January 25, 1980 – To Boycott Or Not To Boycott
January 25, 1980 – News for this day was mostly about the upcoming Summer Olympics in Moscow and the snag it hit by way of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan weeks earlier. The Carter White House was looking for all sorts of punitive measures to take against the Russians in protest the move and in addition to sanctions, the White House eyed the 1980 Summer Olympics as a possible bargaining chip in putting pressure on Moscow to remove its troops from Afghanistan.
In initially running with the idea, key members of the US Olympic Committee voiced a possibility of moving the Olympics to another country and another venue. That seemed like a possibility, albeit difficult because it would require a lot of effort to get any former Olympic site up and running. But when President Carter suggested the U.S. boycott the Olympics altogether, it was met with resistance. USOC President Robert Kane announced that the situation hadn’t come to that possibility, yet. The International Olympic Committee was expected to meet on the issue in the coming weeks during its meeting in Lake Placid New York, the site of the Winter Games. However, the head of the IOC said moving the Summer Olympics was out of the question. Canada was the first country to say that, if the Olympics can’t be moved from Moscow, they would support a boycott if Russian didn’t comply with a withdrawal by February 20th. Fingers were crossed over the outcome.
In other news – another earthquake in Northern California. This one was stronger than the one that hit earlier in the week. Property damage was reported in the San Francisco area with a roof collapse at a supermarket – no one was hurt.
Senator Ted Kennedy temporarily halted his Presidential campaign to get briefings from the State Department over the Afghanistan situation as well as the CIA on the Soviet Union and the Arabian Peninsula. Kennedy reiterated that he had no intention of dropping out of the race and that he was planning on using the briefings as a “thoughtful commentary” to be delivered at the beginning of the coming week. On the Republican side, Senator Bob Dole was considering the possibilities of dropping out of the 1980 Presidential race after a last place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
All that and much more, as well as a half-hour documentary on the state of the U.S. Auto industry as it stood in 1980 by way of the monthly Newsmark radio series from CBS Radio News.