December 23, 1981 – A week of Martial Law in Poland – a week of crackdowns and a week where unrest continued. The news broadcasts beaming from Warsaw were largely repetitious claims that industrial productivity was improving. There were brief references to continued worker resistance to Martial law, and confirmation that nearly 3,000 miners in Southern Poland were continuing their sit-in strikes inside two mines, while a nearby Steel mill was also occupied by strikers. But Warsaw Radio gave much more attention to the announcement that the nighttime curfew would no longer be in effect for Christmas Eve. One broadcast said travel restrictions would also be eased for the Christmas holiday. Some problems mentioned on the radio, included the bitterly cold weather and many workers staying home from work because of illness. But Warsaw’s broadcasts to Polish sailors at sea reassured them that life at home was being normalized. However, many sailors in Western ports had jumped ship and were asking for political asylum.
Another report from Warsaw said that Prime Minister Jaruzelski was expected to make a broadcast to the Polish people before the end of the week, but that hadn’t been confirmed. And President Reagan was also expected to talk about the situation in Poland as he addressed the American people later on this day. In advance of the broadcast, Mr. Reagan was scheduled to meet with the National Security Council for the third time in as many days. Presidential counsellor Edwin Meese said Mr. Reagan was examining a number of political, diplomatic, security and economic measures that would be taken to prevent the Polish crisis from getting any worse.
And there were other situations brewing this December 23rd in 1981 – and the situation in Poland was only one of them, as reported by CBS Radio News on the Hour, along with opinions via Spectrum.