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September 16, 1982 – A day of mourning in two different places for two entirely different reasons. In Beirut, the mourning was for the assassination of Bachir Gemayel, the President of Lebanon. Gemayal was democratically-elected president on 23 August 1982 by the majority of Christian and Muslim MPs while the country was torn by civil war and occupied by both Israel, Syria and Palestinian factions. Gemayel started enacting policies to disarm Christian militias, ordered the Lebanese Army to enter West Beirut for the first time since the start of the war and forced Yasser Arafat and the PLO to leave Lebanon. On 14 September, before he could take office, he was assassinated, along with 26 others, when a bomb exploded in Beirut Phalange headquarters. While some have accused Habib Tanious Shartouni, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation blamed the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). Gemayel was the youngest elected president and one of the most charismatic and controversial figures in Lebanese history.
And in another part of the world, Grace Kelly, the former Hollywood icon, now Princess Grace was lying in state as thousands of people lined up to give their farewells. Princess Grace died at Monaco Hospital on September 14, 1982, succumbing to injuries sustained in a traffic collision the day before. After her death the French physicians treating her reported that a CAT scan had revealed she had suffered two brain hemorrhages. The first occurred prior to the crash, and is believed to have been the inciting incident that led to the crash. The second, suffered while in hospital, is believed to have been the result of physical trauma sustained in the crash. At the time of her death, she was 52 years old.
Grace Kelly was an American film actress who after starring in several significant Hollywood films in the early- to mid-1950s became Princess of Monaco by marrying Prince Rainier III in April 1956.
And President Reagan was attending a gathering of Black Republicans in Washington D.C. in an effort to allay fears that the GOP was turning its back on the issue of Civil Rights and to take advantage of the forum to attack Congressional Democrats for not taking action on his Urban Enterprise Zone proposal. He accused them of playing blatant politics which, in his words, was a “disgrace”.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on in the world, this September 16, 1982 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup and the 9:00 am network news.