January 12, 1982 – The situation in Poland was escalating into a war of words, with the Reagan administration threatening more sanctions against the Soviet Union and Poland. So far, only economic sanctions have been imposed, but at a news conference in Brussels earlier in the day, Secretary Of State Alexander Haig indicated the White House was ready to pose more stringent sanctions if necessary. Not saying exactly what those sanctions were, Haig did add that Washington was willing to pursue a more constructive path, if Moscow was willing to reciprocate. Haig went on to say that the events in Poland had a significance far beyond the tragic fate of that country. While at the NATO meeting in Brussels, it was unanimously agreed that the Soviet Union bore a heavy burden and responsibility for the Polish crisis and they threatened Moscow with heavy economic reprisals and decided on limited economic steps against Poland. Haig had words of praise for members of the NATO alliance before heading off to Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
President Reagan was expected to make an announcement later on this day, which was sure to be met with excitement in Puerto Rico. Anticipated was Reagan’s full endorsement of Statehood for the tiny island. The President was already on the record as being personally in favor of statehood; it was a position he made clear during the campaign. But he said all along that it was a matter of self-determination, that it should be decided by the Puerto Rican people. Reagan was expected to take it one step further, to back a recommendation for a referendum on the question of Statehood. A recent poll showed the majority of Puerto Rican voters in favor of statehood. But in the last local election, the pro-Statehood party just squeaked by – however, most observers felt the majority of Puerto Rican’s favored Statehood.
And it was Day Number 3 as a Cold wave swept across the Eastern half of the U.S. – with Buffalo New York digging out from a record 25 inches of snow, the worst in Buffalo since 1977. Roads were closed everywhere from New York to Ohio. And centalFlorida wasn’t immune, with temperatures expected to drop to a record 28 degrees or lower, lasting 6-10 hours in the orange groves.
And that’s just a little of what was going on, this January 12th in 1982, as presented by CBS Radio News On The Hour.