July 12, 1980 – A Hostage Freed, A Convention Looms, A Hijacking Thwarted
July 12, 1980 – Another busy news day, starting with the arrival home of former U.S. Embassy hostage Richard Queen, who was held along with 52 others from the Embassy takeover in Tehran. Queen was released and was reunited with his parents in Zurich and greeted by a crowd of well-wishers along with a call from President Carter. Queen, held in captivity some 250 days told reporters he held no animosity toward his captors, even though there were some brutal moments. By accounts, Queen was reported to be in excellent spirits.
In other news – the Republican Convention was slated to get underway in Detroit shortly. There was only one major question left to be answered – who was going to be Ronald Reagan’s running mate? Reagan aides, with no desire to diminish the suspense, said there was no shortening of the list of 8 or so prospects. Although one aide did let slip that George Bush was way ahead in consideration. Arriving in Detroit later on this day was for former President Gerald Ford, in town to celebrate his 67th birthday at an invitation-only party. Detroit threw a pre-convention party the night before, with thousands of people jamming the ballroom of a major downtown Detroit hotel to celebrate the city’s first-ever National Convention.
Fighting broke out again this day along the border between Cambodia and Thailand, further frustrating relief efforts for Cambodians and giving further indication to observers this war wasn’t going to end anytime soon. The fighting this time wasn’t between Cambodians and Thai/Vietnamese forces, but between Cambodians themselves engaged in bitter factional disputes.
And another attempt at airline hijacking ended peacefully on the ground in Seattle. A teenage hijacker held police at bay for some 10 hours at SeaTac Airport, demanding $100,000, parachutes, cheeseburgers, and finally a rental car which proved to be his undoing. The 17 year old, claiming to have a bomb in an attache case, commandeered a Northwest Airlines jet bound for Portland. He wanted the parachute so he could bail out of the airliner to freedom. But FBI Agents convinced the teenager that rainy Seattle weather would not permit an aerial escape. So he demanded the rental car, stipulating it had to be fast, with automatic transmission and CB radio. As the teenager made his way to the getaway car, he was grabbed by Agents and the story quickly ended.
And that’s just a sample of what went on the world, this July 12, 1980 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.