March 20, 1999 – Jones And Piccard Break Balloon Flight Record – Flight Attendants Strike Averted – Peacekeepers Leave Kosovo.
March 20, 1993 – A day of celebrating – Balloonists Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard broke the worlds record by flying a hot-air balloon around the world in 20 days, passing over their starting point and continuing on to finally land in Egypt on the 21st. After taking off from the small Swiss village of Chateau d’Oex on March 1, the pair headed south to Africa and, communicating with meteorologists and a control center in Geneva mostly by fax, caught rides in a series of jet streams that carried them 25,361 miles to their final landing in Egypt on the 21st.
In other news – Flight attendants were jubilant as first word of a contract settlement with America West Airlines, the country’s 9th largest airlines. 2,400 flight attendants had threatened a walkout, but they came to a settlement with Federal mediators in Washington just hours before a strike deadline. On to a rank-and-file vote.
The last of the International peacekeepers left Kosovo as violence between Albanian rebels and Yugoslav-led Serbs increased. The U.S. was giving Serbian leader Milosevic a week to end fighting before airstrikes were to begin.
And, as was the custom on Saturdays (as March 20th fell on a Saturday in 1999), President Clinton delivered his weekly radio address. The subject was gun violence and a summit was taking place in the White House to tackle the problem. Steps had been taken in recent months to curb the rise in violence and the President reported that, in some communities, the crime rate had dropped 20%; the lowest in a generation, gun crimes had dropped by some 25% and gun murders had fallen by a third.
All that, and a lot more for this Saturday March 20, 1999 as presented by CBS Radio News On The Hour.