January 22, 1982 – Another day in history, loaded with contrasts. Starting with this day in 1982 being the 9th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on abortion. Roe V. Wade brought out the demonstrator in everyone. The Anti-Abortion forces were busy setting up rallies and meeting with President Reagan. And Abortion forces were busy setting up rallies and being shunned from meetings with President Reagan. All in all, it was the same battlefield and the same arguments. But the fact of the matter was, Legalized Abortion was still the law of the land, as it had been since 1973 – there was nothing in the cards that was going to indicate otherwise.
Indicating otherwise was the tenure of Reagan Adviser and longtime friend Lyn Nofziger, who got his walking papers on this day. The acknowledged “outsider”, who had a habit of rubbing White House staff the wrong way, and purportedly being a social embarrassment for First Lady Nancy Reagan was relieved of his current duties as Presidential Adviser and quietly allowed to leave. Nofziger, who had been a close associate and friend with the President since 1966, and who did an admirable job when Reagan was victim of an assassination attempt a year earlier, had collected just too many enemies within the Reagan camp to be considered an asset to the Reagan Administration.
And despite rosy economic news, with reports that the rate of inflation wasn’t as bad in 1981 as first reported, there were still places like Pontiac, Michigan who were struggling with creeping unemployment (at some 23% for whites and considerably more for blacks), a mass exodus of retail outlets and a generally bleak outlook. Pontiac was singled out, because this was the city the Super Bowl XVI was to be played. The Detroit suburb went all out to present a favorable picture, with temporary stores and businesses appearing where only days before were abandoned and boarded-up shops – giving a quaint and prosperous air to a town that was anything but. Since Pontiac was a Auto-manufacturing town, it was hoped the Car industry would come back. And maybe, just maybe, seeing Pontiac on national television would bring some good luck.
And that’s a small slice of what went in this world for January 22, 1982, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup, Newsbreak and the 9:00 Network news.