January 1, 1989 – As the world slowly rolled out of bed, partly hung-over, partly staring at just another day, it was clear we were heading into the last year of the 80s. George Bush would soon be sworn in as 41st President and The Reagan Years would come to an end. Although some quipped that a Bush victory actually meant a third term for Reagan, it was still going to be an “interesting” year. So while the world was girding up for the new year, there was still some time to take a look at the old one and to reflect what had gone on in 1988 and what we could expect in 1989.
1988 signaled the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, with troops withdrawing and leaving the country in a state of near-chaos, finally withdrawing by February of 1989. The pain of PanAm 103, the terrorist bombing of a flight bound from Frankfurt to New York, exploding over Lockerbee Scotland, was still very fresh. And even Yassar Arafat offered help in finding who did it. The 1988 Presidential Campaign was still being mulled over; counting losses and questioning tactics. 1988 was no easy year to define, but it would be par for the course from here on out, that years would be muddled and motives would be suspect. It was a preview of coming attractions to the 90s, and beyond that, the new Millennium – but that was a ways off and there were issues left to sort out and decide. The almost decade-long war between Iran and Iraq finally ended in August of 1988, but that wouldn’t be the end of hearing about Iraq, or Iran for that matter – the Middle-East would be a source of concern and speculation, as it had been for years, as it would be for years to come.
So this day was spent looking back and looking forward, by way of CBS Radio’s Newsmark presentation of “Where We Stand: 1989” as narrated by Walter Cronkite, followed by the CBS Radio Hourly News.
And here comes another year. Stay sane.