October 3, 1979 – News reminiscent of an October in 1962. Cuba again. This time no missiles, but Soviet troops and military equipment on the island, making for a nervous situation brewing. The issue on this day was whether or not President Carter‘s address the previous night over the situation would have any bearing on the SALT II treaty and its ratification, then in the Senate. The White House hoped it had. That Mr. Carter‘s various measures to counter the Soviet presence had eased Senatorial concern. Some Senators had different feelings, as did Mr. Carter’s predecessor, Gerald Ford who severely criticized his handling of the situation, saying Carter was the first U.S. President to accept the presence of foreign hostile forces in the Western Hemisphere, and the first, Mr. Ford added, to be “stonewalled by the Soviets without objections from the White House”. Mr. Ford disagreed with Fidel Castro, who said that it was Ford and three previous Presidents who had no objections to Soviet troops in Cuba. Ford said he was never informed of any Soviet brigade in Cuba during his time in office. Ford also said he wasn’t angling to be the GOP Presidential candidate in 1980 – even though he wouldn’t say no if asked.
Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II was maintaining a furious pace as he continued his whirlwind visit of the U.S. with a schedule that would leave most people gasping for breath. First was a visit to Boston and then to New York with scheduled meetings with Priests and Nuns at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And then an address to School Children at Madison Square Garden, followed by a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. The day began with an address to an overflow crowd at Battery Park. It followed a mass the night before at Yankee Stadium and was slated to leave later on in the afternoon for Philadelphia where he was scheduled to do it all over again.
And that’s a little of what went on, this October 3, 1979, as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.