March 15, 1985 – Three Days – Three Kidnappings In Beirut
March 15, 1985 – News of the latest kidnapping of a Westerner in Beirut. This one, AP Correspondent Terry Anderson, abducted by three gunmen earlier in the morning and taken away in a Green Mercedes. As of news time, no group was taking responsibility for Anderson’s abduction, nor was there a statement regarding Anderson’s kidnapping, and no word on where Anderson was being taken. It was the latest in a series of kidnappings and was largely responsible for most Western news gathering organizations’ journalists to leave Beirut. The exodus from the Lebanese capitol in the face of a rebellion against the government of Amine Gemayal by Christian militias in East Beirut included American diplomats, with eleven more being helicoptered away to Larnaka Cyprus earlier in the day to join 18 others who were ferried to the island in the previous two days.
Meanwhile, Syria was moving troops and armor to the edge of Lebanon’s Christian areas. The Syrian Defense Minister said the show of force was an effort to assist President Gemayal against the pro-Israeli militia rebellion.
And a little further east and south, the Iran-Iraq War was taking on vengeful overtones. A powerful bomb leveled a building in Baghdad, sending Iraqi warplanes into Iran in retaliation, striking six Iranian cities including Isfahan and Tabriz. And although there was no official mention, reports from various sources said the Iraqi planes had also attacked Tehran.
And Raymond Donovan left his office in Washington, having resigned after four stormy years as labor Secretary in the Reagan Administration. He was returning home to New Jersey to face trial on fraud and larceny charges. The White House would be searching for a squeaky-clean replacement for Donovan, who was shadowed by scandal almost from the day he took office. There were reports, never proved, that Donovan’s New Jersey construction company had long standing connections with organized crime and the previous year, a Grand Jury indicted Donovan and nine others on charges of defrauding the State government out of $7 million in a subway construction contract.
That’s just a small slice of the news that went on, March 15, 1985 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.