June 13, 1980 – A Mt. St. Helens Kind Of Day
June 13, 1980 – Three was the charm for Mt. St. Helens. The infamous Volcano that covered much of the Pacific Northwest in a snowy-like coating of ash and suddenly made an entire mountain disappear, gave one last blast this day. It began the previous evening, a plume of steam and volcanic ash, rising as much as 50,000 feet into the air, accompanied by an earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale with tremors that continued all the following day. Winds carried the ash to the south where it fell like a blizzard on Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon, prompting mayors of those towns to declare a state of emergency. Speed limits were reduced to 15 miles per hour as visibility on roads was reduced to 50 feet, and residents were urged to stay indoors to avoid breathing in the grey powder which coated everything.
And there was other news – leaders of the European Common Market were concluding their 2-day conference in Venice Italy with a Middle-East declaration which called for a negotiating role for the Palestine Liberation Organization in peace talks. It was generally viewed as the Common Market’s defacto recognition of the PLO. The move was emphasized as not trying to undermine the Camp David process going on, but it was clearly evident the Europeans wanted to travel their own course in the peace negotiations.
And a memorial service was held in Tokyo earlier in the morning for Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira who died earlier the previous day of a heart attack at age 70. Friends and colleagues paid homage to the late Prime Minister, each laying a single carnation before a portrait of the Ohira as a gesture of tribute to the Japanese leader.
And that’s only a small slice of what went on this day, as presented by the CBS World News Roundup and Firstline Reports.