March 7, 1980 – Hostages And Primaries: Fingers Crossed
March 7, 1980 – Lots of finger crossing, this day in 1980. Starting with the American Embassy hostage situation in Tehran – going into its 125 day. Iranian Foreign Minister Ghotbzadeh indicated the U.S. captives would “probably be transferred” the next day from the U.S. Embassy to another location, adding with the hopes they would be treated “better’. Ghotbadeh also indicated that, once they were moved, the United Nations Commission of inquiry would be allowed to see all of them. Whether it was encouraging news or not was impossible to say, and the State Department could only describe it’s “fingers were crossed”, as for the U.S. mood at the moment. And a hope that whatever was happening in Iran could result in the release of the hostages. But nobody wanted to say anything other than the current situation in Iran was “being noted”.
Also crossing fingers was the on-going hostage drama at the Chilean Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Austrian Ambassador Edgar Selzer, whom the guerrillas released the day before because his wife was seriously ill. Returning to Vienna earlier in the morning, Selzer expressed concern that the hostages faced an extremely dangerous situation. He said that, if a peaceful solution was not worked out, he felt that the Bogota crisis could end in a catastrophic massacre.
On the other side of the world – the Presidential Primary season was going full-steam. Gerald Ford was planning on meeting soon with John Sears, the political expert recently fired by Ronald Reagan. It was the latest indicator that the former President was seriously considering jumping into the 1980 Presidential race for the Republican nomination. The suspense surrounding his “will he or won’t he” has been upstaging the upcoming Florida Presidential primary in which Mr. Ford was not even a listed candidate. But he was sounding increasingly like he may soon enter the Republican race, stressing experience and electability issues, even going as far as holding a Press Conference in St. Petersburg Florida. It all remained to be seen – the day was still young and the news was still busy.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this March 7,1980 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.