January 20, 1989 – inauguration day, and the swearing in of the 41st President. Former vice-President George H.W. Bush was poised to take over the Oval Office, the one being vacated this day by his predecessor Ronald Reagan. The two finished up a last minute, final meeting before heading out to the ceremonies.
And the crowds came, all 140,000 of them, flowing on to the West front grounds of the Capitol to witness the swearing in and the start of a new Presidency. And at the time of this newscast, it would be in an hour.
There was other news – This day also marked the 2nd anniversary of the kidnapping of Anglican envoy and hostage negotiator Terry Waite and a prayer ceremony was taking place. Waite was working to free hostages in Beirut when he was kidnapped and held for ransom. Members of Waite’s family called on the Bush Administration to put the hostage release on top priority of its agenda.
Beleagured Wall Street firm Drexel,Burnham,Lambert made an offer to former Ambassador to the Netherlands John Shad to become chairman of the company. Shad was considered a “Mister Clean” to boost the company’s nefarious image. Drexel pleaded guilty the previous month to Securities fraud and agreed to pay a $650 million fine.
The latest medical bulletin on the condition of renowned surrealist painter Salvador Dali wasn’t good. Hospital spokespeople in Spain said the 84 year old Dali was in critical condition and that his heart trouble was complicated by pneumonia.
And temperatures in Fairbanks Alaska fell to 40 below zero overnight, making it the coldest January morning Fairbanks had seen in a very long time.
And that’s just a slice of what went on, this rather hectic January 20, 1989 as reported by CBS Radio‘s News on the Hour.