April 9, 1980 – Another complicated day in relations between Tehran and Washington. Today it was the threat that the hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran were to be executed – unless Washington agreed to the ever-changing terms and agreed not to take any military action. The student/militants went on the radio and voiced the threat and added that the deaths of the hostages would be the fault of the Americans and not them. The U.S. State Department had no comment – this was Day 158. But America wasn’t the only place Tehran was venting its spleen – Iraq was getting a blast from Iranian Foreign Minister Ghotzbadeh, who said Iran was ready to overthrow the B’aathist regime of Saddam Hussein, but it didn’t elaborate how that was going to happen.
Israeli armored troop carriers rolled into Southern Lebanon earlier in the day, two days after a terrorist attack on a border Kibbutz.
New York’s Transit Strike – day 9 had its ugliest rush hour so far – gridlock everywhere – thanks to an early morning downpour and commuters, who regularly took Busses and trains, to resort to their cars, clogging up everything.
Mt. St. Helens was showing off again – three moderate-sized earthquakes in an hour. It was the sharpest rise in activity since things started moving the previous month.
And the original home – the birthplace of Woody Guthrie was demolished by a vandal wielding a sledgehammer. Taking a few sharp whacks at the largely derelict four-room shack, dislodging a beam causing the tiny ramshackle house to collapse. The historic birthplace of one of Americas Greatest folk singers was getting ready to be restored and turned into a museum celebrating the singers life. But vicious protests to the move were made by the local townspeople, who swore up and down that Guthrie was a Commie. refused to support a restoration to take place. All of that changed, when someone decided to do the demolition themselves. The city of Okemah, Oklahoma gave the owner of the shack, Earl Walker who bought the place a decade earlier for $7,000 a choice; to either restore it or tear it down. But since it had already collapsed, restoring it was a non-starter.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this very busy April 9, 1980 as viewed by CBS Radio News.