September 5, 1979 – The Royal Family led the procession through Central London to Westminster Abbey to pay final respects to “Uncle Dickie”, Lord Mountbatten, who had been assassinated some 9 days earlier by IRA guerrillas. Mountbatten, who was the nephew of Prince Phillip, had devoted his 79 years of life to the service of Britain; fighting in both World Wars, born a Prince and becoming Supreme Allied Commander in Southeast Asia in World War 2.
As a direct result of that assassination, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Jack Lynch conferred later on that day in London, following the funeral services, to discuss future cooperation between their two countries on counteracting terrorism. But hopes were not high of accomplishing anything – as it was felt the Summit would result in a political collision. Though both the UK and Ireland publicly condemned the tactics of the IRA, the 290 mile border between the two Irelands was impossible to police, allowing the Irish Republic, however unwilling, to become a sanctuary for known IRA operatives. Thatcher was still interested in presenting a list of what it wanted to achieve; better communication linkups between British and Irish armies, extradition of terrorists from the South, British police allowed to interrogate suspects held by Irish police and permission for British troops and police to chase fugitives across the Irish border. Getting any agreement was going to be tough going.
There was other news – On Capitol Hill. The first order of business to the returning Congress was expressing concern over the alleged building up of some 300,000 Soviet combat Troops in Cuba. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had scheduled public hearings this day on the SALT II treaty, but the Soviet troop situation had now taken priority.
And Hurricane David was now being downgraded to a Tropical Storm, as it headed north to South Carolina after coming ashore in Georgia the previous day. The storm turned inland at Savannah Georgia, and from there to Charleston’s Coastal communities with winds up to 90 mph with accompanying high tides, several feet above normal, leaving homes along the coast heavily damaged from wind and water.
And that’s a small slice of news for this September 5, 1979, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.