April 20, 1979 - Elections in Rhodesia
April 20, 1979 – big changes afoot in Southern Africa.

April 20, 1979 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

A day of sweeping changes, April 20th, 1979 – although at the time it didn’t seem that way. The free elections in Rhodesia were regarded as a footnote, almost an afterthought on many news programs. But it signified the first time the thought of Black-majority rule in the former minority White-ruled African colony would become a reality. And so Rhodesia went to the polls, on an election that would spread out over several days, and the course of history in Rhodesia, and in fact all of Southern Africa would be changed forever.

But there was other news. Contract talks between President Carter‘s chief economic advisers, representatives of the country’s major tire and rubber companies and the head of the Rubber Workers Union were taking place this day. Sounded good in principle, but the Rubber Workers wage increase proposal far exceeded what the Tire and Rubber companies’ guidelines were prepared for.

In Rome, a powerful explosion rocked the city and sent investigators clamoring for answers. Terrorists struck, literally at the heart of Rome early in the morning. The target of the attack was City Hall and was said to have been carried out by right-wing a right-wing extremist group called The Revolutionary Armed nuclei, which had claimed other attacks on Communists and buildings where Communists held office. The purpose wasn’t to kill anyone, but to draw attention. It got attention.

In Egypt, voting on a nationwide referendum regarding its treaty with Israel was met with overwhelming approval.

And firing squads in Iran were busy executing former associates of the Shah of Iran. Officials in Washington were now saying that Administration had changed its mind and was willing to let the Shah come to the U.S. to live, once the situation with Iran became more stable.

And that’s a small, prophetic slice of how the world was rolling, this April 20th in 1979, as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.

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