June 3, 1981 – Wobbly seemed an apt description for the world this day. A wobbly economy was sending shock waves throughout the world and caused major concerns here at home. With interest rates skyrocketing, German Chancellor Helmut warned a meeting of Parliament that the world could plunge into depression if things didn’t change and change quickly. He added the U.S. could afford interest rates of 20% for a time, but Western Europe could not without a sharp increase in unemployment. France felt the same way, as did Britain. West Germany, clearly annoyed by the situation, had no other choice than to raise their own traditionally low interest rates. But observers agreed the economic situation was having wide political overtones which could last for quite a while.
Pope John Paul II, recovering from the assassination attempt in May, finally left the hospital and returned to Vatican City. Doctors said the Pope’s condition was good, but that he was not allowed to travel for at least 60 days.
Meanwhile, a prison uprising in British Columbia was looking towards a peaceful settlement. About 100 inmate out of a total of 300 reportedly gave themselves up. The riot was sparked by unrest over pay and work conditions in the prison kitchen. About half the prison’s buildings were set on fire.
And House Democrats were caucusing on the economic issue by coming up with a compromise on the proposed Reagan Tax Cut. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski spoke to reporters about a tax cut over a two year period. White House Spokesman Larry Speaks answered that the President was willing to listen to “whatever the Democrats suggest”. “But”, Speaks added, “Mr. Reagan favors a three-year Tax Cut plan”. The White House also endorsed special Tax credits to help ease the cost of Private Education, but asked Congress to hold off such legislation until Reagan’s Tax Cut plan was approved.
That’s just a small slice of what happened, this June 3, 1981 as presented by CBS Radio Hourly News with Richard C. Hottelet and Douglas Edwards.