February 21, 1978 – Another strike, another shutdown. This time, the Coal Miners. Beginning in December of 1977 and with seemingly no end in sight, President Carter went to Capitol Hill and met with Congressional leaders in an effort to work out a consensus on how to stop the coal strike. The consensus was for another try at negotiation before resorting to anymore drastic action. Shuttle-style negotiations resumed, with Labor Secretary Ray Marshall meeting separately with coal miners and Union leaders, promoting the terms of an agreement the previous day between miners and an independent coal company as the basis for settling the strike. An industry source said that the operators were under a great deal of pressure to match the Independent agreement and was quoted as saying that “if there is too much foot dragging, the Administration will come down on us like a ton of bricks”. And even though Congressional leaders, who met with President Carter earlier in the day, indicated they would support any action he took to settle the strike, they were still pinning their hopes on a negotiated settlement.
Meanwhile, the Senate held its secret session earlier in the day on charges that President Torrijos and his family were engaged in drug trafficking in Panama. The locked door session continued throughout the day as Senators were hearing much more detail than that which was presented in the sanitized version presented simultaneously to reporters. But even the sanitized version confirmed allegations about a Panamanian drug connection and that members of the Torrijos family were actively involved in drug trafficking. This amid debate and votes about the Panama Canal Treaty which, despite these revelations, were slated to be appproved.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this February 21, 1978 as reported by The World Tonight from CBS Radio.