July 31, 1987 – A day full of activity, from the White House to Mexico City. Starting off with news of a horrific plane crash in Mexico city. A 1940s vintage Cargo Plane, carrying Show Horses to a Miami competition, lost power and plunged on to a busy eight-lane highway, crammed with rush-hour drivers. The plane exploded, leaving some 37 people dead, nearly all of them from the firestorm on the ground. Five of the eight people on the plane were known to have survived but fifteen of the seventeen show-jumping horses were killed, with only one escaping unhurt. Cause of the crash had much to do with a violent thunderstorm and pouring rain which had been inundating Mexico City the past week.
In other news – On Capitol Hill; after years of frustration, trying to get Congress to outlaw Federal funding for Abortions, President Reagan used his rule-making power to restrict such spending by Government-funded Family Planning clinics. The Administration invited a group of anti-Abortion activists in to hear the President say what they had been urging for years; that Federal funds for Family Planning clinics would be cut off, unless the clinics stopped telling women that Abortion was an option when an unwanted pregnancy occurred. On Capitol Hill, where debate over the issue began the day before, several lawmakers brushed off the Presidents plan as grandstanding. Although the President’s plan got high marks from abortion foes who gathered at the White House the day before, pro-abortion forces were busy preparing lawsuits, so the whole issue was expected to be tied up in the courts for many months to come.
And speaking of President Reagan – The First Nose faced minor surgery this day. The President was heading over to Bethesda Naval hospital for surgery to remove any and all Cancerous cells from the tip of his nose. Tests taken days earlier revealed the presence of Basal Cell Carcinoma, a common and rarely dangerous form of Cancer. On his way over, the President advised reporters to “stay out of the sun”.
And that’s a very small slice of what went on this last day of July, 30 years ago, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.