May 6, 1989 – Busy day, even for a Saturday in 1989. Starting with the weather. Tornados and thunderstorms were busy reeking havoc throughout the South. At least 16 people were reported dead as the result of tornados and strong thunderstorms that battered the South. Reports from South Carolina that three people were reported killed in Spartanburg and that more than 24 tornados had hit the area during the day. The same news was widely reported all through the region, with the number of injured in the hundreds.
Elections in Texas were underway, with four contests for Mayor taking place in the State’s biggest cities; San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth and El Paso. The race in San Antonio was shaping up to be hotly contested as Mayor Cisneros had announced his retirement, leaving the field wide open. In Dallas, local newspaper polls were giving incumbent Mayor Annette Strauss a commanding lead over challenger Peter Loesser, who was labelling Strauss “asleep at the wheel”, and claiming the only poll that counts was the one on Election day. Despite the rhetoric, turnout was expected to be a dismal 15%.
In Panama, military leader Manuel Noriega said they weren’t welcome, but the U.S. was sending a delegation of observers to monitor the elections, scheduled for May 7. Many people contended Noriega had already rigged the outcome. One prominent member of the U.S. team was former President Jimmy Carter, the other prominent member, also a former President was Gerald Ford. The Reagan Administration tried and failed to get rid of Panamanian strongman and alleged drug-runner Manuel Noriega. Now the Bush Administration was continuing the campaign, President Bush himself saying he was disturbed that the reports he was getting indicated the elections would be anything but free, fair and open. Violence was going to be a given on May 7th.
And David Webster, the White Anti-Apartheid movement leader who was gunned down in front of his home a few days earlier was laid to rest in Johannesburg. Police published artist conceptions of three white men seen in a car from which the fatal shots were fired. But so far, no arrests had been made.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this May 6, 1989 as reported on The CBS World News Roundup.