October 26, 1981 – First Line Report – CBS World News Roundup – Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
October 26, 1981 – Turmoil and protest this day. Poland was experiencing the latest crackdown and attempt at silencing/banishing Solidarity, with troops and police fanning out over urban and rural with the object of “preserving economic order” throughout Poland. The Jaruzelski government was keen on stifling protest because inability to control the population of Poland meant intervention from Moscow, and a replay of Prague or Budapest was not eagerly anticipated, especially since Russian military were massed on the Polish border earlier in the year as a means of intimidation. So the military and police were engaged in preserving order, but it was only the tip of the iceberg and the situation in Poland was only getting started.
Also sweeping across Europe this day were mass protests in Western Europe, with some cities reporting gatherings of upward to a million protestors, all against the presence of Nuclear weapons deployed by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union as deterrents against a potential showdown. It didn’t help matters any that the Reagan administration finally got around to appointing an Ambassador to Moscow. The first nine months of the Reagan Whitehouse saw no representation of the U.S. anywhere on Soviet soil. And this was a matter of some agitation on the part of the Soviets, who saw Reagan stalling as a tactic. The new ambassador was Arthur Hartman who arrived in Moscow with a briefcase full of tough talk. A sure sign relations between Washington and Moscow weren’t going to be candy and roses.
And the Senate was getting ready to vote on selling AWACs planes to Saudi Arabia. The Reagan Administration was very much for it but some on both sides of the aisle were concerned this might not bode well for future relations with Israel.
All that, and the continuing and unfolding story over Poland were just a small part of the news happening on this October 26th, 1981 from CBS Radio.
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