Budget Day In Washington – Aborted Peace Talks – The Wilmington 10 – January 23, 1978

Wilmington 10
Wilmington 10 – the racism that wouldn’t go away.

– CBS World News Roundup – January 23, 1978 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

January 23, 1978 – a day like any other on Capitol Hill – a day too familiar in Tel-Aviv and a day of skewed justice in Wilmington North Carolina.

Starting with Capitol Hill where it was Budget Day with President Carter introducing his budget for fiscal 1979.It was the first complete budget in the Carter administration and was the largest budget in any administration. Not many surprises – the biggest chunk of the budget went to Health, Education and Welfare with a major increase in Education funds to help teach disadvantaged children reading, writing and arithmetic. The next biggest chunk went to National Defense, which also had a significant increase in spending for 1979. The President went out of his way to assure critics that he went out of his way to cap Defense spending, which was a selling point in his Campaign and he was pledging to keep that pledge. In comparison the President Ford’s projections for 1979, it was considerably smaller. Fingers were crossed.

From the Middle East came word that, once again, peace talks between Israel and Egypt had been aborted and Prime Minister Menahem Begin was slated to address Parliament later on this morning to explain why. Foremost was the issue of not rejoining military talks with Egypt unless that country desists from pursuing, Begin called, its “campaign of vilification against Israel and the Jewish people”. He also was scheduled to say no to a resumption of Egyptian/Israeli Political committee talks, unless its made perfectly clear that the talks would be resumed without pre-conditions. He was however, eager to appeal to Sadat to let “bygones be bygones” and to resume negotiations as quickly as possible.

And in the case of The Wilmington 10, a decision was slated to be reached later on this day. The Governor of North Carolina asked for media time to explain and announce his decision on the lengthy and controversial prison sentences given to the Wilmington 10. The Governor promised to review the case when all State appeals were exhausted. The case became a political football for North Carolina and an embarrassment to President Carter who is striving to make Human Rights an International issue. Amnesty International added the names of the Wilmington 10 to its worldwide list of Political Prisoners. The nine Blacks and one White were sentenced to 28 years each in connection to the fire bombing of a convenience store in Wilmington in 1971. Witnesses have come forth saying they lied in the original trial in return for promises of jobs, money and gifts. Numerous Church and Civil Rights groups have made the release of the Wilmington 10 a top priority.

And that’s how much of it went, this 23rd of January 1978 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.

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