January 23, 1989 – An earthquake in Tajikistan, settling down to business in Washington, and an icon of the Art World and Popular Culture died. All in a day.
The news from the Soviet republic of Tajikistan was grim. The area was hit by 6.0 earthquake, flattening villages, causing massive and widespread rock and mudslides, killing hundreds of people and burying at least one village. Reports about the earthquake remain confused. By initial estimate, some 1400 people had died. But judging from estimates of an earthquake earlier in the month in Armenia, that proved to be wildly off the mark with more than double the actual number killed. The number was sure to go higher.
Icon of the Art World and legend of Popular Culture, Salvador Dali died early this day. The Surrealist painter, one of the worlds most acclaimed 20th century artists, died at his home in Figueres Spain at age 84. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, in a message of condolence called Dali a “Universal Spaniard”. Dali was the last survivor of a trio of great modern Spanish painters – the others were Pablo Picasso, who died in 1973 and Joan Miro, who died in 1983.
In other news – a U.S. Air Force plane left Hanoi earlier this day, bound for Honolulu, carrying 25 sets of remains thought to be those of U. S. servicemen killed or missing during the Vietnam War. U.S. search teams had been conducting their largest ever operation in the former war zone, but it was not yet clear what they had found.
And with Inauguration festivities over, it was down to Business for the Bush Administration as the new White House staff was sworn in on this, the first Monday morning of the Bush Administration. Bush was on hand to give part swearing in and part pep-talk to the assembled staff, saying it was time to “get to work”. Bush outlined several priorities other than the deficit; to get rid of the “drug scourge”, to get private industry and volunteers involved in cleaning up the environment and asking for a cleaner, more ethical Presidency.
All that, and so much more for this January 23, 1989 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.