April 1, 1979 – Peace In The Middle-East – Panic In Harrisburg
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April 1, 1979 – The World This Week – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
April 1, 1979 – ending a week of wild contrasts and mood swings. The joyful news out of the Middle-East was the Egypt-Israeli Peace Accord, which had finally been agreed on, hammered out and shepherded over by Jimmy Carter. Lots of smiles, handshakes and bear hugs. Lots of pledges of “peace forever” and celebrations that bordered on the giddy. It was a crowning moment in the Middle-East peace process and the feeling that something had finally happened was infectious and universal.
Well . . .not quite. Upon learning that an accord had been reached and that Anwar Sadat and Menahem Begin were deep in the joy of the moment, Egypt was quietly being jettisoned from the Arab League – boycotts were in effect. Arab League embassies in Cairo were closed and a general feeling of betrayal overcame at least the Arab portion of the Middle-East. That feeling of betrayal extended to the Israeli hardliners though, who felt there would be no peace and that Begin, to the hardliners, like Sadat to Egyptian hardliners felt a huge sense of betrayal and a selling out of principles. Many felt this was an accord destined not to last longer than the ink on the treaty took to dry. But for now . . .
Meanwhile, the scene over at Harrisburg Pennsylvania, site of the Nuclear Powerplant accident at Three-Mile Island was heading in the panic direction. With mixed messages, no conclusive answers and no clear sign that the danger was anywhere near past, residents were packing up and fleeing in an attempt to leave while it was still reasonably safe to do so. Damage assessment was purely guessed-at, since there was no way to inspect the damaged reactor in its present condition.
There were already fingers being pointed and the crisis was far from being over – but the powers that be were falling over themselves in an attempt to paint a picture that was considerably more rosy than the reality at hand.
A week of wild contrasts with equally questionable results – in both instances, only time would tell. But the moment, that moment on April 1, 1975, there was no idea anything would be resolved and it was all up in the air.
As it was reported via CBS Radio’s World News This Week for April 1, 1975.