporting plunging temperatures at night as low as 15 degrees.
And that’s a small slice of what went on this December 22nd in 1981 as reported by CBS Radio Hourly News as well as comments via Spectrum.