Rumsfeldia: Fear and Loathing in the Decade of Tears
This time line is a continuation of Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72.
Last edited by Drew; November 23rd, 2012 at 11:34 PM..
Would it be too much of a bother if you could put all of 'Gumbo' on finished timelines though? Gets kind of hard to go through all the comments.
[At high school,] Rumsfeld openly professed to friends that he intended to be president of the United States someday. “He wasn’t bragging or boasting,” (said a classmate) “It was a statement about something he was going to achieve. He believed in himself and his mind was set.”
- quoted in Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules, p.28
“They’ve always built Rumsfeld up as being a great wrestler. But he wasn’t. Rumsfeld, I think, was just a plugger. He would keep coming after you even when the final verdict was no longer in doubt.”
- Roger Olsen, A Turning Point. (A book about the Princeton University wrestling team in the 1950’s).
“No one wishes to injure adequate defense action in the event of an enemy attack or an emergency of similar gravity. But it must not be forgotten that the concept of emergency is elastic.”
- Donald Rumsfeld, senior thesis about Presidential Powers, Princeton University, 1954.
The Rumsfeld Administration January 20, 1981
President: Donald H. Rumsfeld
Vice President: W. “Jack” (Jackson) Edwards
Secretary of State: Jeanne Kirkpatrick
Secretary of the Treasury: Jonathan J. Bush
Secretary of Defense: John Connally
Attorney-General: Robert “Bob” Dole
Secretary of the Interior: Strom Thurmond
Secretary of Agriculture: Whitney MacMillan
Secretary of Commerce: Gerald R. Ford
Secretary of Labor: Hugh Gregg
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare: Raymond P. Shafer
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Thomas Kuchel
Secretary of Transportation: John Fishwick
Secretary of National Intelligence Coordination and Oversight: William P. Casey
Secretary of Energy: Malcolm Baldridge
White House Staff:
Chief of Staff: Richard B. Cheney
National Security Advisor: Daniel O. Graham
Deputy National Security Advisor: William Van Cleave
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Jack Kemp
Special Counsels to the President: Grover Norquist; Richard Darman
White House Counsel: William Wilkins, John Roberts (Assistant)
Chairman – President’s Council of Economic Advisors: Douglass C. North
Press Secretary: Bernard Shaw
Deputy Attorney-General: Robert Bork
Solicitor General of the United States: Antonin Scalia
Assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel: Samuel Alito
Deputy Secretary of State: Elliott Abrams
Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs: Thomas Enders
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Policy: Jeremiah Denton
Deputy Secretary of National Intelligence Coordination and Oversight: Paul Wolfowitz
Director of Central Intelligence: Dr. Fred Charles Iklé
Director of the FBI: Thomas C. Smith
Director of the Federal Counter-Terrorism Bureau: Alexander Haig
Chairman - Securities and Exchange Commission: Paul Kolton
Director of the Environmental Protection Agency: Barry Goldwater Jr.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Phillip E. Coldwell
United States Ambassador to the United Nations: Richard Pipes
United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union: George P. Schultz
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom: Charles Percy
United States Ambassador to NATO: John F. Lehman
The Inaugural Address of President Donald Rumsfeld
Senator Tower, Mr. Chief Justice, President Wallace, Vice President Edwards, President Truong and my fellow citizens.
Today as we step forth into a new decade so we begin a new era in our country. For the best part of the last ten years our nation has been troubled by economic woes and uncertainty about our future. Today that stops. Today we renew the call to move America ahead as a leader of the world in economic prosperity and in the cause of global freedom. The nineteen seventies are done and with them we cast aside the gloom which has hung over them.
We all know too well the failures of the decade now closed; scandals, economic woes, a lack of clear direction at the head of our nation and a sense that the future was slipping through our fingers. These are the bad things. But let me remind you also of the good things of the decade now past, the things which speak to America’s resilience as a free and prosperous nation.
We won the war in Vietnam. For too long many naysayers said the cause of freedom in Vietnam was impossible and our struggle for it unwinnable. Yet today the Republic of Vietnam is a free nation and we are joined here by the democratically elected President of that nation. The way was hard and the struggle long, but America’s fighting men perceived through the darkness and the turmoil to win for the righteous cause. This we accomplished in the so-called lost decade of the nineteen seventies.
Through the resolve of our leaders, and through the commitment of our people, we kept the Middle East free of Communist tyranny. Ordinary Americans, like New Jersey National Guard corporal Walter B. Willis – who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country in Syria and for whom our joint services base there is now named – stepped forward to carry the struggle for freedom as their fathers and grandfathers had before them. Throughout the so-called lost decade, over-and-over again, ordinary, patriotic Americans showed the world of what stern and solid stuff this nation is made.
One of my predecessors once said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, and this is as true now as then. Only our own fear will stop us, for as a nation and as a people, we are unstoppable in the face of opposition or adversity. America is at its best when the odds are against us and the fight is righteous. So it has been throughout our past, and so it shall be again.
As I swear the time-honored oath to assume this great office, I cannot help but be aware that these United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained recessions in our national history, unseen since the 1930’s. Some cry like Henny Penny that the sky has fallen and that this recession – or depression as they would have it – proves that capitalism has failed, and that free enterprise is dead.
To this negativism and Socialist babble I say – No!
The economic system has hit a bump in the road not because it has failed, but because we as the stewards of the nation, as the keepers of this democracy, have lost sight of the meaning of freedom and self-reliance. In short, we, my fellow citizens, have failed the economy by relying too heavily on the hand of the state to control the invisible hand of the market, to the point where we have not improved the markets, or made them fairier, but have so distorted the free market that the hand of the state has crushed the economy. Big government is why we are in the seemingly endless recession we find ourselves in today. Big government caused inflation, and high taxes, and systemic unemployment by strangling the market. For decades now we have been lead to believe that big government is the knight on the white horse who will save our future. Instead we have learned that big government is the menacing dragon bent on our destruction. We will never end this recession until we deal with the issue of big government, but once we have conquered big government, then prosperity will return. Together, my fellow citizens, we will slay that dragon and set free once more the tides of prosperity and freedom which have made American capitalism the envy of the world.
We will begin today, at the conclusion of this very address. At that time I will sign a series of executive orders which will immediately clear away big government mandated price and wage controls which have long held our economic well-being hostage to big government regulators. Today, with this hand, I will begin the process of slaying that dragon. In the days to come I will sign more executive orders to unsnarl more twists and knots put into the system by big government regulators which have weighed our nation’s entrepreneurs and business down like anchors. I shall be sending bills to Congress to bring a wholesale change in the anti-entrepreneurial, anti-prosperity agenda of big government regulation. Then our fortunes will change, as the shackles upon prosperity are broken away, and the success of free enterprise will once again drive our economy into a new era of sustained growth and action.
To that end, to unfettering our economy from the anchors which tie it down, we must stop the reliance on big government which has allowed us, for decades to pile deficit upon deficit in a senseless and self-absorbed scramble to mortgage our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.
You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?
We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding—this administration, unlike several that have gone before it, will act and act decisively to end this destructive habit.
We will not fix these problems in a day, or in a thousand days, or not perhaps even by the time of the next election, but if we ignore them they will continue to fester, so we will address them, and over time we will see the success that comes from freeing up our economy.
But our fortunes, and our very freedoms, are threatened not only by economic woes, but also by a perilous world that eagerly awaits any opportunity to smother freedom and hope in the name of ideology and aggression. Our first challenge in preserving a free nation is to ensure that we live in a world where our freedom is respected and our nation secure from foreign encroachment and military intrigue.
Freedom can endure in the face of hostility, if the free people are willing to fight for that freedom and, when necessary, like Corporal Willis and thousands of dedicated young Americans like him, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve it as a way of life.
Let us look at the Republic of Korea, an impoverished and devastated nation three decades ago, which now has a growing economy which is leading its people to prosperity. How is this possible? Certainly with the support of the United States, but also because the free Korean people have been willing to stand-up for freedom, and in defence of democracy have built a large and increasingly more capable armed force with which to defend freedom. Let us look at the Republic of Vietnam, where the same has occurred over the last decade. These two freedom loving nations, and others like them, show us that where there is not only a will to be free, but a determination to remain free in the face of the forces of tyranny and destruction, then a free people can survive and prosper and the forces of tyranny can be held at bay.
But, to preserve freedom, it is not enough to hold tyranny at bay. We must remember that the Korean demilitarized zone, or the wall between Hong Kong and China or the wall dividing Germany, these do not represent stability or victory. They are the lasting symbols of our failure to secure freedom and they remind us that we have yet to accomplish the goal of vanquishing tyranny. They remind us not that the cause of freedom has boundaries, but that we ourselves have failed to secure a free and peaceful world, and this we must change.
The situation in Arabia, where one Soviet client nation, Iraq, has invaded and occupied two sovereign nations highlights our failure. Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were allies of the United States and our partners in the fight for freedom against Socialist tyranny. Yet did we raise a finger to their defence? No, we temporized, as the forces of Marxist-Leninnist tyranny snuffed out their people’s freedom. And then what did we do? We entered into endless negotiations demanding nothing and conceding our strength to a weaker but more determined foe.
In the past no nation would have dared to incur America’s wrath by acting with such reckless aggression against a neighbor. That this could occur, and that the occupation could continue for more than a year, is the clear warning of our national failure. That his happened was the result of the failure of a generation of American leaders, who have allowed our strength and moral conviction to wane to the point where our potential adversaries question our very resolve as a nation. This is a trend we must stop.
Unlike the British in 1938, when they clung to appeasement as another rapacious dictator carved-up helpless Czechoslovakia, we cannot step back and say “this is a distant people about whom we know nothing.” Iraq today stands astride of nearly a quarter of the world’s known oil reserves. Our security and economic well-being are affected, and so we must act to reverse this unlawful aggression.
Let us look to Israel, which has fashioned from the desert a democracy in the heart of tyranny and hostility. There stands a nation which understands the values and aspirations of our founders. For too long we have, as a nation, abandoned our one true friend in the Middle East – the only democracy in that region – in a quest for the fool’s gold of false hope in the courts of despots and dictators. Our power and strength have ebbed in a tide of compromise and uncertainty; our strength will return once our adversaries and friends alike understand where we stand on the critical issues. Just recently Israel demonstrated its resolve by using its air force to destroy the potential threat of a nuclear-armed Iraq. Israel did not hesitate in the face of danger; it did not wait for mushroom clouds to appear above its cities before it acted to destroy the threat.
This administration will support Israel, including the expansion of settlements, as a move to spread democracy and order in an area of the world so often torn by chaos, strife and repression.
It has become fashionable in some quarters to question if America is right to stand for freedom in the world; indeed as some would have it we are the enemies of freedom and not its champion. This is an insidious moral acid that eats away at our self-esteem, or will, and which over time has infected our very top policy making bodies. Once America was feared by our enemies and respected by our allies. Today, we live in a world where the image of America has become so debased that our enemies believe that they can attack our diplomats on the street without fear of reprisal. I say to them, to those who attack Americans anywhere at anytime, be afraid. We will avenge these attacks, we will find who did it and we will inflict a price for this transgression. America will be respected once more by our friends, and our enemies will know better than to pick a fight with us, because it will be one they cannot win.
Freedom is today threatened around the globe. The iron curtain that once stretched from Stettin to Trieste has now bent west across the Alps to the Atlantic. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France have all fallen to the pernicious influence of Communism or its Socialist fellow traveller in the last seven years. The old Europe of the Hapsburgs and Lafayette is now in danger of being dragged behind the curtain and into Leninist serfdom. In Asia, madness has gripped Peking, where just fifteen months ago a man devoid of reason and human understanding unleashed the most horrid of weapons – the nuclear bomb – on his own people. Not even Hitler or Stalin reached this level of depravity. And all the while he festers in his homicidal mania behind the walls of the Forbidden City in Peking his minions conspire to do his will by dumping tons of poison on our streets in an effort to infect our population with the insidious moral acid of addiction. This is not just an act of terror, not just an abomination, it is a direct challenge to the power and the authority of the United States by a power-mad despot, and it is one we will not shy away from. We will meet this challenge, we will bring this despot to answer for all that he is done, and we will restore order to the Pacific.
But it is not enough to hold this one lunatic in Peking responsible for all the evils of the world, for despite his heinous and abominable crimes, he is but a symptom of the larger problem – a problem called Marxist-Leninism which holds sway over nearly half the land mass of this globe, and which is the true source of evil and despotism upon this planet. To overcome this problem it is not enough that we secure freedom in the United States, or in London, or Tokyo or Munich. We must endeavour to bring the tide of freedom to Belfast, to Lisbon, to Havana, to Peking , to Warsaw and even to Moscow. Only then will the world be secure.
Throughout last year’s campaign I spoke often of the need to guard against unknown unknowns – the things we do not know we don't know, but which can strike at us at any time. We must endeavour to be in a position where, unlike the hapless victims of Kwangsi, the unknown unknowns don’t first appear as a mushroom cloud over one or all of our cities.
To this end my administration will work to fix our economy, since a strong and free market is the essential requirement of a strong and free nation. We will reverse the policies which have weakened our military, and we will re-build our intelligence capability so that the unknown unknowns grow smaller as our knowledge and capability becomes ever better.
Once more America is called on to be the arsenal of democracy, and as we did in World War II and in Vietnam, we will persevere until freedom is won and tyranny defeated. America will be free and we will be secure in our freedom.
In closing I say God Bless you my fellow citizens, and God Bless America.
From Anonymous – Behind the Fortress Walls
Yuri Valdomirovich Andropov, his grey skin hugging his skeletal frame, looked up from the translated text of the American President’s inauguration speech with a steely gaze, his red rimmed eyes as sharp and focused as they had ever been when he was in better health.
“Well, Comrades. I see the question as this,” the General Secretary said in a voice stronger than it had been in months. “Do we wait for them to bring the war to us at a time of their choosing, or do we bring a war to them at a time of our choice?”
Rumsfeldia: Year One – The Job He Always Wanted
Monday, January 26, 1981
Lewis I. “Scooter” Libby, Karl Rove, Lee Atwater and Stacey C. Koon are appointed as special assistants to White House Chief of Staff Dick Cheney. They soon become known as “Cheney’s Hatchet Squad.”
Wednesday, January 28, 1981
Arabian rebels under Mahrous Bin Laden attack the Qatif oil facility, causing major damage and tying down Iraqi troops.
February – June 1981
Over the course of the spring session of Congress the Rumsfeld Administration, working with Republican leaders in Congress brings forward several of President Rumsfeld’s inaugural measures requiring Congressional action:
A proclamation urging Congress to cut its pay – which was converted into a more sweeping measure to cut the pay of federal officials. An implementation for professional civil servants and employees was immediately actionable. Those for political appointees at the sub-cabinet and Cabinet level and for the President and Vice President had to be directed to begin with the next term for each office, as directed by Constitutional restrictions on changing pay during a term. Similarly Judicial pay-scales had to be adjusted for future appointments and not current judges. Congressional members could vote to cut their own pay, and at the end of the process were placed in a position of having to take some measure in line with everyone elses’ pay-cuts, lest they appear to be favouring themselves. These measures were highly popular with voters generally, as the Rumsfeld Administration knew from polling conducted during the transition period.
An Act requiring the Commissioner of the IRS giving small businesses a one-year tax holiday: there were very few members of Congress of any party (apart from the Socialist Workers Party) who were ready to stand against tax breaks for small business.
An Act requiring NASA to privatize or outsource its activities: this was more controversial, and widely opposed by many Democrats and some Republicans who had been around during the years of NASA’s greatness. Sen. Ted Kennedy in particular denounced the measure as “destroying the great work of a generation of American engineers, scientists and destroying a generation’s greatest achievement in the name of blind, narrow minded cost cutting. This is not government acting responsibly, this is irresponsibility on a national scale. Space is the frontier of all our people, it’s exploration and development is the pinnacle of a combined effort of government, industry and science. To cut government from the equation and leave the future of our space program to whims of private corporations, whose values are those of the bottom line and not the national good, is to invite the ruthless destruction of our science and our lead in this great effort.” Despite the opposition of Kennedy and others, the measure (widely supported by the Libertarians in particular) passed the Senate 60 – 40 and the House of Representatives 230 – 215.
President Rumsfeld: “Our liberal critics see one government running one space program which produces one result – a bloated, expensive space program which this nation can ill afford. By turning space over to the creative minds of the private sector, and making it a truly competitive enterprise like our other transportation sectors, then the discipline of competition and genius of the free market will produce for us a truly lean, efficient and effective space program devoid of the block think imposed on it by government acting alone.”
President Rumsfeld cancelled further Skylab launches (he was convinced that the U.S. was getting diminishing returns from these missions and they weren’t worth the cost) and authorized only a maximum of two test launches for the shuttle program at this point.
An act that eased the “Gavin taxes” on imported oil and reduced federal restriction on domestic oil pricing: was generally popular in oil producing states and among oil consumers who would see their gasoline and heating oil prices drop. As with the small business tax this was hard to oppose politically, and only a few voice, notably those of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA) were raised against it. The act passed both Houses of Congress with significant majorities.
An act to merge the Departments of Commerce and Labor: was more controversial, and support more directly divided along conservative-versus-liberal lines, as moderate to liberal legislators fought to retain both departments. In the end the Republicans, supported by conservative Democrats and the Libertarians, pushed these measures through. The act called for a new Department of Commerce and Labor to be in place by January 1, 1982. (In the end Secretary of Commerce Gerald Ford retired and Secretary of Labor Hugh Gregg was elevated to the new post of Secretary of Commerce and Labor).
An act to faze the Education portion out of the Department of Health Education and Welfare: This one passed with a coalition of Republicans, Christian Values members and Libertarians and no Democratic support. As of January 1982 the department was renamed the Department of Health and Responsible Communities [HRC], and the Secretary re-titled the Secretary of Health and Responsible Communities.
An act to cut block grants to states in areas of “discretionary spending:” failed. While it had broad support among the Republicans and Libertarians in Congress, this measure directly attacked funding for states, and as such state Governors of all parties got involved in opposing this as a direct attack on their own budgeting powers. Many Republican members reacted to home state pressure and moved away from the Rumsfeld Administration on this, and as such by June 1981 this act had not made its way out of committee study.
Still, as a legislative agenda for a President who had been elected with less than 40% of the popular vote, a 7-1 success rate was sufficiently impressive. More importantly, on 6 out of 8 initiatives the Rumsfeld Administration had managed to split the Democratic Party in Congress into regional and ideological blocs, giving support to the conservative Democrats from the sunbelt in return for their support of the Administration. (Republicans were dismayed by how many Southern Democrats President Rumsfeld appointed to the federal bench in his first year in office, for example. Southern Democratic members who went along with the President also found themselves as favoured as Republicans when it came to distributing federal largess in their districts.). There were splits among Republicans as well, but the President was less concerned with soothing liberal Republicans than he was with winning over conservative Democrats.
We The People supported the first two measures but opposed the other six.
The Libertarians were among the supporting coalition in all of these measures, and in many respects key to the 7-1 success rate, especially on the unpopular effort to end the Education responsibilities of the federal government. They also pushed hardest for the end of discretionary bloc grants and were least resistant to home state pressure on this point, however their support was not enough in this case. President Rumsfeld rewarded them with a few White House meetings and a few Libertarian recommended federal appointments as well.
Although Libyan intervention enabled Goukouni Oueddei to win militarily, the association with Gaddafi created diplomatic problems for GUNT. In January 1981, when Goukouni and Gaddafi issued a joint communiqué stating that Chad and Libya had agreed to "work for the realization of complete unity between the two countries", an international uproar ensued. Although both leaders later denied any intention to merge their states politically, the diplomatic damage had been done.
Throughout 1981 most of the members of the OAU, along with France and the United States, encouraged Libyan troops to withdraw from Chad. U.S. demands were blunt, calling on Libya to withdraw altogether, but commitments in China and in Southern Africa prevented the Rumsfeld Administration from carrying though on anything more than a covert support action for the anti GUNT factions. One week after the "unity communiqué", the OAU's committee on Chad met in Togo to assess the situation. In a surprisingly blunt resolution, the twelve states on the committee denounced the union goal as a violation of the 1979 Lagos Accord, called for Libya to withdraw its troops, and promised to provide a peacekeeping unit, the Inter-African Force (IAF). Goukouni was skeptical of OAU promises, but in September he received a French pledge of support for his government and the IAF.
But as Goukouni's relations with the OAU and France improved, his ties with Libya deteriorated. One reason for this deterioration was that the economic assistance that Libya had promised never materialized. Another, and perhaps more significant, factor was that Gaddafi was strongly suspected of helping Goukouni's rival within GUNT, Acyl Ahmat, leader of the Democratic Revolutionary Council (Conseil Démocratique Révolutionnaire or CDR). Goukouni feared Acyl because he and many of the members of the CDR were Arabs of the Awlad Sulayman tribe. About 150 years earlier, this group had migrated from Libya to Chad and thus represented the historical and cultural basis of Libyan claims in Chad. By contrast the U.S. backed FAN was in chaos since the assassination of Hussein Habre and represented little real threat to GUNT.
Goukouni and Gaddafi also feared the growing power of the PJO in Mali. Although Gaddafi had made a side deal with the PJO, whereby they left him alone in return for pay-offs and the occasional delivery of recruits (mostly Islamist opponents of the Libyan and Chadian governments expelled to Mali), neither leader felt secure with the militants on their border.
After the Gulf of Sidra incident with the United States in July, Gaddafi decided to annex Chad after all. In mid September 1981, despite protests from the OAU and the French, Gaddafi moved to annex Chad, seizing N’Djamena, and forcing his erstwhile ally Goukouni into an uneasy exile in Sudan and then Zaire, where he was chased by Libyan hit squads. (Unlike the ones feared in Washington at the end of 1981, these were very real). 1981 ended with Libya occupying over 90% of Chadian territory and the Libyan leader Gaddafi being regarded as an international pariah.
President Mitterrand in particular reached a determination by December 1981 to get rid of Gaddafi, though he was loathed to share the project with the Rumsfeld Administration.
Gaddafi meanwhile, made a new deal with the PJO. He turned a blind eye to their using Chadian territory for training and basing, and provided continued assistance for their de-stabilization efforts in Niger, in return for continued PJO neutrality toward Libyan forces and interests. At the same time he moved Libyan troops into portions of northern Niger, creating a buffer zone along his southern border.
Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, and many of the west African states surrounding Mali and Niger were all displeased with these developments and made various representations to Paris, Washington, London and even Moscow about that fact. Mauritania was particularly moved to sign a security and friendship treaty with the Soviet Union in order to receive East German and Czech support troops.
The Soviets in turn signalled their disapproval to Gaddafi of his support for the PJO (and indirectly his actions in Chad and Niger which made the deals with the PJO politically expedient). However, the most immediate response was to increase the price of the arms the USSR sold Libya. Since Gaddafi bought them, even at the inflated prices, the flow of hard currency had the reverse of the intended effect. As long as he was buying arms at the inflated price, Gaddafi was supporting the Soviet economy with hard currency. Of course, he was re-selling some of the arms to the South Africans, not because he supported their cause, but they paid an even higher price (often in gold and uranium) which in turn off-set some of Libya’s outlays.
It is worth noting that the Israelis, who also sold arms to the South Africans, began back channel supports to Libya, not because they liked or trusted the virulently anti-Israel Gaddafi, but because they concluded that eventually Libya would be compelled to go to war with the PJO, and they wanted Libya sufficiently well armed to win that fight. (Dr. Ickle and William Casey took a similar view; much as they despised Gaddafi, the thought of the PJO gaining control of a costal nation was enough to persuade them that the United States needed an ally of convenience if not like in the area – the Soviet move into Mauritania reinforced this notion).
Most of 1981 in Southern Africa is characterized by a war of attrition between the combined forces of South Africa and Rhodesia, backed by the United States and various mercenary units. The ZPLF forces, backed by the national armies of Zambia, Botswana and Angola engage in a guerrilla war, while their opponents strike back with attacks on bases and supply lines. The United States contributes advisors with long experience in Vietnam, logistical and material support. The U.S. also provides long range bombing support for the South African forces. The U.S. bombing makes large scale military action on the part of the ZPLF and its allies impossible. There are no dirty bomb incidents in 1981, although the South Africans are still believed to be engaged in a crash nuclear development program.
Related insurgencies in Angola and Mozambique continue. In these countries the Soviets begin to rely on their Portuguese allies, who have local knowledge from the colonial period. The return of Portuguese military advisors, even under the guise of a Marxist state, causes dissention between the regimes and their Soviet allies.
China – January – September
A series of uprisings create critical instability within China; these are driven by people rebelling against starvation and the oppression of the regime. At some point the Lesser Mao and his cadre are driven from Peking by rioting. The Lesser Mao disappears into the hinterland.
Independent of any government control, Chinese forces along the frontiers – especially along the Hong Kong frontier – begin negotiating with allied forces for food and medical assistance. The deplorable state of the forces, many of which have been ravaged by hunger, disease and brutal treatment, makes them more of an armed mob than a military in the recognizable sense.
As uprisings and foreign encroachments continue, loyalist troops (mainly security forces) retreat to the interior with the remnants of the Lesser Mao PRC government. Within the interior much of the order and discipline collapses, ushering in a return to the warlord period, with constant fighting between various factions.
While foreign military forces are greeted largely with celebration by local civilians, there are areas of resistance which create a sense of caution among military commanders.
Sunday, February 1, 1981
Underarm bowling incident of 1981: At cricket's World Series Cup between Australia and New Zealand at Melbourne, Australian bowler Trevor Chappell and his brother, team captain Greg Chappell, became infamous for the way that the match was won. On instructions from Greg, Trevor forwent an overarm throw and rolled the ball along the ground to New Zealand's final batter, Brian McKechnie, to preserve Australia's 235-229 victory. The rules were changed afterward to ban the practice.
The National Football League season extended to February for the first time as the NFC all-stars beat the AFC 21-7 in the Pro Bowl at Honolulu. The Super Bowl was played in February for the first time. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 24 – 21 in Super Bowl XV..
Monday, February 2, 1981
For the first time in PGA Tour history, there was a five way tie at the end of the scheduled rounds of golf, with Hale Irwin, Ben Crenshaw, Bobby Clampett, John Cook, and Barney Thompson all taking 209 strokes on 54 holes at the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. Irwin beat Cook on the third extra hole and won the $40,500 prize, more than his entire earnings the year before.
Tuesday February 3, 1981
Lars Skytoen was named as the Prime Minister of Norway after the ruling Norwegian Labour Party chose him as its new leader to succeed Odvar Nordli, who resigned for health reasons.
Wednesday, February 4, 1981
U.S. Congressman Jon Hinson (R-Mississippi) was arrested, along with a 28-year-old male employee of the Library of Congress, at a restroom in a Congressional office building, and charged with homosexual sodomy, a criminal offense under the laws in effect at that time. Hinson resigned his seat a month later.
The Kishtwar National Park was established in the Jammu and Kashmir State in India. The park covers a total area of 42,500 hectares or about 164 square miles (420 km2).
Thursday, February 5, 1981
A fire broke out at 5:33 a.m. at the State Office Building in Binghamton, New York, and ended up contaminating the building with toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and a cleanup job that took more than 13 years and cost $47,000,000.
Willard Mitt Romney, the son of George Romney and an associate at a struggling Boston management consulting company, is named Assistant Treasury Secretary for Domestic Financial Markets by President Rumsfeld. Upon his confirmation on March 6, at the age of 33, Romney became the youngest Assistant Secretaries in United States government.
The British and Argentine governments begin negotiations over the squatters on the Falklands. Argentine President Carlos Humberto Perette calls the squatters on the islands “national heroes; Argentina will never abandon these heroes, nor submit to the humiliation of having any part of our territory held captive by a foreign colonizer. The Malvinas are not Hong Kong, and we shall never lease them out under the threat of force.”
James Callaghan MP (British Foreign Secretary): “The Falkland Islands are not occupied territory – I know of no oppressed population there. Rather I know only of a peaceful community of British farmers who have been living there, in some cases, for many generations, who wish to remain under the British flag. The current squatters are all Argentinians who have come to make trouble, for the sake of trouble, and so that President Perette and his government can use a nationalist excuse to distract the Argentine people from their current pressing problems. His Majesty’s government, in keeping with our international commitments and understanding that peaceful resolution is preferable to any sort of violence, will negotiate with the Argentine government over this issue, but all parties must be clear from the outset – the status of the Falklands shall not change as a result: there will be negotiation of the Falklands’ status, nor shall we seek to lease what is already a part of Britain.”
Eduardo Duhalde (Argentine Foreign Minister) :”If this is the attitude of the British, that the Malvinas, stolen from the heart of Argentina by a foreign power, cannot be returned to their rightful people, then the British government leaves us little to negotiate.”
Friday, February 6, 1981
Ugandan Bush War: The National Resistance Army, led by Yoweri Museveni began a rebellion against the government of Uganda with an attack on army barracks in the capital, Kampala.
Buckingham Palace announces that King George VII has asked Veronica Ann Cross, the former Miss United Kingdom (1973), to marry him. Controversy attaches to the choice due to Miss Cross’ performing background and the fact that she is not of noble lineage. The King is reported to be attracted to her opera singing as well as her physical charms.
King George: “As a matter of personal right, it is my belief that I have the right, as a person, to choose the woman of my choice as my bride. Ms. Cross who has graciously consented to marry me, has neither been married before, nor I understand been compromised under current law. There is, of course, the question of her status, but I would hope that in the modern Britain, in the modern world, that social status alone would set a limit on one’s capabilities or potential. The fact that Ms. Cross is not high born should not in itself exclude her from being my bride if she chooses. We have agreed that she will not be crowned Queen, but will in the same manner as my father had been, be regarded as my consort, and as such as my partner in life. Once, not many years ago, a King was forced to choose between love and his crown. I believe that Britain has progressed, that the British sense of nation has grown since those days, that a King would not have to make that choice, not when the lady in question is of superb character and unquestionable background.”
Prime Minister Healey: “His Majesty is right in as much as this is not a situation like 1936, many factors are different. If it is decided that Ms. Cross is not be crowned Queen, but named as consort of His Majesty, and presumably mother of the future heir, the government has no interest in standing in the way of the marriage. There is no threat to the crown or the succession, which remains to Prince Andrew until such time as there is issue.”
Hugh Montefiore, Archbishop of Canterbury: “It is a difficult question of course, and not one to be passed over lightly or glibly. We’re talking about more than a simple country parish wedding, after all. The religious question does not pertain in this circumstance, and while an objection has been mooted with regard to the social rank of the bride, I am not in the business of making assignments based solely on a person’s social pedigree. His Majesty has expressed his wishes, and I have yet to hear an absolute legal disqualification of the intended bride. “
From the time of the marriage announcement Veronica Crossin becomes the focus of intensive tabloid coverage, to the point that she has to call the police several times to have paparazzi removed from the front and rear areas of her home.
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led a group of 500 men up a hillside in County Antrim at night. Those taking part in the gathering were photographed holding firearms certificates above their head. [Firearm certificates are issued by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to those people who possess legally held firearms. The implication of the demonstration was that those taking part could as easily have been holding their weapons above their head.]
The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) bombed and sunk a British coal boat, Nellie M, off the coast at Moville, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland.
Saturday, February 7, 1981
Bangalore circus fire: A fire broke out during a matinee performance of the Venus Circus in Bangalore, India, with the big top tent burning while 2,000 people attended. Seventy persons, mostly children, were killed during the panic.
A plane carrying 70 Soviet military officers from Leningrad to Vladivostok, crashed during a takeoff, killing all persons aboard, including 24 admirals and generals. The fatalities, which the Soviet government never publicly acknowledged are said to include Admiral Emil Spiridonov, Commander of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, and Lt. Gen. Georgi Pavlov, Commander of the Pacific Air Wing. Also reported to have died are several members of the Soviet backed People’s Republic of China General staff.
Jordanian troops, backed by U.S. advisors, move into position along the Trans-Arabian Pipeline road, securing the western flank of Jawf province.
Sunday, February 8, 1981
Karaiskakis Stadium disaster: At a soccer football match at Piraeus, Greece, 21 people were killed and 54 seriously injured. Olympiakos F.C. had defeated visiting AEK Athens F.C., 6-0, and fans rushing to a blocked stadium exit were trampled.
Sunday February 8 - Monday, February 9, 1981
An apparent attempt to topple the Polish Junta by several officers in a coup fails. The Polish military quickly organizes another round of arrests of dissidents, military officers and other “suspect persons” immediately after the coup attempt. Generals Jozef Uzycki and Czeslaw Kiszczak appear on television to assure the nation that the coup has failed.
NBC inaugurates “Late Night” hosted by former Republican Presidential Candidate and California Governor Ronald Reagan. Among his first guests are former President Richard Nixon and Texas Governor George H.W. Bush.
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and other senior members of the DUP held a rally at Belfast City Hall were they signed a covenant, the 'Ulster Declaration', based on the Ulster Covenant of 1912. Paisley also announced a 'Carson Trail' which was to be a series of protest rallies against the continuing dialogue between Denis Healey, then British Prime Minister, and Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).
Bill Haley, 55, American rock and roll pioneer (Rock Around the Clock), died.
Tuesday, February 10, 1981
Unconfirmed reports that Soviet President Yuri Andropov has suffered a serious heart attack. He is not seen publicly again until September.
Eight people died and 350 were injured at a fire that broke out at 8:00 pm on the 8th floor of the Las Vegas Hilton hotel, and then spread upward to the 22 stories above. Philip Bruce Cline, a 23-year-old busboy who had at first been praised for alerting guests to the blaze, was later convicted of arson and murder, and received eight life sentences.
U.S. President Rumsfeld signs Executive Order No. 122307. This order disbands the United States Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The Executive Protection function of the service is transferred to a new Executive Protection Agency under the jurisdiction of the FCTB. The areas of jurisdiction involving Treasury related matters (such as counter-fitting) are transferred to a new United States Bureau of Financial Security. Under the Executive Order the BFS also absorbs the former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The BFS remains under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury. There is suspicion that the BATF was disbanded in order to send positive signals to the Liquor, Tobacco and Firearms industry lobbies. The dismemberment of the Secret Service is explained as “an administrative and budgetary efficiency.”
Wednesday, February 11, 1981
A misunderstanding at the Sequoyah Nuclear Generating Station Unit #1 near Chattanooga, Tennessee led to a nuclear accident in which 105,000 gallons of radioactive water flooded the containment building and contaminated thirteen Tennessee Valley Authority employees. After being asked to verify that a containment spray valve was properly closed, an auxiliary operator opened the valve instead, diverting the water to a sprinkler system and giving the persons inside "a chilly but slightly radioactive shower".
The forces of the Mauritanian Junta manage to expel the PJO from their territory into Mali. They also reach a ceasefire with the Polisario guerrillas, who have no love of the PJO either. This allows Mauritania to consolidate its western and northern frontiers.
Although the Junta has a pro-western orientation, they choose to seek military aid from the Soviet Union and the Cubans under the belief that they can get more and better weapons from them than they can from the west.
Iraqi troops confront Jordanian troops in Jawf province, escalating tensions. Iraq backs down only when the United States makes clear that it will back Jordan and the Soviet Union equivocates on backing Iraq in a direct confrontation with the U.S.
Thursday, February 12, 1981
The discovery, of a previously unknown symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,was announced in Munich by Dr. Robert Münster, a spokesman for the BavarianState Library. Written 216 years earlier, in 1765, when Mozart was nineyears old, Symphony in F major, K. Anh. 223 (19a)was purchased by the library from an unidentified seller who had found it "among some private papers in Bavaria last fall".
In a meeting of the National Security Council at the White House, President Rumsfeld made the decision to support the South African regime with covert weapons and continuing recruitment of mercenaries. A stepped-up program of indirect U.S. involvement was also discussed, including a secret bombing campaign to be conducted by high-altitude U.S. bombers on the model of operations used in Vietnam a decade before. Finally, provision was made for the introduction of U.S. Special Forces to provide support and training to the South African and Rhodesian regimes. Although Presidential findings were drafted authorizing U.S. intelligence gathering and monitoring on Southern Africa, none of the arms activity or the use of U.S. Air Force bombers and U.S. Special Forces was reported to Congress.
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), was suspended from the House of Commons when he repeatedly called Bill Rogers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, a liar.
Indian Prime Minister Ram Sundar Das announces a further series of economic liberalizations. Sanjay Gandhi uses these to organize a populist opposition to the Das government, proclaiming that the Prime Minister has sold the Indian people out to imperialist-capitalist forces. He characterises the on-going imprisonment of his mother as part of a Das government plot to steal India from the people.
Saturday, February 14, 1981
Stardust fire: Forty-nine people were killed and 214 injured in a fire at the Stardust Cabaret discothèque in Dublin. More than were 700 people were present for a Valentine's Day party when flames were observed at 2:00 a.m.
An investigation concluded that the fire was intentionally set.
ZPLF guerrillas manage to kill eleven local officials in Durban before being killed.
Sunday February 15, 1981
NASCAR driver Richard Petty came from fifth place to win the Daytona 500, after the four drivers ahead of him lost their leads by getting their tires changed. With 26 laps left, Bobby Allison changed the right side tires, and in a process that Petty later described as "follow the leader", Buddy Baker, Dale Earnhardt and Ricky Rudd did the same. Petty and his crew elected to use his final pit stop for fuel only, and "The King" won Daytona for the 7th and last time.
General Alexander Haig, Director of the Federal Counter-Terrorism Bureau, causes a stir on CBS’ Meet the Press when he suggests that the new Rumsfeld Administration’s anti-terror policy includes the assassination of both terror suspects and their relatives (“if deemed necessary in order to degrade the operational capability of any terrorist cell belonging to any
The PJO sends into Niger wandering teachers, who convert the dispossessed and youth to their Salafist beliefs. This is a repeat of practice they have undertaken in Mali and Chad. They also encourage young soldiers to come to the cause, either by deserting their posts or acting as spies within the Army.
Monday, February 16, 1981
At a press conference President Rumsfeld says this about General Haig’s comments:
“I have no quams about killing terrorists. They’ve decided to kill our citizens, murder the innocent, and that makes them targets, by their own choice, and not just for retribution but for preventative measures. Who among us would wait until an innocent citizen is murdered if he or she could act to prevent that murder? Anyone who would is, in my book, reprehensible. As for the relatives of terrorists – the easiest way for them to avoid becoming a target is to assist us in stopping these terrorists. If we can arrest a terrorist, if their relatives and friends will assist us in doing that, then no one need die. It’s up to them, but we are at war with those who would use violence against us and our society, and we have to be ready to use any and all measures at our disposal to prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians by those who have voluntarily and through their choice to commit violent acts given-up all claims to what we commonly regard as humanity and humane treatment.”
Twenty minutes before Pope Pius XIII was to arrive at to celebrate mass with 70,000 people at Pakistan's National Stadium in Karachi, a hand grenade exploded in a stairway behind the VIP grandstand, killing the man who had been carrying it. Despite security concerns, the Pope insisted on going through with the mass. The Pope was on the first stop of a 12-day tour of Asia, after departing Rome earlier that day. After delivering the mass, he flew on to Manila.
Tuesday, February 17, 1981
U.S. President Rumsfeld "dramatically altered the political landscape" by issuing Executive Order 12291. Executive branch agencies could not issue new rules and regulations without first submitting proposals to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), along with a cost-benefit-analysis that could demonstrate that "the potential benefits to society for regulation outweigh the potential costs".
DC comics acquires Marvel Comics in a hostile take-over bid. Marvel has been faltering due to slow sales (as has DC), but DC hopes to revive its prospects in the business by fusing the best of both under a combined DC-Marvel label. This includes a moderately successful Marvel comic called Star Wars based on the 1979 animated science fiction film.
Wednesday, February 18, 1981
In a 35-minute speech to a joint session of Congress, President of the United States Donald Rumsfeld outlined the details of a package of reforms that would reduce both inflation and unemployment by reducing federal government spending and cutting the federal income tax rate. The annual inflation rate was 11.58% at the beginning of 1981 while the unemployment rate hovered around 12.2%. Rumsfeld also urged Congress to pass his tax holiday for small business.
Thursday, February 19, 1981
Entertainer Frank Sinatra was cleared of longstanding rumors that he had ties to organized crime, 18 years after the Nevada Gaming Commission had revoked his license to operate a casino. In 1963, mobster Sam Giancana had visited Sinatra's Cal-Neva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, and the license had been suspended. A factor in the Commission's 4-1 vote in favor of Sinatra was a statement of support from Ronald Reagan, with an attorney authorized to say that Reagan "considers him an honorable person — completely honest and loyal"
James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), dismissed as 'ludicrous' claims by Ian Paisley that the UUP were conspiring to kill him.
Friday, February 20, 1981
Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 342 collides with the top of Tower One of the World Trade Center, causing an explosion and fire that kills all 58 aboard the Boeing 707 and 17 people (mostly cleaning staff) in the building. A subsequent investigation shows a failure in communication between the plane and the tower and a suspicion that the pilot was intoxicate at the time ofthe crash. Heavy fog and darkness (the collision occurred at 10:05 pm) were also contributing factors to the crash. A more senior air traffic controller, Donald Zimmerman, had been relieved by a less experienced controller just minutes before the crash. Control tower tapes later showed that the Argentine pilot had trouble understanding the controller, who spoke English with a Jamaican accent. The top of Tower One smoulders for days afterwards, but the Tower does not collapse.
Saturday, February 21, 1981
In a broadcast made from Radio Veritas in Manila, Pope Pius XIII made what was described as "the most far-reaching call for interfaith dialogue ever made by a pontiff", proposing to meet with representatives of the world's major religions. "The church of Jesus Christ in this age experiences a profound need to enter into contact and dialogue with all these religions," said the Pope, and that Christians must commit to discussions "so that mutual understanding and collaboration may grow, so that moral values may be strengthened, so that God may be praised in all creation". He also outlines his idea of a system of nations working together under a plan of “spiritual guidance and moral direction” as opposed to “tired ideologies of subjugation and tyranny driven by merchant values, or the evil counsels of Marx.”
The PIRA carried out a series of fire bomb attacks on eight shops in Belfast and three in Derry which resulted in damage to all 11 stores.
Sunday, February 22, 1981
Patrick Trainor (28), a Catholic civilian, was found shot dead on waste ground off Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast. Trainor had been killed by the PIRA who alleged that he had been acting as an informer.
Monday, February 23, 1981
Terrorists from GRAPO (First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups) attempt to storm the Spanish Chamber of Deputies and take members hostage. They are stopped in a bloody shoot-out with Civil Guard forces, which claim that all seven terrorists in the action were killed, along with five policeman and one Deputy killed and another nine people injured. The manifesto put-out by GRAPO referred to the liberation of Spain the previous year as “a bourgeois, capitalist feint to preserve Francoism without Franco, and to promote capitalist tyranny at the expense of the Spanish people.” The manifesto called for a Portuguese style Marxist Revolution in Spain, leading many to suspect that the Portuguese had put GRAPO up to the attempt. (The official state information service of the DPRP condemned the attack but was sympathetic to the group’s goals, which in turn drew further protest from Madrid at Lisbon’s policy). As a result there were several large anti-Portuguese demonstrations in a number of Spanish cities, and the headquarters of the Spanish Communist Party in Madrid was firebombed by “persons unknown.” Even ETA, the Basque Terrorist group, issued a statement condemning the attack.
A White House statement condemning the attacks states – “The new Spanish authorities have failed to anticipate the level of violent intent by the radical left, and would be well apprise to root out such organizations quickly. The United States stands ready to assist in any such measures as the Spanish Republic may require.” This draws protests from the Spanish government because it implies that the new Spanish government cannot provide security and is sympathetic to violent terrorist groups.
For the first time, the seat of a member of the United States Congress was declared vacant by reason of disability. Gladys Noon Spellman, U.S. Representative from Maryland, had been comatose since suffering a stroke shortly before her re-election in November. By voice vote, with no objection, the House of Representatives passed a resolution noting that
"Mrs. Spellman has been unable to take the oath of office due to a de-capacitating illness" and that her position should be declared vacant. Spellman never recovered and died in 1988.
An earthquake in Greece, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, struck at 10:53 pm local time, killing 16 people and injured more than 400.
Wednesday, February 25, 1981
A bank robbery was made of a branch of the New York Bank for Savings at Rockefeller Center, by a 9-year-old boy who used a .22 caliber pistol and got away with $118, then surrendered to the FBI two days later. "Robert M." was tried in the state's juvenile court system and found guilty of bank robbery on June 8 and placed on supervised probation in the custody of his family. However, “Robert M.” was soon tried by the federal government with a different outcome.
President Rumsfeld publicly endorses an effort to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (popular election of Senators). He had previously campaigned for this repeal while serving as Governor of Illinois.
The Carter-Wright Amendment is submitted to the States for ratification. It would abolish the Electoral College and elect the President by popular vote.
Valery Giscard d’Estaing announces that he will be a candidate for President of France.
The Palestinian Jihad Organization establishes an Islamic Republic in Mali. The State is lead by a Council of Islamic Scholars (PJO fighters who assume the title and are accepted as such). It is governed by the Quran and strict Sharia Law, according to a hard-line Salafist tradition. Infidels are ordered to convert or die. The IRM issues no official passports as it claims not to recognize the international system as having any validity.
Thursday, February 26, 1981
Joey Coyle, and unemployed longshoreman in Philadelphia, was driving behind an armored car when its doors opened and two bags of money fell out. Coyle retrieved the bags and found that he was in possession of more than $1,200,000 in cash. Over the next six days, he spent or gave away an estimated $196,000 before being caught by the FBI. He was later convicted of theft and the unlawful disbursement of currency acquired by theft. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His story was later the basis for a film, Money is Nothing.
A new record for penalty minutes in a National Hockey League game was set when the Boston Bruins hosted the Minnesota North Stars. The first fight, between Boston's Steve Kasper and the Stars' Greg Smith, broke out seven seconds into the game. Eventually seven Minnesota and five Boston players were ejected, Stars' coach Glen Sonmor fought with a fan, and 406 minutes were assessed. The Bruins won, 5-1.
Friday, February 27, 1981
A daring prison escape in France is foiled by a traffic accident. The plan had been for a pair of men to force helicopter pilot Claude Fourcade to fly to Fleury-Mérogis Prison, where armed robbers Gerard Dupre and Daniel Beaumont were incarcerated. At gunpoint, Fourcade was to land at a soccer field on prison grounds, and take-off again with Dupre and Beaumont on board, and then land at a Paris athletic field where the gang was to escape in a waiting car. The plan was carried off, but the getaway car was involved in a traffic accident en-route to the landing field. By coincidence an off-duty Paris police officer was parked in his car near the field when the helicopter landed (smoking marijuana according to some
reports). Mistaking his vehicle for the getaway car, Dupre, Beaumont and their accomplices piled in, paying little attention to the identity of the driver. The off-duty officer quickly realized what was going on, and drove the car and passengers to a nearby police barracks where all were arrested. Dupre, Beaumont and their accomplices were later convicted of prison break, endangering citizens and a series of aviation offences. The police officer received the Legion of Honour for his quick thinking.
This incident was the basis of the 1982 American film Field Day in which George W. Bush played the off-duty officer (in an American setting). The film explicitly had the off-duty officer smoking pot, the smell of which fooled the escapees into accepting the unknown driver as one of their own. A further controversy from the film was the allegation that actor Bush was actually smoking marijuana on-set when his scenes were shot (and thus was smoking pot [and committing a crime] on film).
A large van bomb exploded in the centre of Limavady, County Derry, causing damage to 40 premises. [It was believed that the PIRA were responsible for the attack, although the INLA took credit for it.]
Saturday, February 28, 1981
1981 Irish hunger strike: At the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland, IRA member Bobby Sands ate an orange, and then refused to eat again until the inmates were allowed to wear civilian clothing. Other IRA prisoners joined the hunger strike along the way. Sands was forcibly put on liquid nutrition by the British authorities as were the other hunger strikers, which prevented any deaths. The strike was called off in October when it became clear that it would not lead anywhere.
During a state visit to Canada U.S. President Rumsfeld causes offense when he states that Canada “made a mistake when it refused to join the American Revolution. Canada’s history since has been testimony to a second-tier existence outside of the larger American reality.”
PM Lougheed response:“The President is, of course, entitled to his opinion, though I’m not sure it is grounded in an accurate reading of our history. I would like to point out that the original articles of Confederation invited Canada to join the American Union, but that the matter was always a choice for the people of Canada. The Canadian people have made that choice in the tradition of democratic government which both our countries respect, and so revision of history at this point overlooks the essence of our democratic choices, and of course our subsequent history, particularly in the last forty years, has shown that Canada has contributed to the first-tier of world affairs in both diplomatic ways, and with the blood and toil of many of our citizens.”
Year One: A Rummy Run
Sunday, March 1, 1981
Robert Goizueta became CEO of Coca-Cola. The Cuban-born executive introduced the successful "Diet Coke."
Sabotage to the Jeddah-Riyadh road is attributed to the rebels, although some suspect that the Israeli Special Forces are in back of it. It slows down the manoeuvrability of the Iraqi forces.
Monday, March 2, 1981
The asteroids 4923 Clarke and 5020 Asimov were discovered on the same night by astronomer Schelte J. Bus, and named by him in honor of authors Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
Inventors Jim Bornhorst and Rusty Brutsche applied for a patent on Vari-Lite, a "computer controlled lighting system having automatically variable position, color, intensity and beam divergence", which would become a standard feature in concerts and stage productions. The system, which received U.S. Patent #4,392,187, would be unveiled on September 25 during a concert in Barcelona by Genesis in its Abacab tour.
Pakistani International Airways Flight 326 was hijacked by three gunmen shortly after takeoff from Karachi.
Francois Mitterrand confirmed widely held expectations and announced that he would run for re-election as President of France.
The British government announces plans to remove the last of its peace-keeping contingent from Syria by the end of 1981. This is a popular move among the British public.
The board established by California Governor Pete McCloskey, headed by Lt. Governor Mervyn M. Dymally to consult with Californians and experts through public hearings and develop a plan to implement the Jefferson state initiative, fails to develop a consensus recommendation, to the Governor’s great annoyance. The project is given a further 90 day extension. Other members of the board include representatives of the State Legislature (from both parties), the California Supreme Court and a representative of the California Attorney-General’s office.
Tuesday, March 3, 1981
At the Hotel Rgtli in Zurich, Turkish national Musa Serdar Çelebi offered Mehmet Ali Agca 1.5 million dollars to kill Pope Pius XIII.
The 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, re-elected Yuri Andropov as First Secretary, despite the fact that Andropov made no appearance or speech at the Congress. Nikolai Ryzhkov gave the key-note address usually made by the First Secretary. He and Grigori Romanov appeared to be the officials in charge of the Congress. Alexander Yakovlev is confirmed as a candidate member of the Politburo.
Wednesday, March 4, 1981
CBS Sports paid $31,000,000 for the rights to broadcast the NCAA men's basketball tournament for three years, outbidding the NBC network, which had built the popularity of the playoffs since 1969. Bryant Gumbel would later
comment, "I thought, How weird. We make the tournament a big deal and basically give it away."
Thursday March 5, 1981
Continental Airlines Flight 72 was briefly hijacked by a man who had been fired the day before from his job at the Los Angeles International Airport. Victor Malasauskas brought a 9-mm automatic pistol with him after buying a seat in first-class on the flight bound from LAX to Phoenix. An alert flight attendant saw that he had a concealed weapon, and all but four passengers and two flight attendants were able to get off of the airplane before he realized that he had been spotted. The last of the hostages escaped later in the day. Malasauskas, whose claim that he had a bomb turned out to be false,
was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Meredith Francis Maguire, an Independent Republican Member of the British House of Commons dies. His death triggers a by-election in his constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
Friday, March 6, 1981
After 19 years as the anchorman of the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time. Cronkite had anchored the show since April 16,
Saturday, March 7, 1981
John W. Hinckley, Jr. was met at the airport in Denver by his parents, who followed the advice of his psychiatrist and barred him from returning home. The senior Hinckley would later testify, in what he would describe as "the greatest mistake of my life" that he gave his son "a couple of hundred dollars" and told him "O.K., you're on your own. Do whatever you want to." Twenty-three days later, the younger Hinckley tried to assassinate the President of the United States.
Eugenia Charles, the Prime Minister of Dominica, is deposed in a coup by former Prime Minister Patrick John and Defence Force Commander Frederick Newton. The coup had been planned for March 14, but was discovered by Prime Minister Charles, who moved to suppress it. She was betrayed by several members of the Defence Force who sided with the coup plotters when the arrest warrant was issued. This was called Operation Red Dog.
Chester Bitterman,28, American missionary taken hostage in Colombia, dies.
Mel C. Yorda, 18, becomes the first person to ever be murdered at Disneyland.
Sunday, March 8, 1981
An accident at the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Japan led to the spill of thousands of gallons of radioactive wastewater. Fifty-six plant employees were exposed to radiation after being sent to mop up the leak. The government of Prime Minister Nakasone declared the incident a state secret and concealed it from the public.
In Argentina, an express train that was bringing 800 passengers back from vacation, crashed into two derailed fuel tanker cars, killing 45 people and injuring 120. The "Firefly" express was returning to Buenos Aires from the seaside resort of Mar del Plata.
Monday, March 9, 1981
An attempt to perform a human heart-lung transplant fails. A team at the Stanford University Medical Center, led by Dr. Bruce Reitz, used a new technique that retained a portion of the recipient's right atrium. The recipient was Mary Gohlke, a 45 year old woman from Mesa, Arizona, with end-stage primary pulmonary hypertension. The donor was a 15 year old boy
who had died from severe head trauma two days earlier. The operation failed for unknown reasons, which generated a series of investigations. The legal fall-out severely limited organ transplant operations in the United States for the next seven years.
Dan Rather began his tenure as lead anchorman for the CBS Evening News.
The Soviet Union vetoes a UN Security Council measure to sanction it over its support of the ZPLF and other guerrilla forces in Southern Africa.
Tuesday, March 10, 1981
U.S. Patent #4,255,811 was issued to Dr. Roy L. Adler under the title "Key Control Block Cipher System" for a data encryption algorithm developed by him in 1974 while he was employed at IBM. Besides being applied in cryptography, the 128-bit encoding algorithm was also used in creating more secure keycard entry systems.
Wednesday, March 11, 1981
An uprising in the Yugoslavian region of Kosovo began over inefficient food service at the University of Pristina. Tired of being made to wait in line, for hours, for poor quality food, students began demonstrating. Within days, the protests over conditions for students turned into discontent over the treatment of the ethnic Albanian population by the Serbian majority, and then to rioting and demands for an independent Kosovar nation.
Joseph Sardler, 32, of Mount Airy, North Carolina, had his sight restored after five years of blindness. Sardler had fallen down a flight of stairs and banged his head, then regained the vision in his left eye. His physician, Dr. J. Dale Simmons, reported that Sadler "can read now and recognize things that he could not before."
Sir Maurice Oldfield, 65, former chief of the SIS (MI-6) from 1973-78, dies.
Thursday, March 12, 1981
Women, children and other inhabitants of the El Salvador village of El Junquillo (in the Morazan Department) were murdered on orders of Salvadoran Army Captain Carlos Medina Garay, at the conclusion of nine-day long military operation against rebellious forces. The details were kept secret at the time.
Atlanta murders: Timothy Hill, 13, disappeared in Atlanta, ten days after his 15 year old friend Joseph Bell had vanished. Hill's body would be found on March 30, and Bell's on April 19. They would prove to be the latest of 23 African-American children (16 or younger) to be murdered in Atlanta over a nearly two year span.
Soyuz T-4: 14th expedition to Salyut 6. Docking with Salyut 6 delayed after the onboard Argon computer determined it would occur outside of radio range with the TsUP. In mid-May, Kovalyonok and Savinykh replaced the Soyuz-T 4 probe with a Salyut drogue. This may have been an experiment to see if a Soyuz-T docked to a space station could act as a rescue vehicle in the event that an approaching Soyuz-T equipped with a probe experienced docking difficulties and could not return to Earth.
Friday, March 13, 1981
The first world speed-cubing championship tournament, requiring participants to properly align the squares of a Rubik's Cube in the shortest amount of time, took place in Munich. Jury Fröschl won the first competition with a time of 38 seconds.
President Rumsfeld: “If Quebec wants to be its own country, that’s their choice, they have a democratic right to that. But they shouldn’t expect that affords them special status with us. All of our international agreements are with Canada. If Quebec wants in, then they’re going to have to negotiate: it’ll be a whole new ballgame where they’re concerned.”
Saturday, March 14, 1981
The hijacking of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 326 ended when the Afghan Air Force blew it out of the sky. 100 passengers and crew were killed. Three gunmen had seized the Boeing 720 jet during a flight from Karachi to Peshawar on March 2 and commandeered the jet to Kabul, and one passenger was murdered. Pakistan released 55 prisoners to secure the release of the hostages. The jet attempted to take-off and was shot down by an assault helicopter belonging to the Afghan air force. The government denied all responsibility and later tried the pilot and crew for recklessness. They were convicted and shot, although rumours persisted for years afterward that the “executed” men were seen alive and well. The incident increased tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan and lead the Pakistani authorities to jail several hundred Afghans in retaliation. The Indian intelligence service was thought to be behind it, using Afghan agents in order to increase tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
DePaul University's basketball team, unbeaten and ranked #1 during most of the season, was upset by St. Joseph's University, 49-48, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Nineteen residents of the Royal Beach Hotel in Chicago, a "skid row" apartment for transients, died in fire caused by faulty wiring.
Sunday, March 15, 1981
Philip C. Testa, crime boss of the Philadelphia mob and nicknamed "The Chicken Man", was badly burned by a car bomb as he attempted to walk into his home at 2117 Porter Street. Testa survived, but spent the next year in-and-out of hospital. He lost his left hand and full use of his left leg as a result of the blast.
Francis Hughes became the second inmate at Maze Prison to begin a hungerstrike, joining fellow Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands in refusing food. Hughes would be placed on liquid nutrition against his will by British authorities.
Monday, March 16, 1981
Ronald Biggs, a participant in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 in Great Britain, had been living freely in Brazil after escaping from prison in1965. Biggs was kidnapped after being lured to a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro on the pretext that he was to be photographed for a book, then put on a yacht and taken to Bermuda. The Bermuda authorities returned Biggs to the UK, where he was returned to prison to serve out his 30 year sentence.
Iraq announces it will withdraw its forces to the provinces of Eastern Jawf, Hail and the Northern Borders contigous to the Iraq (and Kuwait) border, and establish a “liberated” government of Arabian sympathizers in Riyadh. No one believes that this Republic of Arabia government will last very long. Apart from Iraq and the Soviet Union, this government is recognized by few other countries.
Tuesday, March 17, 1981
Italian underworld figure Licio Gelli managed to forestall a police raid onhis villa of at Arezzo, long enough for him to remove a list of 962 members of the secret society "P2", which was suspected as having ties to theembezzlement by Roberto Calvi of hundreds of millions of dollars from the Banco Ambrosiano, and the right-wing coup d’etate in Italy the previous year.
Wednesday, March 18, 1981
The television show The Greatest American Hero premiered on ABC, starring William Katt as Ralph Hinkley, an ordinary teacher who was given super powers, but not the knowledge of how to control them. Less than a month later, after John W. Hinckley, Jr. became infamous for murdering a famous figure on a city street, the character was renamed "Mr. H." The show's theme song, Believe It or Not (sung by Joey Scarbury) became a hit single, rising to #2 on the Billboard Top 40.
Thursday, March 19, 1981
Two workers died and four were injured after a test of the Space Shuttle Columbia, After a test-firing of the engines and the sounding of the "all clear", the group of six Rockwell International technicians had walked into a chamber of the shuttle, unaware that the area was filled primarily with nitrogen gas, and almost no oxygen. John Bjornstad died immediately, and Forrest Cole was taken off life support on April 1. The shuttle program was put on hold as a further investigation was ordered. A launch would eventually be approved for November.
Italian Police raid Licio Gelli’s Villa but find only religious tracts and newspapers where they thought they would find secret documents.
Arkansas became the first state to require the teaching of "Creationism", as Governor Frank White signed into law Senate Resolution 590, "An act to require balanced treatment of creation-science and evolution-science in public schools". The act, challenged later in McLean v. Arkansas, had passed the state Senate 22-2 and the state House 69-18. The act was overturned in Federal District Court, but later upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
Friday, March 20, 1981
The first world congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War convened, in Airlie, Virginia, with 80 physicians from 12 nations in attendance, and on the same day, the first American conference regarding a nuclear freeze campaign convened at Georgetown University. Journalist John Barron alleged later that both events, which came a month after Soviet Premier Arvids Pelse had publicly called for a moratorium on building nuclear weapons, had been masterminded by the KGB, the Soviet intelligence agency.
Patrick McNally (20), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), while he was 'joy riding' in a stolen car on the Ross Road in the Lower Falls Road area of Belfast.
Saturday, March 21, 1981
Michael Donald, a young African-American male who had been selected at random by a pair of racists, was kidnapped and murdered in Mobile, Alabama by James Llewelyn Knowles and Henry F. Hayes, two members of the United Klans of America who said later that they had been outraged when a mistrial had been declared in the trial of a black criminal defendant. Donald's mother sued the Klan organization and won a seven million dollar verdict, however the verdict was overturned by the United States Supreme Court which ruled that the UKA was not responsible for the “wilful and independent” actions of its members.
Tomás Ó Fiaich, then Catholic Primate of Ireland, issued a statement calling upon the PIRA to end its use of violence.
Sunday, March 22, 1981
Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa became the first person from Mongolia to travel into outer space, launched on Soyuz 39 along with Vladimir Dzhanibekov. The two cosmonauts returned to earth after almost 8 days on the Salyut 6 space station.
On March 24 the cosmonauts installed cosmic ray detectors in the work and transfer compartments. On March 26 the cosmonauts performed the Illuminator ("viewing port") experiment, which studied the degradation of the station’s viewports. On March 27 Kovalyonok and Savinykh used the Gologramma ("hologram") apparatus to image a viewing port damaged by micrometeoroids. They repeated this March 28, when they also collected samples of the station’s air and microflora and removed the cosmic ray detectors for return to Earth. March 28-29 were largely devoted to studies of Mongolia from space. The Visiting Expedition crew checked out their spacecraft on March 29.
The Soviet news service TASS noted that by March 29th, Salyut 6 had conducted 20,140 revolutions of Earth.
Admiral John S. “Jack” McCain II, 70, former commander of Pacific forces in Vietnam War, and father of former U.S. POW and Navy officer John S. McCain III, died while returning from Europe.
Brian Lenihan, then Irish Foreign Minister, said that the on-going talks between the British and Irish governments could lead to a United Ireland in 10 years.
Monday, March 23, 1981
The cost of mailing a letter in the United States went up 20%, as the price of a first-class stamp was increased from 15 cents to 18 cents. The price increase had taken effect the day before, when American post offices were closed. This move, coming after years of recession or depression (depending on the source) was highly criticized.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case of H. L. v. MATHESON, 450 U.S. 398 (1981) 450 U.S. 398 (H. L. v. MATHESON, GOVERNOR OF UTAH, ET AL. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF UTAH) that a state may require a doctor to inform a teenaged girl's parents before performing an abortion or face criminal penalty. The ruling is 6-3 with Justice Thurgood Marshall writing a dissent in which he notably states:
“I do not believe that prudential considerations should bar standing here, for I am persuaded that appellant's complaint establishes a claim that notifying her parents would not be in her best interests. She alleged that she "believes that it is in her best interest that her parents not be informed of her [pregnant] condition," and that after consulting with her physician, attorney, and social worker, "she understands what is involved in her decision" to seek an abortion,... There appellant testified she did not feel she could discuss the abortion decision with her parents even after she consulted a social worker on the issue. In my judgment, appellant has adequately asserted that she has persistently held reasons for believing parental notice would not be in her best interests.”
These words by Justice Marshall are about to set-off a firestorm.
Sen. Gary Howard (LA-CV) [These words capture the general reaction]. “The good Justice states that “in his judgement notifying her parents would not be in her interests.”? Who made this man a judge over the welfare of a minor? It is his job to apply the law, as intended by the state legislature, and to refrain from the kind of judicial activism he so clearly expresses here. In these words, my friends, Justice Thurgood Marshall exhibits his contempt of the American family, a contempt for the bedrock institution of our society and our nation. Our Lord did command us to honor our mothers and fathers, and with good reason did he place the parents at the head of the family. The Justice, in his anti-family zealotry, has sought to undo what God Himself ordained and that which our founders found most sacred. Is it in the best interests of this girl and her family that she be allowed to commit murder, that her parents be deprived of their grandchild by the wilful act of an immature mind? In his wording the Justice seems to be setting children free from parental control to act as they will, no matter the moral implications of their actions. In doing this Justice Marshall has exceeded the bounds of juris prudence, and has made his elevated seat on the court bench into a bully pulpit from which he hopes to overturn the authority of parents over their children. This we cannot allow, or the result will be the destruction of the family and chaos in our society. That is why today I am calling for the impeachment of Justice Thurgood Marshall.”
Secretary of State for Industry Anthony Crosland announces an agreement between the government and the National Union of Mineworkers on a broad plan – known as the Crosland- Scargill Plan which will see the modernization of British coal mine operations, and a series of phased redundancies over the next decade, backed by government retraining, support and job placement for miners rendered redundant by mine closures. The Crosland- Scargill Plan, backed by the TUC after its acceptance by the NUM, is seen as a breakthrough by the Healey government which uses it as a blueprint to settle other labour disputes over the course of the spring and summer, including a simmering dispute with the British steel workers. Bringing a measure of labour peace to Britain over the summer of 1981 increases public support for the Labour government in the months leading up to the 1981 General Election.
Aiery Neave MP (Opposition Leader): “This government has surrendered to the Communists and the radical left. Instead of addressing the needed reforms of the British economy, Mr. Crosland and the Prime Minister have sold the average British rate payer, and the whole of the British nation, down the red river to unalloyed socialist domination. Make no mistake about it, in a few years time we’ll be forced to sing the International and to call each other comrade. That’s what this means.”
Margaret Thatcher MP (Conservative candidate in the Prime Minister’s riding): “Let’s be clear that with this so called agreement, the government is no longer being run from Number Ten, it is being run by Prime Minister Scargill or should I say First Secretary Scargill. Beginning today we have seen the birth of the British Soviet Republic, and with this coming election we, the real voters and rate payers of Britain, have one last chance to stop it. And mark me, if we don’t stop this Red government in its tracks, then we as a free nation are doomed.”
David Steele MP (Leader of the Liberal Party): “We must acknowledge that the government has, at least temporarily, resolved the labour unrest which has been disrupting the British economy. That much will be good for everyone. But, and we have to be clear here, that in order to achieve this peace Mr. Crosland may well have given away too much to the NUM and the TUC. While I disagree with those on the right who would facetiously lament that Mr. Scargill has somehow become the real Prime Minister with this bargain, I must point to the fact that the government has given away too much of its authority in the name of peace – in other words like a latter day Faust, Mr. Healey may have allowed Mr. Crosland to trade his political soul for another term in office.”
Kenneth Clarke MP (Liberal): “A Liberal government wouldn’t scrap this plan, but we would make clear that the provisions which bind the British government to clearing its economic policy with any outside group are a non-starter. We must also look at this agreement and ask ourselves, what aspects of a better and freer British economy were overlooked when this was negotiated? These are the things we must undo in this lopsided agreement.”
Tuesday, March 24, 1981
The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) carried out the largest crusade against Nazis since that nation's founding in 1949, raiding hundreds of homes of suspected Neo-Nazi members and confiscating party literature and propaganda, much of it written by Ernst Zündel. The Kohl government decides to attempt to extradite Zundel from Canada in order to try him for spreading hate propaganda.
Wednesday, March 25, 1981
Tamil separatist leader Selvarajah Yogachandran, better known by his code name of "Kuttimani", carried out the largest robbery, to that time, in the history of Sri Lanka. In an operation planned jointly by his TELO organization and the Tamil Tigers, Kuttmani and his gunmen ambushed an armored truck that was taking cash from Neervely to Jaffna, killed its guards, and took 7,900,000 Sri Lankan rupees, worth roughly $400,000 at the time, to finance the rebel movement. Kuttmani and his henchmen became the subject of a massive manhunt, and were shot to death by Sri Lankan military forces eleven days later.
Police and protesters clash during Independence Day observances in Athens. The protestors are demanding that the Socialist government step down.
Thursday, March 26, 1981
Carol Burnett v. National Enquirer, Inc.: Comedienne Carol Burnett won a verdict of 1.6 million dollars against the National Enquirer for libel. In its issue of March 12, 1976, the Enquirer had run a story entitled "Carol Burnett and Henry K. in Row", alleging that Burnett had been disruptive "in a Washington restaurant", and implying that she had been intoxicated. Henry Kissinger, the other party named in the headline, had denied that the incident even took place.
The Premiership of Dennis Healey forestalls efforts by some right-leaning Labour Party members to form the British Social Democratic Party; an idea that had been mooted by Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams off-and-on thorough the 1970’s as they were disenchanted with the political rise of some of the left-wing members of the party, especially during the years in opposition to the Heath Conservatives (1970 – 1977). By 1981, all were relatively senior Cabinet ministers in the Healey Labour government. Further, the creation of the True Labour front under Tony Benn and Barbara Castle, drew-off the support of the hard left faction that the four had objected too in the past. Ironically, the True Labour movement would adopt the name “Social Democratic Party” for the 1981 General Election under Barbara Castle’s leadership. This SDP was, however, a decidedly left-wing entity. Michael Foot, alone among the senior leadership of the left-wing faction, resisted the jump to the SDP and remained with Labour under Healey.
Bobby Sands was nominated as a candidate in the by-election in Fermanagh / South Tyrone on 9 April 1981.
Friday, March 27, 1981
The United Mine Workers went on strike at 12:01 am, with 160,000 American coal miners walking off of their jobs.
Saturday, March 28, 1981
Phil Mahre became the first American to ever win the world championship in skiing.
Garuda Indonesia Flight 206 was hijacked and flown from Indonesia to Thailand.
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), addressed a rally, estimated at 30,000 people, at Stormont to protest against the on-going talks between the British and Irish governments.
Sunday, March 29, 1981
The first London Marathon was held, with 7,500 runners. The race was won jointly by Dick Beardsley of the United States and Inge Simonsen of Norway, who both crossed the finish line at 2:11:48.
The South African regime shuts down critical newspapers, citing national emergency conditions. Most of these are conservative papers which have tended to support the regime up until this point (directly opposing papers and media outlets had already been closed).
The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) decided to withdraw the nomination of Austin Currie from the forthcoming by-election in Fermanagh / South Tyrone.
Monday, March 30, 1981
John Hinckley Jr. attempts to assassinate President Rumsfeld outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. As the President arrives Hinckley is spotted in the crowd by White House Chief of Staff Dick Cheney who mistakes him for a radical reporter who has been giving the President some trouble at his public appearances. Accompanied by two EPA agents Cheney confronts Hinckley and tells him to leave. Hinckley loses his nerve and runs away from the scene. Cheney instructs the EPA to put Hinckley on their watch list.
Sometime between March 30 and April 10 Hinckley re-locates to New York City.
Noel Maguire decided to withdraw his nomination in the forthcoming by-election in Fermanagh / South Tyrone. [This decision meant that voters were faced with a straight choice between Bobby Sands and Harry West, the Unionist candidate.]
Indiana University won the 1981 NCAA men's basketball championship, defeating the University of North Carolina 63-50 after the NCAA elected against postponing the matchup. Virginia defeated L.S.U. 78-74 to win third place in the consolation game, which was discontinued after 1981.
The 53rd Academy Awards – Los Angeles, California
Best Picture – The Coal Miner’s Daughter
Best Actor – Al Pacino, Raging Bull
Best Actress – Blythe Danner, Hit Me (A film about compulsive gambling)
Best Supporting Actor – Joe Pesci, Hit Me (as the enabler)
Best Supporting Actress – Amy Irving, Honeysuckle Rose
Hit Me: A venture by an underemployed woman into gambling as a way to make extra money becomes a life consuming and destroying addiction. Break-out role for Joe Pesci as an alcoholic enabler who leads her into the life. The movie is also notable for introducing the term Rumsfeldia into the vernacular (filmed in 1980 it was a reference to Donald Rumsfeld’s term as Governor of Illinois but it acquired national significance by the time of the 1981 Awards. The term also appeared in the British General Election later in the year; it’s unclear how it came into British use although Hit Me could have been a reference there too. Rumsfeldia did first appear in the Illinois political press, where it was used as a term of derision toward then Governor Rumsfeld’s tenure: the Illinois commentators meant it to refer to the Governor’s policy fantasy land as opposed to the real condition of the state. In its transfer to a wider audience through Hit Me and its use by the British Labour Party it became a metaphor for a cold, unfriendly and uncaring place).
Tuesday, March 31, 1981
At 2:40 pm in Bangkok, Indonesian commandos successfully rescued all hostages on board the hijacked Garuda Indonesia Flight 206, after getting permission from Thailand authorities.
Chicago's Mayor Jane Byrne and her husband moved into the Cabrini–Green public housing project in an unprecedented demonstration of commitment to the needs of her lower income constituents. Byrne took up residence in Apartment 402 at 1160 Sedgewick Road for
A U.N. stabilization force composed primarily of Muslim troops from Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia and Pakistan moves into the western half of Arabia, to fill a vacuum created by the Iraqi withdrawal.
The resistance forces denounce the U.N. force as well as the Republic of Arabia and re-new their vow to re-establish a Caliphate in Arabia.
Wednesday, April 1, 1981
The U.S.S.R. implemented daylight saving time for the first time since 1930, with all clocks being set forward an hour at midnight. Many nations in Western Europe had changed the time on Sunday. At the time, the U.S. did not spring forward until the last Sunday in April, April 26 in 1981.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) organised three late-night rallies on top of hills near Armagh, Gortin and Newry. At the rally near Gortin, County Tyrone, two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) vehicles were overturned by the crowd. [The rallies were similar to one held on 6 February 1981 when firearm certificates were displayed by those taking part.]
Governor John Rarick of Louisiana introduces a budget which further cuts public services, pointing out the relative decline in the State deficit since his last budget was implemented. There is a further fight in the State Legislature over the Governor’s proposals, but a budget that cuts spending is passed.
Thursday, April 2, 1981
The Soviet Union paid $3,000,000 to Canada to settle all claims for environmental damage that had been caused by the disintegration of the Kosmos 954 satellite on January 24, 1978.
A motion to impeach Justice Thurgood Marshall is introduced into the House of Representatives. The measure charges that in his ruling in H.L. v. Matheson the Justice violated his constitutional oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” by using the high authority of his office to undermine the provisions of the Tenth Amendment by attempting to impose extra-constitutional standards on a state law. Although this presents it as a technical legal and constitutional argument, the impeachment is framed by its presenters as “The Family versus Marshall – a struggle to save the American family from liberal judicial activism.”
Friday, April 3, 1981
After two days, the attempted coup d'état in Thailand was put down as thousands of troops took back control of Bangkok without a fight. Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda had taken King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the royal family with him to the city of Korat after General Sant Chipatima had seized control on Wednesday.
Days before it was to be the showpiece of the California Energy Commission's conference on wind energy, the Alcoa 500 kW wind turbine at San Gorgonio Pass began turning. After only 2½ hours, the turbine was out of control, a blade came loose and the structure collapsed. The embarrassment was enough that Alcoa went no further in wind energy research.
Died: Juan Trippe, 81, founder of Pan American World Airways
Saturday, April 4, 1981
Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic-American to be elected to lead a major United States city. The 33 year old professor won 62% of the votes to become the new Mayor of San Antonio.
Mario Moretti, a co-founder of Red Brigades and the mastermind of the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former Italian Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani, was caught by police after nearly three years of pursuit.
Cancer survivor Bob Champion won the 1981 Grand National at Aintree on the horse Aldaniti. His story inspired the film Champions.
Sunday, April 5, 1981
During the census Sinn Féin (SF) campaigned for non completion of the census forms as a demonstration of support for the hunger strike. As a result in many Republican areas the census enumerators were unable to collect completed forms. Indeed one enumerator was shot dead in Derry by Republican paramilitaries on 7 April 1981. [This led to a large under representation of Catholics in the published figures. The population of Northern Ireland was recorded as 1,481,959 with 28 per cent giving their religion as Catholic. 18.5 per cent of the population had refused to state their religion. Later estimates of the true Catholic population put the figure at 38.5 per cent.]
Monday, April 6, 1981
A pair of gunmen attempted to rob a branch of the Augusta Savings and Loan at the Dundalk (Maryland) Shopping Center and accidentally locked themselves out. When they departed through the exit, they found themselves surrounded by most of the officers of the Precinct 12 station of the Baltimore County, Maryland, police, which was only 250 yards away and had been changing shifts.
In the run-up to the French presidential election President Mitterrand states he will withdraw any remaining French forces from Syria. The statement does not cover French African Union troops or Foreign Legionaries.
Tuesday, April 7, 1981
National Guardsmen in El Salvador drove into the San Salvador neighborhood of Monte Carmelos, pulled out residents accused of rebellion against the government, and executed them. Reporters who arrived later found thirty bodies in the streets.
The "Soyuz '81" manoeuvres by armies of the Warsaw Pact nations came to an end, allaying fears that they were a prelude to an invasion of Poland to suppress the Solidarity union. Earlier in the day, General Semyon Konstantinovich Kurkotkin , Commander-in-Chief of the Warsaw Pact forces, had a closed meeting with Polish leaders General Uzycki and General Kiszcack, and strongly advised then to get their political house in order.
The explosion of a grain elevator at Corpus Christi, Texas, killed nine people and injured 30.
Joanne Mathers (29), a Protestant civilian who was acting as a census enumerator, was shot dead in the Gobnascale area of Derry, while she was collecting census returns. Republican paramilitaries were responsible for the killing.
Wednesday, April 8, 1981
In Moscow, KGB investigators arrested Vyacheslav Ivankov, an organized crime leader who was nicknamed "Yaponchik" and was the boss of the so-called "Russian Mafia". Over the next year Ivankov’s arrest unleashes a major corruption scandal within the Soviet Communist Party. Around this time Alexander Ivanovich Lebed becomes an aid to Soviet Defence Minister ViktorGeorgiyevich Kulikov.
The PJO, aided by Libya in the north, invades Niger from Mali and from Chadian territory.
President Mitterrand orders French paratroops into Niger in order to assist the Niger regime.
General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, 88, last of the "five-star generals" from World War II, dies.
Thursday, April 9, 1981
AIDS pandemic: The first confirmed diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease causing Kaposi's sarcoma was made by Dr. John Gullett in San Francisco. Dr. Gullett reported his findings to the Centers for Disease Control two weeks later. AIDS at this time is attributed to heroin use (dirty needles) and no research is conducted into other potential sources; in fact the idea that AIDS is sexually transmitted (as opposed to related to drug use) is dismissed by the scientific community as “a false trail.”
The Japanese ship Nissho Maru narrowly avoided colliding with the USS George Washington (SSBN-598), an American nuclear submarine.
The Houston Astros win 2-0 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela is cut from the Los Angeles line-up.
In the Fermanagh / South Tyrone by-election Bobby Sands, then on hunger strike in the Maze Prison, was elected (following the final count on 11 April 1981) as Member of Parliament for the constituency. The turnout for the contest was 86.9 per cent and Sands obtained 30,492 votes and Harry West, the Unionist candidate, obtained 29,046 votes. [The election had been followed by media organisations around the world and the outcome gave added impetus to the hunger strike campaign. The British government declared that the election would not change its position in regard to special category status. On 12 June 1981 the government published proposals to change the Representation of the People Act making it impossible for prisoners to stand as candidates for election to parliament.]
Friday, April 10, 1981
A security guard at CBS News headquarters chases away John Hinckley Jr. who has been lurking around the entrance of the building.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, April 1981: Incarcerated at the H-Block of Maze Prison and on a hunger strike, Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands was elected to a vacant seat in the British House of Commons, with 30,492 votes for his "Anti-H-Block Party", ahead of Harry West's 29,046 votes. MP Sands was force fed by British authorities before he could die of starvation.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference proposes an interim Arabian government composed primarily of moderate Muslim clerics largely opposed to the radicals in the resistance.
Saturday, April 11, 1981
Brixton riot (1981): In the mostly black London neighbourhood of Brixton, police had stopped and questioned hundreds of residents as part of "Swamp 81", an anti-crime campaign that started five days earlier. Resentment built, and at 4:45 pm, the arrest of a young black man on Atlantic Road triggered a race riot. A crowd broke the windows of the police van transporting the arrest subject, then set fire to an empty police car and began looting stores. By 5:30, the violence had spread to Railton Road and Mayall Road, and at 6:30, the first gasoline bombs were hurled at police cars. Order was restored by 10:00 pm. A subsequent government investigation reported that 279 policemen and at least 45 civilians were injured, noting that "In the centre of Brixton, a few hundred young people- most, but not all of them black — attacked the police on the streets... demonstrating to the millions of their fellow citizens the fragile basis of the Queen's peace. The petrol bomb was now used for the first time on the streets of Britain (the idea, no doubt, copied from the disturbances in Northern Ireland). These young people, by their criminal behaviour — for such, whatever their grievances r frustrations, it was —brought about a temporary collapse of law and order in the centre of an inner suburb of London.
Libyan forces occupy north-western Niger.
Algerian forces occupy north-eastern Niger as far as Arlit.
Following the announcement that Bobby Sands had won the Fermanagh / South Tyrone by-election there were celebration parades in many Republican areas across Northern Ireland. In Belfast, Cookstown and in Lurgan these celebrations ended in rioting.
Sunday, April 12, 1981
Joe Louis, American heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949, died at age 66; the night before, he had watched Larry Holmes defeat challenger Trevor Berbick in Lasa Vegas
Monday, April 13, 1981
The 1981 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced. John Kennedy O'Toole, won the prize for fiction for A Confederacy of Dunces. Despondent over failing to find a publisher, O'Toole had killed himself 12 years earlier, on March 26, 1969.
Janet Cooke of the Washington Post won the prize for feature writing, for her September 28, 1980 story "Jimmy's World", about an 8-year old heroin addict. Two days later, the Post revealed that Cooke had confessed to fabricating the story; she returned the prize and quit her job.
Tuesday, April 14, 1981
John Hinckley Jr. shoots and kills former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite outside CBS News headquarters in New York. Hinckley hadn’t realized that Cronkite had retired the month before, and thought Cronkite was still the CBS anchor. Hinckley was detained by two tourists and an off-duty firefighter until police arrived. He would later be committed to a psychiatric facility for life. Ironically, Cronkite had returned to his old workplace that day in order to pitch to CBS a documentary on the urgent need to improve mental health care in the United States.
President Rumsfeld ordered all United States flags to be lowered to half-staff in memory of Cronkite.
Wednesday, April 15, 1981
After talks between the coal industry and the United Mine Workers break down, US Attorney-General Robert Dole goes to court to obtain an injunction to order the miners to return to work, on the grounds that their action is disruptive to the economy and therefore threatens the national security of the United States. The DC Federal Court grants the injunction on national security grounds on April 19.
Fifteen coal miners (scabs according to the UAW which had called a strike) were killed in an explosion at the Redstone Coal Company's Dutch Creek #1 mine. An investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Mines concluded that the cause was a spark, possibly from a damaged cable, that ignited accumulated methane gas. Sabotage related to the national coal miner’s strike was suspected.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously condemns the PJO action. Their only accessible target, however, is Libya (as the IRM has withdrawn Mali from the UN over religious objections to the organization of infidels) but the Libyan regime is protected from sanctions or directed action by the Soviet Union, which acts as the Libyans protector.
FBI agents W. Mark Felt and Edward S. Miller were pardoned by President Rumsfeld, five months after they had been convicted of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of friends and relatives of suspected members of the Weather Underground terrorist group. In his pardon statement, the President said, "America was generous to those who refused to serve their country in the Vietnam War. We can be no less generous to two men who acted on high principle to bring an end to the terrorist that was threatening our nation.”
Thursday, April 16, 1981
Sigurd Debus, an imprisoned West German terrorist who had started a hunger strike a month before Bobby Sands did the same in Northern Ireland, was removed for force feeding by the Kohl government. Debus was one of 25 members of the Red Army Faction to refuse to eat in protest of imprisonment conditions. Most of the other participants called off their strike after several more were force fed by the West German authorities.
Canada's Prime Minister Peter Lougheed and Premiers of 9 of 10 of the nation’s provinces agree to federal-provincial solidarity in talks with Quebec. Quebec had been invited to the conference, but boycotted the meeting. In a controversial move Lougheed appoints former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as the chief federal negotiator with Quebec. Quebec Premier Rene Levesque later charges that a Quebecer cannot represent Canada in the sovereignty talks.
Trudeau: “Who better than a Quebecer who loves Canada to speak on behalf of a united Canada. Mr. Levesque simply doesn’t want to admit that not all Quebecers share his point-of-view on the question.”
Some regard Lougheed’s appointment of Trudeau as kicking sand in Levesque’s face, so that the Quebec Premier will become even more intransigent in talks, making the Canadian position seem the more reasonable of the two. (Trudeau and Levesque were once allies but became rivals over the sovereignty question.)
The Rumsfeld Administration announces it will reduce the overall presence of U.S. Forces in Syria to a cadre force based at Join Forces Base Willis outside of Damascus and at the naval facility in Latakia.
Friday, April 17, 1981
Shintaro Ishihara: “I join the government because the New Japan Party seeks to give Japan an identity, a sense of purpose, a place as a great nation which it deserves. If there ever was a matter to feel guilt over, the time for that has long past. I look upon the world and I see two Germanies, neither of which is asked to bear a historic guilt. Of Italy, the past is gone and the present is a place at the high tables of the world. Some will point to Korea or Nanking and say to us, there is your crime, there is your guilt. To this I will say, have you heard of Hanoi? Haiphong? Japan did not use nuclear weapons, another power did. Japan is a nation which, by right of place and prosperity, deserves a place in the high councils of the globe and a respect worthy of its status. [Prime Minister Nakasone] has opened the door on this matter, and I wish to walk though with him.”
Minoru Genda (Minister of Defence): “If you want a navy, build it. If you want an air force, built it. What will they do? Boycott us? Then that is for the good, we will be even more self-sufficent. Nothing they can do will weaken us, in fact their actions will strengthen us. Only we can weaken ourselves, so we must decided now who we are and what we will do to express our rights as a nation.”
Yasuhiro Nakasone (Prime Minister): “The fall of the lesser Mao is no reason to rejoice, for his regime, his time of madness, must show us how delicate this idea of peace really is. I do not propose to return to the days of the Imperial Navy, some things are passed for good. Japan has renounced conquest, and there is no reason for us to return to this outdated cause. But in a world where the power of our seas is effectively commanded from Honolulu or Vladivostok, and answers to masters in Washington and Moscow, it is imperative that we have the means of expressing a Japanese order on the seas around us. This is not to suppose that we will enforce our will on our neighbours, but it is to suppose that we will not let history chase us from having the means to defend our vital interests in the waters surrounding the home islands.”
The Diet passes measures to double the size of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Air Defense Force, public plans which include the building of large frigates and at least one aircraft carrier. The Self Defense Forces are also renamed the Japanese Protective Services.
The PJO announces that it is sending more volunteer fighters to assist the Saudi Jihadist rebels.
Saturday, April 18, 1981
The Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox began playing a minor league baseball game. After nine innings, the score was tied, and at the end of the 32nd inning, 4:09 the next morning, the game was halted with the score still tied at 2-2. The game would not be finished until June 23.Rochester and Pawtucket did play another game on the same Sunday, but, as one author noted, "they did not attempt to resolve their 32-inning tie then because officials of both clubs were worried that the eligible players were exhausted."
Sunday April 19, 1981
James Brown (18) and Gary English (19), both Catholic civilians, were killed when a British Army vehicle drove into a crowd of people on Creggan Road, Derry. [There had been rioting in the area but local people stated that the vehicle was driven deliberately at the crowd.]
Monday, April 20, 1981
The Rumsfeld Administration sends in troops to break-up miner’s picket lines after the United Mine Workers refuse to heed a back-to-work injunction. Rioting and civil strife ensue for the next month before the strike is put down. Citing the national security importance of the coal mines and their production, President Rumsfeld signs an executive order which keeps the troops in place supervising the coal mines for the rest of the year. Congress fails to overrule the Presidential order on June 14, 1980. The President, supported by Congressional Republicans and Libertarians, and some Democrats (united on an anti-Union philosophy), maintains that the economic emergency and national security importance of energy must take precedence over the striker’s right to cause a disruption in the supply which could cause other economic problems.
Coal Strike Debate
Sen. Roger Marsh (R-IN): “I, for one, support our President. These so-called labour unions have infiltrated our political system as the cutting edge of foreign communism, and their purpose is to Sovietize America. In a time of high unemployment these workers should be happy for a job; not demanding more from companies strapped by slow markets and poor sales. They should be ready to sacrifice to protect their jobs and their families, for the alternative is unemployment – a condition some more than justly deserve. Let’s teach them that we will not lay down in the face of communist threats to undermine our economic well being.”
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN): “I find a lot of rhetoric around this issue inflammatory for the sake of causing sensation. This matter is best resolved quietly, and away from the spotlight.”
Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA) “This attack upon hard working Americans exposes for everyone the cynicism of the Rumsfeld Administration, which puts dollars over people and ideas over human suffering. We live in a time of hardship and transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. During the period we may be tempted to abandon some of the time-honored principles and commitments which have been proven during the difficult times of past generations. We must never yield to this temptation. Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities— not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself. So it is that we must defend the right of workers to organize and protect themselves from exploitation, for the people who descend into the mines to produce our nations coal are not figures on a balance sheet but the flesh-and-blood of humanity of which our democracy is made.”
Sen. Ronald Galtieri (Lib-MT): “Labour Unions are destructive of free markets and free economies. Until we are rid of their pernicious influence, we will nevery truly be free.”
Sam Church, President of the United Mine Workers of America: “Honest workers trying to fight for their fair share in this country have had to confront bullies and thugs throughout our history, and this President is no different. He may call in the Army and the National Guard to force our workers back down into the ground, but he is building pressure for an explosion. So long as you treat miners like tools and not people, you are asking for trouble.”
Ron Dellums (WTP): “President Rumsfeld has declared war on America’s workers, and the poor, who in many cases are the same people. Fine. But I think he’ll find that it won’t be the easy conquest he hoped for. The long arc of moral justice has a way of swinging back and slapping down oppressors like Donald Rumsfeld , hard. Meanwhile, the hard working miners of this country will not obligingly lay down for this President or any other oppressor.”
Milton Friedman (economic Theorist): “The UMW serves a useful purpose in lobbying for the miners, I’ll give them that, but when it comes to wage demands, all they achieve is to inflate demand, for wages, and decrease supply, for the raw commodity produced, because efficiency is inevitably harmed. That’s the cost of unions in free markets, to employers and consumers alike. I applaud the President’s action because he is bringing a little stability to the system, compelling if you will a day’s work for a day’s pay, and reducing the crippling cost of coal which this strike would create. Of course, those who would suffer most if the President did nothing would be the poor and low income consumers. To that extent, I’d say rather than acting against the interests of working people, in this instance the President is acting on their behalf.”
Three Irish TDs (Teachta Dáil; Members of the Irish Parliament) together with Owen Carron, then Bobby Sands' election agent, paid a visit to the Maze Prison. Following a meeting with Sands the TDs called for urgent talks with the British government. [Denis Healey, then British Prime Minister, announced on 21 April 1981 that the British government would not meet the TDs, denouncing their interference in what was “an internal British matter”.]
The Inderavelly Massacre took place in the town of that name in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, when police fired into a crowd of Gondi tribesmen. The police reported that 13 armed protesters and one policeman were killed, while an investigating committee estimated the number at 60 or more. Sanjay Gandhi organized a protest march against the government in response to this.
In Omaha, the very last game of the Women's Professional Basketball League was played, as the Nebraska Wranglers defeated the Dallas Diamonds, 99-90, to win the WPBL championship in the fifth game of the best of five series.
Three college students, on spring break from the University of New Brunswick, were killed after their group camped near the edge of a cliff at the Hay's Falls near Woodstock. Over a course of several minutes, the three
fell 80 feet to their deaths.
Tuesday, April 21, 1981
Soldiers of the Army of Guatemala entered the village of Acul, near Santa Maria Nebaj in the Guatemalan highlands, and executed most of the adult men for suspected collaboration with leftist guerillas. "Within two weeks," an investigator for Amnesty International noted, "the village was empty, and the army burned every house and field of corn in Acul". The village was never rebuilt.
In Syria, a group of Muslim Brotherhood guerrillas attack a Syrian Armed Police patrol near the city of Hama, killing four policemen.
Wednesday, April 22, 1981
The first zero-coupon bonds were issued, as the J.C. Penney Company offered $200,000,000 worth of bonds that paid no periodic interest, dividends or other money until maturity. For $332.47 an investor would receive a "zero" that would pay $1,000 at its maturity date of May 1, 1989 for a 14.25% annual interest rate.
Four gunmen, wearing Halloween masks, robbed the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson, only to discover that there was hardly any cash in the vault. Much of the banks reserves had been invested in gold certificates and bonds. Their take is only $204,000 in cash. A by-product of this robbery is to bring into light the extent to which American banks have been selling U.S. currency in favour of gold securities over the past years. This puts further downward pressure on the value of the dollar.
In one of the first of many corporate mergers in the 1980s, food producers Nabisco, Inc. acquired Standard Brands, Inc. in a stock transaction valued at 1.9 billion dollars to create Nabisco Brands, Inc.
Dolours Price, who had been serving a sentence along with her sister Marion for a car bombing in London on 8 March 1973, was released from Armagh Prison on medical grounds. [Dolours Price was suffering from anorexia nervosa the same condition her sister suffered from. Marion Price had been released from prison on 30 April 1980.]
Thursday, April 23, 1981
United States Secretary of State Jeanne Kirkpatrick has an audience with Pope Pius XIII to discuss on-going anti-Communist initiatives. The Pope at the same time admonishes the Secretary over historic U.S. support for right-wing regimes, noting that U.S. behaviour with regard to Chile in 1973 and in trying to prop-up right-wing regimes in Portugal and Spain have done more to make Communist propaganda appealing than anything the Communists have done themselves. Kirkpatrick disagrees, arguing that an anti-communist authoritarian regime is better than a democratic one backed by leftists. She also infuriates the pope by implying that few countries are truly ready for democracy and that authoritarian regimes linked to the U.S. are better suited for being guided through “the complexities of the Cold War.”
On the same day, Soviet Politburo members Nikolai Ryzkov and General Viktor Kulikov meet in Warsaw with the entire Politburo of Poland's Communist Party and give them a stern lecture about getting their political house in order.
Kulikov’s presence is meant to communicate that if the Polish Generals don’t get control of the political structure of the country, the Soviets might be forced to do it for them.
At the Empire State Building in New York City, workers unearthed a copper box containing the time capsule that had been placed in the building's cornerstone on September 9, 1930. Nearly all of the contents from 50 years earlier, including construction plans, paper money, photographs and that day's newspapers, had been "rotted beyond recognition" by water that had seeped in.
In what was seen as a response to continuing rioting in Catholic areas, Loyalist paramilitaries decided to meet under the auspices of the Ulster Army Council (UAC) which was effectively a co-ordinating committee for Loyalist groups. Marcella Sands, the sister of Bobby Sands, made an application to the European Commission on Human Rights claiming that the British government had broken three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in their treatment of Republican prisoners. [Two Commissioners tried to visit Bobby Sands on 25 April 1981 but are unable to do so because Sands requested the presence of representatives of Sinn Féin (SF). On 4 May 1981 the European Commission on Human Rights announced that it had no power to proceed with the Sands' case.]
White House conversation:
Scooter Libby: “Apart from getting rid of a liberal, do we really benefit from this witch hunt against Marshall. I mean, from a legal point of view, this is pretty thin.”
Dick Cheney: “The President wants to give the Christian Values people some running room on this. Framing this as an contest about the place of the family gives it a very emotional impact, especially in the more conservative parts of the South.”
SL: “Places we’ve been losing to these Jesus nuts?”
DC: “They’re splitting conservative votes in the region, giving liberal Democrats a weak hold there. As the President sees it, and I agree, our best strategy is to support the Christian Values group for now, and at the same time draw the middle of the road and conservative Democrats, especially the Wallace core group, closer to us in a sort of grand bargain of the sane. That way, over time, we’ll regain our majority in these areas. In the meantime a lot of Southerners of many different political outlooks won’t be too sad to see Marshall gone. Same goes for the Libertarians in the west who can be our friends for now, until we can absorb the more conservative Democrats in a new coalition. In fact, the whole Marshall issue could well split the whole Democrat Party down the middle – liberals versus conservatives - and that shouldn’t be a bad thing. Might even give us elbow room to muscle-out some of the squishes in our own ranks. These Christian Values types are trying to build their support for a single issue on this – namely abortion – but they’ve picked a way that could fundamentally transform partisan politics, and to our liking if we handle it with a good deal of finesse.”
SL: “So we support the family, but take no position on the impeachment?”
DC: “We support the family and rightly point out we have no place in the impeachment. The President, for his part, didn’t appoint Justice Marshall, so he doesn’t see that he has an obligation to defend him. Oh, and Scooter, we’re dropping the term ‘Jesus nuts.’ The label might be right but we don’t want any slips that could lead to hard feelings.”
Friday, April 24, 1981
In Hama, Syria, the Syrian Armed Police randomly arrested more than 150 men and teenaged boys, then shot them (apparently after they were subjected to torture). The massacre was in retaliation for the April 21 attack on a police patrol by guerrillas of the Muslim Brotherhood, based in Hama.
Saturday, April 25, 1981
The Soviet Union launched Kosmos 1267 to carry the unmanned TKS spacecraft, a vehicle that could provide a space ferry to bring back returning cosmonauts, as well as providing an additional component to an orbiting space station. The TKS module would remain in orbit until it docked automatically to Salyut 6 on June 19, as the first successful expansion of an orbiting craft. Once docked, the engines of the Kosmos were used to make orbital changes for the Salyut station. On July 29, 1982, the engines were used one final time to bring both modules out of orbit, where they burned up over the Pacific Ocean.
Sunday, April 26, 1981
The first successful fetal surgery was performed by Dr. Michael R. Harrison at the University of California at San Francisco hospital. The patient was born at the UCSF Hospital two weeks later, on May 10, 1981, and named Michael.
French presidential election: With ten candidates on the ballot for the President of France, no office-seeker had a majority. The top two finishers, incumbent President Francois Mitterrand (Socialist Party) won 26.2% and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (UNR) won 24.2%. Both qualified for the May 10 run-off, which was now shaping-up to be a repeat of the May 1974 run-off, which had been a very close election.
Other challengers in the first round had included Jean-Pierre Fourcade (UDR) with 19.1%, and Communist Party leader Georges Marchais with 16.6%. Other candidates won 13.9%, of which the most notable were Socialist dissident Lionel Jospin with 7% and Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac with 2%.
Monday, April 27, 1981
Operation Red Dog, a plot to overthrow the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, was nearly foiled when FBI agents arrested ten mercenary soldiers near New Orleans as they were preparing to sail toward the Caribbean island nation with a cache of weapons. Led by Michael Eugene Perdue, the group of white supremacists had planned to take control of the government of the mostly black nation, after freeing former Prime Minister Patrick John (also black) from a Dominican jail, and being appointed to high government positions. The charges against Perdue and his group were dropped after intervention from the highest levels of the Rumsfeld Administration.
"Bigfoot", the first "monster truck" was created by Bob Chandler, who had envisioned a vehicle with tires so large that it could crush anything in its path. On this date, Chandler gave the first test run of "Bigfoot" at a field near St. Louis, Missouri, and rolled it over abandoned cars.
Tuesday, April 28, 1981
Professional tennis champion Billie Jean King was sued for support by Marilyn Barnett, a woman who stated in her complaint that they were lesbian lovers. After initially denying the accusations, King admitted to the affair four days later.
The Labor government of Australian Prime Minister Bill Hayden fell after losing a vote of no confidence that had been moved for by the Country Party and supported by the Opposition Liberal Party. The vote in the Australian House of Representatives was 64-63 for the resolution; the Hayden government had lost the support of its two independent coalition partners over the budget. An election was called for June 2, 1981.
Steve Carlton became the seventh pitcher to have 3,000 strikeouts, and the first left-handed pitcher, in a game between the Phillies and Expos; Tom Seaver of the Reds had become the sixth on April 18 against the Cardinals.
The first five were Walter Johnson (1923), Bob Gibson (1974), Gaylord Perry
(1978), and Nolan Ryan (1980).
The personal representative of Pope Pius XIII was prevented from seeing Bobby sands by the British government.
Legendary American news broadcaster Lowell Thomas died at age, 89.
Thursday, April 30, 1981
Promoting itself as the "no-frills airline", People Express began low cost trips to and from its hub at the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. A ticket for the inaugural flight, from Newark to Buffalo was priced at only 23 dollars, in an effort to compete with rail service. People’s Express went bankrupt in May 1983.
The Anheuser-Busch brewing company began test marketing of its lower calorie beer, Bud Light, which was then introduced nationwide in the summer of 1982.
South African general election, 1981: In elections for the Volksraad, lower house of South Africa's Parliament, the ruling National Party captured all 165 seats in what was widely viewed as a rigged election. Only White citizens approved by the military (in practice known and committed supporters of the National Party), or roughly 2% of the adult population, were allowed to vote. With the notable exception of the United States, no other government recognized this outcome as legitimate.
The PJO forces overrun the Niger capital of Niamey and instigate a massacre of the ruling classes. They win over many of the masses with promises of food and retribution from historic oppressors. The presence of French troops also allows the PJO to make an anti-colonial argument in justification for its actions. The PJO’s cause is also given assistance by repeated coups which destabilize Niger’s military leadership. At various points assorted Niger units are fighting each other with more vigor than their resistance to the PJO invaders. This serves to frustrate the French. It also serves to persuade the US observers that there is no point in committing US troops to this cause.
Friday, May 1, 1981
The first frequent-flyer program was introduced, with American Airlines launching "AAdvantage." People flying on "AA" were rewarded with credits that could be amassed and used for free travel. Soon, other airlines followed suit.
An 8-year old boy in Spain became the first victim of toxic oil syndrome, dying from acute respiratory insufficiency after eating food prepared in a cooking oil that contained aniline. Before the source was located, 20,643 cases were documented and 312 others died within the first year.
In response to pressure from the United States, Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) enacted a voluntary restraint agreement (VRA), reducing the number of car sales to the U.S. to 1,680,000 units. The VRA remained in effect until March 1, 1985.
An opposition group infiltrates a May Day parade in Lisbon and stages an anti-regime demonstration before the gathered leadership on the balcony of at the São Bento Palace. Several days of unrest follow as the DPRP leadership crack down on protestors.
Saturday, May 2, 1981
Aer Lingus Flight 164 from Dublin to London was hijacked by Laurence James Downey, whose motive was to learn the 3rd of the Three Secrets of Fátima. After dowsing himself with gasoline and threatening to set himself afire, Downey ordered the Boeing 737 to fly to the French city of Le Touquet and held the 113 people on board hostage, demanding publication of his
manifesto, and for Pope Pius XIII to disclose the third secret. French anti-terrorist police rushed aboard the airliner after 8 hours and took Downey into custody, without the secret being revealed.
The Tahoua massacre. After the PJO forces the Niger and French forces to withdraw, they proceed to massacre their supporters in the city. Only those who convert to the PJO’s version of Islam are spared, and they in turn are expected to prove their commitment by fighting.
Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (who’s nation - along with Nigeria, Iraq (and Kuwait), Iran, the Gulf States, Venezuela and the Soviet Union –are selling a lot of oil with Arabia closed to export) announces his support for the Saudi Jihadist rebels, further burnishing his ties to the Jihadists in an effort to stave-off any attempts by them to destabilize his regime.
Sunday, May 3, 1981
Symeon of Thessaloniki was proclaimed a saint of the Greek Orthodox Church by unanimous decision of church officials.
Monday, May 4, 1981
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced that it had set aside the 40 MHz range of the radio spectrum for future use by cellular telephone systems, with each market to received two equal blocks, one of which would be granted to the local telephone service provider, and the other to the highest bidder. The number of available channels for communication had been 44 since 1946, and was increased to 666 by the ruling.
Spiro Agnew announces that he will enter the race for New York Mayor as an independent candidate.
“My fellow New Yorkers.....I have only live in this great city for five years, and for that time I have enjoyed the fine services and lifestyle this great city has to offer. But I recognize that there are problems that need to be addressed by our political leaders, problems which the current leadership hasn’t addressed, and which the current crop of candidates for the office of Mayor will not. Each is dedicated to a political machine created to serve the narrow concerns of certain special interests. So, today, I present myself as a non-party, independent candidate for the office of Mayor of New York City. My plan is direct – responsible fiscal management, government based on the interests of honest, law abiding, hard working New Yorkers and an end to the crime that has been plaguing this city. My candidacy is one citizen’s response to the pusillanimous poltroons of pork-barrel politics and the cringing crumbs of crime – it’s time the good people of New York had a Mayor who will govern for them and not the special interests, and who will not cow-tow to the thug-huggers.”
Ed Koch (Democratic candidate): “To be honest I don’t know why he’s getting into this, I mean his last run at politics wasn’t so good, if you know what I mean.”
Roy Goodman (Republican candidate): “He’s a crook. He admitted as much when he pardoned himself, something he won’t be able to do as Mayor. After years of upheaval and chaos the people of this city want a Mayor who will provide stability and responsible fiscal management. That’s what an Agnew Administration will be dedicated to, not a lot of whooplaw and theater.”
Bela Abzug (WTP candidate): “Spiro Agnew cares about one person, and that’s himself. He using this election to grandstand, to get publicity for himself now that his t.v. show has been cancelled. New Yorkers need responsible leadership that is going to look out for them and their needs, not circuses from political hacks and has-beens.”
Radio commentary: “While it’s true that his removal from office bars Agnew from holding federal office – or any office under the United States as the Constitution puts it – the office of Mayor of New York City is not an office under the United States, nor even directly the New York Constitution. It is one based on legislation and founded on the city charter. As a consequence there is no bar to Mr. Agnew holding the office if he is elected, although we have to appreciate that that possibility is a long shot, at best.”
Tuesday, May 5, 1981
The Declaration on Euthanasia was issued by Pope Pius XIII. Catholic teaching condemns euthanasia as a "crime against life". The teaching of the Catholic Church on euthanasia rests on several core principles of Catholic ethics, including the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, concomitant human rights, due proportionality in casuistic remedies, the unavoidability of death, and the importance of charity. The Pope imposes upon this a ruling that medical personal have a positive duty to “continue life” until “natural death” and cannot hasten or permit death when it is in their power to prevent it. “God alone can decide the moment of death, and if He chooses the moment of death then our struggles will be for not, but if we do not struggle to prevent death, then we have ourselves committed a grave sin against His will.” One detractor labels this doctrine “Better Bled than Dead.” The addition of a duty upon medical professionals
to preserve life at all costs starts an internal debate on the place of mercy in judging the welfare of a suffering patient who is terminal.
While in orbit in the Salyut 6 space station, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Kovalyonok saw what he described as an unidentified flying object that resembled a transparent barbell, kept the same speed as the station, and
then exploded. Kovalyonok described the experience 12 years later in aninterview.
Alphonse Indelicato, 50; Dominick Trinchera, 44; and Philip Giaccone, 48, three high ranking bosses in the Bonanno crime family, were shot to death after being invited to a meeting at the 20/20 Nightclub in Brooklyn by Joseph Massino of the Rastelli family. Massino's men then disposed of the bodies.
Wednesday, May 6, 1981
Citing Libya's support of international terrorism, and the PJO in Mali in particular, the United States ordered the closure of the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C.. Ambassador Ali Houderi was summoned to the U.S. State Department, and told to withdraw the 27 diplomats and their families within one week. The U.S. Embassy in Libya had closed in 1980.
Maurice Papon, a leading Deputy in the UDR and a prominent French aviation executive and former police official was revealed by the newspaper Le Canard enchaîné to have been a collaborationist with the Nazi German occupation forces in Vichy France during World War II. Documents discovered by Le Canard showed Papon's signature on orders deporting French Jews to Germany. Papon would later be tried for and convicted of crimes against humanity. Papon was a prominent supporter of French presidential candidate Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who was trying to unseat Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. Many regarded the publication of the story about Papon in the left-wing Le Canard just days before the second-round voting in the Presidential election as an indirect effort by the newspaper to boost
last-minute support for Mitterrand as the candidate of the left.
The Vietnam Veterans Victory Memorial Fund announced that it had accepted a design for the Vietnam memorial which would feature a statue of three veterans and a series of panels commemorating the dead around an obelisk to be crowned by the a winged goddess of victory. The government of South Vietnam was major contributor to this Fund.
A U.S. Air Force C-135 plane, similar to a Boeing 707, exploded at 10:45 while at an altitude of 28,000 feet. All 21 USAF personnel on board were killed, and the wreckage was scattered over an area near Frederick, Maryland.
Frank Fitzsimmons, 72, International President of the Teamsters union President died. Roy Williams succeeded him on May 15.
President Mitterrand reluctantly concludes that the situation in Niger is hopeless and that France cannot hold off a collapse without committing further troops, which for domestic political reasons (a Presidential election in three days being one of them), he is reluctant to do. He is also annoyed by the lack of US military support (but will not ask the Rumsfeld Administration for it) and concludes that until the Gaddafi problem is dealt with, the PJO will be effectively shielded or at least more difficult to dispatch. He orders the withdrawal of the French paratroopers before they become embroiled in a factional war or a massacre.
Thursday, May 7, 1981
Stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, of Massapequa, New York, performed for a national audience for the first time, introduced by Johnny Carson on The
Tonight Show. His routine, taped in the evening, aired an hour into that night's show. During the performance someone in the audience threw a lemon at him.
A school bus accident in Surakarta, Indonesia, killed 31 people, mostly children, when the driver ignored a signal at a railroad crossing.
General Nur al-Sa’ad is named as Prime Minister of Iraq under President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. Once he is installed, power apparently shifts to Prime Minister Sa’ad away from the increasingly ailing President. Nur l-Sa’ad is thought to have opposed the invasion of Arabia. The rise of Sa’ad and his associates, including an officer named Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti into senior government positions also denotes an eclipse of the Ba’ath Party by the professional military. (Ali Hassan, a relative of al-Bakr, is considered the military’s man to control the party mechanisms).
Friday, May 8, 1981
A sinkhole in Winter Park, Florida began forming near South Denning Drive and West Fairbanks Avenue at 8 p.m. By Saturday, it had "swallowed" the home of 67-year old beautician Mae Rose Owens, along with six cars at German Car Service, a Porsche dealership, and part of the municipal swimming pool before stabilizing.
Maureen Mosie, believed to be the last victim of the "Trans-Canada Highway Killer", was found beaten to death at Kamloops in British Columbia. Beginning on October 19, 1973, and continuing for more than seven years, 28 young women and girls, in British Columbia and Alberta, most of them hitchhikers, were raped and murdered. The crimes remain unsolved
Saturday, May 9, 1981
The PIRA exploded a bomb at an oil terminal in the Shetland Islands. A quarter of a mile away at that time the King was attending a function to mark the official opening of the terminal. At the same opening King George VII surprised many by stating that he had “reservations” about the development of oil and suggested that “alternative sources of energy ought to be explored.” North Sea oil is becoming an increasingly more important component to the UK economy, off-setting the cost of imported oil and earning hard currency in export revenues.
British Parliament on Northern Ireland
Denis Healey MP (Prime Minister): “I will not say that Northern Ireland is an indissoluble part of the United Kingdom, as say my own constituency of Leeds is, for instance. The fact is that there is much history to consider with regard to the status of Ulster. Let me say that our government will not make any changes to the status of Northern Ireland without the consent of the people of Ulster, nor shall we abandon those who have been loyal to the crown. We will not give in to violence or to any attempt to change the political status of Ulster by force of arms or by coercion. We are resolved to fight terrorism, but we are not so entrenched that we will not consider the peaceful, democratically expressed wishes of those who are directly affected by this conflict.”
Airey Neave MP (Leader of the Opposition): “It should be the policy of this government, of any British government worth the name, to say without equivocation that Northern Ireland is now and forever a part of the United Kingdom; as much British soil as the Palace of Westminster itself. Even the hint of backing down on this issue is a noting short of cowardice and the abandonment of loyal British subjects to the terrorists. Northern Ireland is Britain, and if this government will not stand by that principle then it should resign as it clearly will not show the guts to defend our realm from outside aggressors.”
Kenneth Clarke MP (Lib): “A democratic framework is all well in good in theory, but without an end to the violence there can be no peaceful resolution of the Northern Ireland question. First we have to defeat the terrorists, before we can then re-arrange the affairs of Northern Ireland to some new scheme of devolved power sharing. That is the bottom line.”
Encoh Powell MP (UU): “The only bottom line is that good, loyal subjects of His Majesty are being sold out by a feckless lot of appeasers and leftist idealists without a grounding in reality. Blood will be on the hands of this government if it gives a single inch on the question; the blood of innocent subjects murdered in their beds by these foul terrorists.”
Barbara Castle MP (SDP): “We hear a lot of blather about principle and feckless appeasement from the opposition benches on this question. But let us remember that British rule was enforced on this region; that the loyal subjects now present were colonists sent to re-populate a conquered land by past English and British governments. What we face in Northern Ireland is not a preservation or defence of the United Kingdom, so much as the last Colonial War of independence, and the sooner we recognize this fact, the sooner we can have the maturity to address it in the manner of a truly democratic state ready to right the wrongs of the past.”
Enoch Powell MP (UU): “That’s foul treason! This – person should be expelled from this House for such talk.”
Airey Neave MP (Leader of the Opposition): “I suppose there is small comfort for the people of Northern Ireland that the member from Blackburn is no longer a member of Cabinet, and so no longer holds their fate in her hands. Were such the case, they would as the honourable member from South Down fears, have much to worry them after such an utterance. I fear that what has been said goes beyond appeasement – it is abject surrender! It is gutless and it is beyond just wrong, it is a surrender of human lives to bloody terror. It disgusts me, and well it should disgust any and all well thinking subjects of the crown.”
Barbara Castle MP (SDP): “Disgust indeed. To prolong the bloodshed by clinging to outdated, no, wrong-headed and outdated notions of Imperial glory and British power at all costs –that is disgusting! The blood is on all of your hands, and it grows thicker with each new murder, which could be prevented with a little less stiff neck and little more concern for freedom and democracy in Northern Ireland.”
Bill Rogers MP (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland): “I will reinforce the point that the policy of this government is to resist terrorism. There will be no surrender to those who would their way through violence and bloodshed. This government will resist any and all who choose the armalite over the ballot box. But at the same time, we will work with everyone involved for a peaceful resolution which will serve the long-term interests of the people who live in Northern Ireland. We will hear their voice through consultation and eventually through the franchise, which is their right in a democratic nation. This is a process which will take time, and it is a commitment which will seek security for all and abandon none. To suggest otherwise, as our honourable friends have just done, is little more than hysteria and fear mongering for the sake of party politicals.”
Airey Neave MP (Opposition Leader): “Hysteria, indeed? I would like to see how the Secretary of State would react if his home were threatened by armed brigands in ski masks. I’m sure we would see a display of “hysteria” then.”
Direct elections were held in Nepal for the first time for the parliament, the Rashtriya Panchayat.
Despite a series of protests organized in New Delhi and other cities by Sanjay Ghandi the Indian Supreme Court refused to order the release of his mother, former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, still serving a sentence for her activities in declaring martial law while Prime Minister. Sanjay claimed his mother was cruel and called the government of Prime Minister Das “crueller and more mean spirited toward the Indian people than the hardest bigot of the British Raj.”
American author Nelson Algren dies at age 72.
Sunday, Friday, May 10, 1981
French presidential election, 1981: In the second round of the presidential elections in France, incumbent Socialist President François Mitterrand beat UNR challenger Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Mitterrand receiving 15,908,262 (53.8%) votes to Giscard's 12,642,306 (46.2%). The result was widely viewed as a vote of confidence in the President by French voters. Mitterrand’s new five-year term is from May 21, 1981 to May 21, 1986.
Joseph Christopher, a serial killer who killed twelve people was arrested, and charged with the murders of four soldiers earlier in the year. He had been hospitalized on May 6 after a suicide attempt, the "Midtown Slasher", bragged to a nurse about his crimes.
A protest by white South Africans in Cape Town over the repressive military backed regime and the war is broken-up by riot police.
Monday, May 11, 1981
Andrew Lloyd Weber's hit musical Cats was performed for the first time, it closes after three weeks and becomes a major set-back and embarrassment in Lloyd Weber’s career.
The Healey government announced that it would be sending an additional 1,600 British troops into Northern Ireland. 400 of these were from units recently returned from Syria.
Bob Marley, Jamaican singer and musician, died at age 36.
Tuesday, May 12, 1981
U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Raymond P. Schafer announced the Rumsfeld’s administration's plan to balance the budget by reducing social security benefits paid for early retirement from 80% of the full rate to 40%. The proposal was so unpopular that both Republicans and Democrats agreed on it, voting on a resolution to condemn the idea.
British Opposition leader Airey Neave visits Washington D.C. where he has a high profile meeting with President Rumsfeld in the Oval Office. This visual association with the unpopular Rumsfeld will be used against the Conservatives in the British election campaign.
Benjamin H. Sheares, 73, President of Singapore since 1971, dies.
Wednesday, May 13, 1981
Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca enters St. Peter’s with the intent of killing Pope Pius XIII. He blends with a crowd which has gathered to watch a Papal procession through the square. At the critical moment Agca raises his gun, but is knocked aside by a bystander. The weapon discharges, and Agca drops it. The shot was not clearly heard amidst crowd noise, and it was only later discovered that a man in the crowd thought to have fainted had been shot in the back of the head, and the gun was recovered sometime later when a member of the crowd turned it in to police. Agca escaped unscathed. It took a full twenty-four hours before Italian and Vaticanpolice officials fully realized that there had been a failed attempt to
assassinate the Pope. It took several more days before they complied a vague description of a “Middle eastern-type man” as their suspect.
The delays involved give rise to calls for the Italian government to commission an official inquiry into the matter. The Berlinguer government replies that while it can inquire into the Italian aspects of the matter,the Vatican as a sovereign entity, must conduct its own investigation into the work of the Vatican police and Vatican security. For its part the Vatican remains very closed and secretive about the whole affair, unleashing a host of conspiracy theories about the matter. Suspects range from the Muslim Brotherhood, Italian and Spanish fascists, the CIA, the KGB, and the mafia.
Julie Livingstone (14), a Catholic teenager, was shot dead by a plastic bullet fired by the British Army. She had been walking along Stewartstown Road in the Suffolk area of Belfast.
Thursday, May 14, 1981
1981 NBA Finals: The Houston Rockets defeated the Boston Celtics 108-94 to win the National Basketball Association championship series, 4 games to 2.
The collision between an express train and the rear of another passenger train, near Kyongsan, South Korea killed 53 people and injured 233 others. The first train had backed up 300 yards after striking a stalled motorcycle, and the second was unable to stop in time after rounding a blind curve.
16th expedition to Salyut 6. 9th international crew. Carried intercosmos cosmonaut from Romania. Last Soyuz Ferry flight; ended the first phase of the Intercosmos program, which concentrated on placing citizens of Soviet bloc states into space. In all, nine Intercosmos missions were launched between 1978 and 1981.
Soyuz 40 was the last of the original Soyuz spacecraft (due to its replacement by the Soyuz-T) and the last Soyuz spacecraft to dock with Salyut 6. It also ended the first phase of the Intercosmos program by carrying Romanian cosmonaut Dumitru Prunariu and Soviet cosmonaut Leonid Popov to the station. Prunariu studied Earth’s magnetic field. Earth observations had to be delayed until the last day of his flight, when Salyut 6 at last passed over Romania in daylight. During this time the crew also tested the station’s orientation system.
Friday May 15, 1981
Len Barker failed in his effort to pitch the first perfect game in Major League Baseball since 1968, in a Cleveland Indians' 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Saturday, May 16, 1981
Soyuz 40, carrying the first Romanian cosmonaut, Dumitru Prunariu, and veteran Leonid Popov, docked with the Salyut-6 space station, two days after launching. The pair were greeted by Vladimir Kovalyonok and Viktor Savinykh, who had been in outer space since March 12.
Sunday, May 17, 1981
Exiled Bangladesh founder and Bengali nationalist Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is arrested by Indian authorities for instigating “riots and disorders” and “plotting against a neighbouring regime.” (He was guilty of both; he had supported insurrections by the Communist Party of West Bengal against that State’s elected government). Bangladesh asks that Sheikh Mujibur be extradited so that the military regime in Dhaka can try him for “crimes against the people.” India elects not to do this, disagreeing in part with the Bangladeshi charges, and General Rahman’s authoritarian state in general. Sheik Mujibur will eventually be sent into exile in Sofia, Bulgaria. His daughter, Sheikh Hasina, resides in London.
Monday, May 18, 1981
The first news article about AIDS appeared on page 7 of the New York Native, a gay bi-weekly newspaper, under the headline "Disease Rumors Largely Unfounded." Larry Mass, a physician and contributor to the Native, had been alerted to an increase in reported cases of pneumocystis pneumonia among gay men, and broke the news two weeks before it was officially announced in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Unfortunately, since there was frequent drug abuse, particularly the use of heroin, among his test subjects, he made the mistake of making the drug abuse-AIDS link and underplayed the issue of sexually transmitted disease, calling that “an urban myth.”
Tuesday, May 19, 1981
Special Election – Maryland 5th District
The incumbent Gladys Spellman (D) had been incapacitated by a stroke.
Audrey Scott (R) --- 47% -- Republican pick-up
Steny Hoyer (D) --- 27%
We The People --- 24%
Others – 2%
United States House of Representatives
Republicans: = 213 + 1 = 214
Democrats: = 204 – 1 = 203
We The People: =5
SWP: = 1
Christian Values Movement = 6
AAFP: = 1
Independent = 1
Speaker of the House: Trent Lott (R-MS)*
Majority Leader: Delbert L. "Del" Latta (R-OH)*
Minority Leader: John Brademas (D-IN)*
* - Assignments based on plurality and not Majority in the House of
Pitcher Jim Bibby of the Pittsburgh Pirates had a near perfect baseball game against the Atlanta Braves. After the first batter hit a single, Bibby kept the next 27 batters from reaching first base, for a 5-0 win.
Five British soldiers were killed in a PIRA landmine attack near Bessbrook, County Armagh. The soldiers had been travelling in an armoured vehicle when the bomb exploded.
Wednesday, May 20, 1981
The first major biotechnology contract was signed between the Massachusetts General Hospital and the German pharmaceutical firm Hoechst AG, with the corporation agreeing to pay the hospital $70,000,000 over ten years for genetic research.
Local government elections were held in Northern Ireland against the backdrop of the collapse of the hunger strike. In the increased tension in the region, 'moderate' parties all suffered a decline in support. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) achieved 27.2 per cent of the vote compared to the 25.4 per cent recorded by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) obtained 16.5 per cent of the first preference votes compared to 20.6 per cent in 1977.
The United Nations proposes a mixed government composed of some members of the OIC chosen board and representatives of the old Saud family ruling establishment. The U.N. plan does not envision re-establishing the royal rule of the al-Saud family. The Rumsfeld Administration replies unhelpfully that the al-Saud royal government is the last “legitimate” government of “Saudi Arabia.”
Thursday, May 21, 1981
The World Health Organization approved the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes by a vote of 118 to 1. The lone vote against the code came from the United States.
François Mitterrand was inaugurated for a second term as President of France. The most senior representatives of the Rumsfeld Administration to attend the inauguration of the French Socialist Party leader were Secretary of Commerce Gerald Ford and U.S. Ambassador to France John Tasker.
The Minnesota North Stars defeated the New York Islanders to win their first Stanley Cup, beating the Islanders 3-2 in Game 4 of the series (winning 4 games to 0 against the Islanders, this play-off was also a rare shut-out of the Islanders).
The mysterious death of a 15 month old infant became the first sign that ICU Nurse Genene Jones was murdering her young patients.
Friday, May 22, 1981
Atlanta Child Murders: A white Chevrolet station wagon driven by Wayne Williams was stopped by FBI agents and Atlanta police, shortly after they had seen his car stop on a bridge over the Chattahoochee River, heard a loud splash, and watched the car drive away. A stakeout of bridges over the river had been unproductive, and the operation had been scheduled to end a 6:00 am. Williams was released, but kept under surveillance. Two days later, the body of Nathaniel Cater was found in the river. Cater had last been seen with Williams on the night before the incident, and animal hairs on his body were consistent with those belong to Williams's dog.
Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, was convicted of 13 counts of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment, with no parole for at least 30 years.
Henry Duffy (45), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by a plastic bullet fired by the British Army as he walked through the Bogside area of Derry. item mark Carol Anne Kelly (12), a Catholic girl, died three days after being shot by a plastic bullet by the British Army as she walked along Cherry Park in the Twinbrook area of Belfast.
Saturday, May 23, 1981
The first victim of the Ripper Crew, four men who were part of a satanic cult in Chicago, was abducted in the suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. Her mutilated body was found ten days later, one breast having been cut off. The pattern continued over the next 17 months, with at least six other women who were kidnapped and had a breast slashed; two survived. Robin Gecht, Ed Spreitzer, and brothers Andrew and Thomas Kokoraleis were eventually convicted of various attacks.
Operation Red Dog proceeds with a group of mercenaries invading the island to overthrow the left leaning Labour government (which had defeated the pro-American Dominica Freedom Party in the 1980 election). Once the mercenaries had created sufficient havoc, they provided a rationale for the Rumsfeld Administration to send in troops on May 26 to restore order on the island. In the process the Dominica Labour Party was dissolved and the Dominica Freedom Party emerged as an authoritarian government it what became a largely one-party state. The Red Dog mercenaries were quietly shipped off the island and not charged. Historians long debated why the Rumsfeld Administration did this; many concluded that President Rumsfeld did it to provide a clear example to any other western hemisphere regimes about what could happen if they caused Washington any trouble.
Joseph Lynch (33), a Catholic civilian, was killed during a street disturbance involving members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) at the junction of Oldpark Road and Gracehill Street, Belfast.
Sunday, May 24, 1981
Jaime Roldos Aguilera, the 40 year old President of Ecuador, was killed in a plane crash, along with his wife, the nation's Defense Minister, and six other people. President Roldos was on the way to the town of Zapotillo for a ceremony when the Avro 748 crashed into the side of a mountain. Later reports identify a theory that the crash was an assassination carried out after Roldos threatened the oil companies that operated in Ecuador with nationalization. The matter was discussed in the Rumsfeld White House, with comparisons being made between Roldos and Chile’s Salvador Allende. Vice President Osvaldo Hurtado Larrea, who succeeds to the Presidency, is more accommodating to the oil interests.
The body of Heather Scaggs, the last victim of "The Trailside Killer", was found in a remote part of the Big Basin State Park in California. Scaggs had last been seen alive on May 2, when she got in a car with her coworker, David Carpenter, and he became the prime suspect. Investigators linked his .38 caliber revolver to the murder of Scaggs, and six hikers who had been murdered over the previous seven months.
Spanish commandos rescued all 70 hostages taken in the takeover of the Central Bank of Barcelona.
Monday, May 25, 1981
Dressed as Spider-Man, professional acrobat Daniel Goodwin climbed up the side of the 1,454 foot high Sears Tower in Chicago, using climbing hooks and ropes, reaching the top after 7½ hours. Police unsuccessfully tried stop him by lowering a window-washing scaffold, but Goodwin moved sideways with the aid of suction cups along the glass facade. At the 55th floor, Goodwin and the police attempted to negotiate a deal, but the Chicago Police were determined to stop him. They made an effort to pull him in, which caused Goodwin to loose his grip and fall to his death,
The Gulf Defence Council GDC) was created in Abu Dhabi and brought together in a economic and military alliance the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, with assistance from the United States.
The hijacking of a Turkish Airlines jet, with 90 hostages, on board, ended after passengers attacked the group. The DC-9, with 119 people on board, hadlanded in Bulgaria at Burgas, after being seized while enroute from Istanbul
Tuesday, May 26, 1981
The crash of an EA-6B Prowler jet on the USS Nimitz killed 14 sailors, injured 48, and caused $100,000,000 in damage to the nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Autopsies showed that the pilot had had six times the normal level of the stimulant brompheniramine in his blood, and that several of the deckhands had traces of marijuana. The United States Navy adopted a zero tolerance policy toward drugs and became the first branch of the American services to begin regular drug-testing.
Soviet cosmonauts Vladimir Kovalyonok and Viktor Savinykh became the last people to leave the Salyut 6 space station, and returned to Earth after a then-record 75 days in outer space.
Wednesday, May 27, 1981
Roger Wheeler, President of Telex Corporation and owner of World Jai Alai was shot to death by gunmen after finishing a round of golf at the Southern Hills country club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In a meeting at the White House, Israeli Foreign Minister Yizhak Shamir asks Secretary of State Kirkpatrick and President Rumsfeld to retain a U.S. force in Syria as protection for Israel against Iraqi aggression. Shamir cites the U.S. force in South Korea as an example. He also points out that Soviet forces, once part of the multi-national force in Syria are still posted on the Iraqi side of the Syria-Iraq border. Israel re-states its policy that Syria must remained an un-armed state, and again re-states the long held objection of giving any heavy weapons to the Syrian Armed Police or the creation of any Syrian Army. In such an instance, the Israelis argue, President Maamun al-Kuzbari’s regime in Syria must have outside assistance to prevent aggression from others. Minister Shamir rejects allegations that this is hypocritical, in that Israel opposes and armed Syria, but calls on others to protect it.
The Rumsfeld Administration counters that Syria need not be armed, but in return Israel must pursue some sort of peace process with President Maamun al-Kuzbari’s government and normalize its relations with Syria. This is put as a price for a U.S. commitment not to build a Syrian Army. The Israelis are not happy with this offer, and do not provide an immediate reply.
Thursday, May 28, 1981
Bambi Bembenek murdered Christine Schultz, her husband's first wife, in Milwaukee.
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, Polish Roman Catholic archbishop dies at age 79.
Charles Maguire (20) and George McBrearty (24), both members of the IRA, were shot dead as they approached a car on the Lone Moor Road in Derry. The car contained undercover members of the British Army.
A member of the RUC was shot dead by the IRA near Bessbrook, County Armagh.
Friday, May 29, 1981
Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer had two novels banned by the government of Indonesia on grounds that the two books Bumi Mamusia (This Earth of Mankind) and Anak Semua Bangsa (Child of All Nations) were an attempt to spread Communist teachings throughout that nation.
Soong Ching-ling, widow of Sun Yat-sen, died at age 90.
A Jihadist coup, backed by the PJO, attempts to overthrow the government of North Yemen, which reacts with a violent military campaign that stops the coup. The Jihadist-PJO axis had been hoping to create a friendly entrepot in North Yemen for their activity. The United States sends forces into North Yemen to back the government.
Father Pablo Cuerda, a Franciscan priest, begins to gather followers in the mountains of San Fabian in Chile. The Cuerda group are resisters to the authoritarian rule of General Pinochet. Cuerdan priests are later given a blessing by Pope Pius XIII.
Saturday, May 30, 1981
An attempt to assassinate Bangladesh’s dictator, President (General) Ziaur Rahman, fails after a bloody shoot-out in the port city of Chittagong. During the firefight six of Rahman’s aids are killed and the President himself receives some minor injuries. Taking place at 4:00 am local time, the attack was planned by Major General Muhammed Manzur, whom Ziaur had recently fired as the army chief of staff. Lt. Col. Motiur Rahman had been tasked with killing the pajama-clad President Ziaur with an automatic rifle, however a misfire had alerted the President, who shot Rahman dead instead. Returning to Dhaka General Rahman instigates a bloody purge of the government, military and security services.
In a nationwide political address, Prime Minister Denis Healey explains that the government’s decision to give into the main demand of the hunger strikers – that they be allowed to wear civilian clothes – in no way represented a back-down by the British government. Healey pointed out that the British authorities had acted to save the lives of every one of the strikers and had allowed none of them to die. “They are murderers, all convicted by a British court of taking innocent lives. They chose to kill. This government chose to prevent death, even when it would have brought on themselves by those who sought to use a hunger strike to break our will. Let history judge that with no provocation, these men chose murder, but that the British government and the British people, when faced with the decision of life and death, chose to act in a way that would preserve life. These are our values.”
Although many had disagreed with the idea of giving in to the hunger strikers, the Prime Minister’s principled response gives Labour a general rise in the polls of a few points.
Margaret Thatcher: “They have shown us that they are what we have always thought they were, weak and unfit to govern.”
Sunday, May 31, 1981
Dan Blanks knocks out Buster Douglas in the third round in a bout in Columbus, Ohio. Douglas’s boxing career is stalled.
June – October
Sporadic unrest against the military government breaks out in various Polish cities over the summer.
Monday, June 1, 1981
A mobile laser weapon, intended to destroy missiles in flight, was successfully tested by the U.S. Air Force at the United States Naval WeaponsCenter at China Lake in California. The high-intensity laser had been fired, from a flying KC-135A Stratotanker (similar to a Boeing 707), at a Sidewinder missile that was moving at 2,000 miles per hour. "The test worked," said Colonel Bob O'Brien, "but don’t expect to air fleets shooting everything down with laser beams anytime soon.”
Niger collapses to a final division between the PJO, Libya, Algeria and a Benin-Nigerian force in the South east. Absolutely no one considers this situation satisfactory, but from a military standpoint there is little immediate commitment to fight the PJO directly. The neighbouring countries with Islamic populations are more concerned with keeping PJO teachings out of their countries, while the PJO tries to attract new supporters and followers from the neighbouring countries.
In California, the Lt. Governor’s panel on the implementation of the Jefferson state initiative presents a formula for dividing California’s state debt, as well as a phased time-line leading to Gubernatorial and legislative elections, anticipating full independence on January 1, 1983. The division of debt and tax revenues immediately becomes the source of contention between various factions in the State legislature.
The Soviet Union reinforces its garrison in South Yemen.
Hurray, it's here!
More detailed comments when I get the time to sit down and read it with the thoroughness this fine work deserves.
Sorry, missed the Wedding
Tuesday, June 2, 1981
Ron Settles, 21, running back for California State University, Long Beach, was found hanged in his jail cell, three hours after he had been stopped in Signal Hill, California, for speeding, then booked on other charges. A coroner's jury later ruled 5-4 that the death was not a suicide. Represented by Johnnie Cochran, Settles's parents sued the city and eventually settled the case in January 1983 for $1,000,000.
A new political party was established in Northern Ireland by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). The party was initially called Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party (ULDP) but later the name was changed to the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP).
Australian General Election:
Outgoing Prime Minister: Bill Hayden (ALP)
House of Representatives (127 seats/64 required to form a government)
Australian Labor Party (ALP) 63 – 10 = 53
Liberal Party of Australia (LPA) 42 + 9 = 51
National Country Party (NCP) 19 + 2 = 21
Australia Party (AP) 1 – 0 = 1
Democratic Labor Party (DLP) 1 -1 = 0
Independent 1 – 0 = 1
Elected Government: Liberal + National Country = 51 + 21 = 72 seats
Elected Prime Minister: Anthony (Tony) Street (LPA)
Senate (64 seats/33 needed for control)
LPA = 26
ALP = 27
NCP = 4
AP = 1
New Liberal Movement = 1
Country Liberal Party = 0
Independents = 6
Control with neither Coalition; influence passes to the independents.
The Senate was unaffected because a double dissolution did not occur.
Wednesday, June 3, 1981
Wayne Williams, 23, was shot and killed by the FBI, at his home at 1817 Penelope Road N.W. in Atlanta. He was the prime suspect in the Atlanta child murders. He was reportedly shot when a camera he was reported to be holding was mistaken by an FBI agent for a gun, although a suspicion of cowboy vigilantism remained about the matter. The child killings stopped after Williams death.
Thursday, June 4, 1981
James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King, was stabbed 22 times by four of his fellow inmates at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary near Petros, Tennessee. Ray survived the murder attempt, but refused to identify the attackers. Three African-American prisoners were later convicted of the attempt and had at least 20 years added to their
The Rumsfeld Administration announces that unless Israel agrees to multi-lateral talks involving Syria and Lebanon in a wider Levant Security Co-operation Zone that it will have no choice but to begin assisting Syria in developing a “battle capable armed force” as a “security measure against regional aggression.” The U.S. secures the support of Turkish President Ersin as a co-sponsor of the LSCZ initiative.
Friday, June 5, 1981
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an increasing number of former and current intravenous drug users in a number of American cities have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems. Congress responds by cutting research funding for Immune Deficiency research. The research is taken over by the Army’s Infectious Diseases Research unit. Under Executive Order # 120661 signed by President Rumsfeld, the Army is tasked with researching immune deficiency for potential weaponization.
Saturday, June 6, 1981
Bihar train disaster: Seven cars of an overcrowded passenger train fell off the tracks into the Bagmati River near Bihar, India. Although initial estimates placed the death toll as high as 3,000 people, the figure was later revised to about 800 by the government (but this was the subject of dispute by those who accused the government of a cover-up in the affair). The train had been enroute from Banmankhi to Samastipur, carrying passengers inside and on the roofs of its cars, and the engineer reported that he had stopped on the bridge after seeing a cow on the tracks. At the same time, heavy winds tipped the cars, five of which were swept downriver.
Sunday, June 7, 1981
Operation Sonata: The Israeli Air Force destroyed several Iraq supply depots in northern Arabia’s Northern Borders province, charging that the Iraqi supply depots so close to Jordan and Israel represented a strategic danger to Israel’s security. Many Arab states objected, but were reluctant to rally around Iraq’s cause as long as Iraq remained the occupier of Northern Arabia. Egypt and Jordan supported Iraq, but the Gulf States were reluctant to provoke Iraq into any further hostile acts, even if directed against Israel.
On the same day Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Housing Minister Mosche Shamir announced plans for the development of three settler “mega-communities” in the Israeli Sinai. These were to be the base for Israeli cities to be further developed in the territory captured from Egypt.
Monday, June 8, 1981
The Soviet Union vetoes both the U.N. in-term government and the OIC proposed government at the U.N., seeking instead a broader consensus for the Republic of Arabia government. The United States vetoes recognition or negotiations with the ROA government through the U.N.
By a vote of 4-2, the council of the city of Morton Grove, Illinois, passed ordinance No. 81-11, prohibiting the possession of handguns within city limits, and for residents to turn in their weapons to police.
Tuesday, June 9, 1981
United Auto Workers President Douglas Fraser announced that UAW officials had voted unanimously not to rejoin the AFL-CIO after a 13-year absence. In 1968, Walter Reuther had led the UAW to separate from the larger labor union
after disagreements with AFL-CIO President George Meany. The current UAW leadership felt its political clout would remained enhanced if it stayed out of the AFL-CIO.
Allen Ludden, American game show host (Password), and husband of comedienne Betty White, died at age 63.
Wednesday, June 10, 1981
Six-year old Alfredo Rampi fell into an unprotected artesian well while playing on a neighbour's property in Frascati, Italy. Over the next three days, the nation, and later the world, followed the attempt to save the boy's life. At one point, a rescuer was within reach of Alfredo, but the boy slipped 100 feet further down the well. By Saturday, Alfredo had died, and the property owner was arrested. The boy’s body was recovered on July 11.
Eight PIRA prisoners on remand attempted to escape form the Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast. The prisoners used three handguns, which had been smuggled into the prison, to hold prison officers hostage before taking their uniforms and shooting their way out of the prison. All eight were killed in a trap set by the prison guards and RUC. The authorities had apparently been tipped off by the INLA about the escape.
Thursday, June 11, 1981
A 6.8 earthquake struck Iran's Kerman province at 10:56 am local time, destroying the town of Golbaf and killing 1,027 people.
Friday, June 12, 1981
Raiders of the Lost Ark, which would become the highest grossing film of the year, premiered in the United States, and subsequently was released in other nations.
After the behind the scenes intervention of Secretary of Labor Hugh Gregg, a strike in Major League Baseball is averted. The issue had been the owners desperately wanting to win back the prerogatives over the players. The owners had already lost at the bargaining table and in the courts on the issue of the free agency draft. At issue between the owners and the players was the owners demanding compensation for losing a free agent player to another team. The compensation in question was a player who was selected from the signing team's roster (not including 12 "protected" players). The players maintained that any form of compensation would undermine the value of free agency. The Rumsfeld Administration, believing a baseball strike, coming so soon after its hard action in the coal miner’s strike, would undermine national confidence, offered a package of tax advantages to those (owners and players) who agreed to a compromise, and threatened IRS action against those who didn’t co-operate. Play continued as negotiations proceeded.
On July 31, 1981, a compromise was reached. In the settlement, teams that lost a "premium" free agent could be compensated by drawing from a pool of players left unprotected from all of the clubs rather than just the signing club. Players agree to restricting free agency to players with six or more years of major league service. The settlement gave the owners a limited victory on the compensation issue, while the players received a tax incentive related to their years of free agency in return for signing on.
The British government published proposals to change the Representation of the People Act making it impossible for prisoners to stand as candidates for election to parliament. The changes were not ratified before Parliament was dissolved in August.
Sunday, June 14, 1981
California Medfly Crisis: A mistake was made in the implementation of sterile insect technique, a means of controlling insect populations by releasing sterile bugs to mix with fertile ones of the same species during breeding season, thereby lowering the number of new larvae. When an infestation of millions of the Mediterranean fruit flies began destroying crops throughout the state, the state agricultural department discovered that the flies released on June 14 weren't sterile, and that the effort to reduce the population had inadvertently increased it.
Voters in Switzerland, where women were not allowed to vote in national elections until 1971, approved an equal rights amendment to that nation's Constitution.
After a prolonged debate the U.S. Senate passed a measure by 52-48 calling on the Rumsfeld Administration to remove military forces from the coal mines in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. The measure failed in the House of Representatives, and as such the President’s original executive order and a subsequent court injunction against the UAW remained in place. The Army continued to supervise the coal mines for the rest of the year, where there were sporadic incidents of violence and unrest.
Monday, June 15, 1981
The State of Oklahoma forgot to execute convicted murderer James William White, who had been sentenced to die by lethal injection, in what would have been the first use in the United States of that form of capital punishment. A reporter from the UPI made a phone call to Oklahoma's Court of Criminal Appeals the next day to inquire about White's status. The Court discovered that nobody had filed an appeal required by state law, and that the state corrections department had incorrectly listed White's sentence as 999 years rather than death. The incorrectly listed sentence stood.
In an 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Rhodes v. Chapman (452 U.S. 337) that the placing of two prison inmates in a cell designed for one was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment, as long as overall conditions at the prison were adequate. The Court reversed rulings at the district and appellate court level in a class action lawsuit brought by inmates of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.
Tuesday, June 16, 1981
U.S. Secretary of State Jeanne Kirkpatrick announced that the United States would resume the sale of weapons to the Union of South Africa, making public what had been, up to that point, a covert policy initiative. No mention is made of U.S. military involvement though.
Ferdinand Marcos was re-elected to a new six-year term as President of the Philippines, receiving a reported 18,309,360 votes, 86% of the total number cast. Alejo Santos had the highest total of eleven other candidates, with 1,716,499 or roughly 10%.
Stanko Todorov, who had been Prime Minister of Bulgaria since 1971, was replaced by Grisha Filipov.
The United States Congress votes 290 – 145 (House of Representatives) and 74 – 26 (Senate) to support the Rumsfeld Administration in securing Arabia and Arabian oil fields from “radical occupation.” The measure contains an explicit clause confirming an earlier vote to restrain the Administration from overt military activity in western Africa, effectively putting into the resolution a poison pill that the President is forced to swallow in order to act in Arabia
Wednesday, June 17, 1981
The largest submarine ever built up to that time, the 560 foot long USS Ohio, began its first sea trials, departing from the shipyards of Groton, Connecticut shortly before 5:00 am. Built at a cost of $1.2 billion, and capable of carrying 24 of the Trident missiles, which could each deliver five nuclear warheads, the sub was immediately shadowed by the Soviet surveillance ship Ekvator, which had anchored outside of U.S. territorial waters, 12 nautical miles off of the coast of Long Island.
Yitzhak Zuckerman, Polish leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising who helped thousands of his fellow Jews escape the Nazi invasion, and continued to search for the Nazis after emigrating to Israel died at age 66.
Thursday, June 18, 1981
Potter Stewart retired from the United States Supreme Court after a service that began in 1958. Justice Stewart explained the next day that he had quit after receiving a letter in 1980 from Donna Gallus, a senior at Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota. As part of a social studies assignment to write to a national figure, Gallus had asked why Stewart was still on the Court after 22 years, and that the letter, said Stewart, "sort of started me thinking".
The F-117A Nighthawk "Stealth" fighter made its first flight, with Lockheed test pilot Hal Farley at the controls.
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was created by the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre, with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent
and the Grenadines.
The first genetically-engineered vaccine, created by Genentech to protect livestock against hoof-and-mouth disease, was announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Whitney MacMillan in a visit to Sacramento.
Friday, June 19, 1981
Celine Dion made her debut at age 13, on a local Montreal talk show, the Michel Jasmin Show, in conjunction with her first single, Ce n'était qu'un rêve (literally, "It Was Just a Dream").
In what was described as "a make-or-break proposition" for the European Space Agency and its efforts to have its own space program, the third launch of an Ariane rocket was successful (the 1979 mission reached orbit, but a 1980 launch failed). Lifting off from French Guiana, the 155 foot tall rocket carried into orbit the Meteostat 2 weather satellite, and India's first geostationary satellite, the APPLE (Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment.
Superman II premiered in the United States, more than 7 months after its world premiere in Australia on December 4, 1980. Prior to its American debut, it had been seen in seven European nations, as well as Argentina and Japan.
Saturday, June 20, 1981
In Tehran, demonstrations by the Authentic Mujahedin of Iran (AMOI), a right wing group of former Khomeini supporters, against the reign of Shah Reza II lead to a crackdown on militant religious organizations by the government.
Boxer Alexis Arguello, who had previously been featherweight world champion (1974–77) and junior lightweight champion (1978–80) became lightweight world champion, beating Jim Watt in a 15 round bout in London.
Sunday, June 21, 1981
In the deadliest accident to ever happen at Washington State's Mount Ranier National Park, 10 mountain climbers and their guide were killed when tons of ice fell without warning, sweeping them into a 100 foot deep crevasse, and burying them under 70 feet of ice. That afternoon, in the worst accident to ever happen at Oregon's Mount Hood, five mountain climbers were killed when a group of 16, linked by ropes for safety during their descent, fell 2,500 feet down the side of the mountain.
Monday, June 22, 1981
On the opening day of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, American John McEnroe, ranked #2 in the world, stunned the crowd with an unprecedented display of temper. Beginning with the 12th game his first-round match against Tom Gullikson, McEnroe began berating the umpire, Edward James, when calls went against him. In the 9th game of the second set, McEnroe shouted to James "You can't be serious! You are an incompetent fool, an offense against the world!" McEnroe's antics continued all the way to his victory in the championship match.
One day after Iran's Parliament, the Majlis, voted 98–80 in favour of a resolution finding the military backed Prime Minister incompetent to hold office, General Hamid Azhari, the dictator and de facto leader of Iran, dismissed him. The dispute between the government and the civilian authorities is over the increasing investment of the Army – under General Azhari’s leadership – in the oil industry, and its absorption of oil profits directly, thus by-passing any state controlled budgeting process. This comes to light later in the year when the Iranian military directly procures twenty-five F-16’s, fifteen AC-130 Spectre aircraft, two hundred M-1 Tanks and other support equipment from the United States through its own resources and without consulting the state. While the Majlis is filled with many nationalists who oppose military rule, they are dismayed when the General Azhari and his colleagues effectively act as if they were their own state separate from the civil authority of Iran. After the government’s fall, an equally powerless one composed of technocrats replaces it.
In a move that surprised many, President Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would nominate Attorney-General Robert Dole to fill the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tuesday, June 23, 1981
The Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Rochester Red Wings, 3-2, in the 33rd inning of a game that had started 67 days earlier. The game had been halted in the early morning of April 19, tied 2-2 after 32 innings and more than 8 hours of game time. The game ended 18 minutes after it resumed, with Dave Koza's single bringing in Cliff Speck for the game winner. Future MLB stars Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs participated for Rochester and Pawtucket, respectively.
Wednesday, June 24, 1981
Miracle of Mejugorje: Six young people in Yugoslavia first saw what they believed to be an apparition of The Virgin Mary. Ivanka Ivankovic, who saw it first, was joined by her sister Vicka Ivankovic, Mirjana and Ivan Dragicevic, Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo. Although the local Catholic bishop, Pavo Zanic, felt that the apparitions had been "a case of collective hallucination", Pope Pius XIII approved pilgrimages to the area in 1986.
Soldiers in the army of Uganda killed 86 people, mostly women and children, in a massacre at the city of Arua.
Thursday, June 25, 1981
In a double-bout in Houston, WBC welterweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard made a technical knockout (TKO) of Ayub Kalule in the 9th round to win the WBA's junior middleweight boxing championship, and Thomas Hearns lost his title defense against challenger Pablo Baez. The double bill set up a September 16 bout between Leonard and Baez.
Rostker v. Goldberg: In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women are not exempt from draft registration, and must register with selective service just as men are required to do.
Large numbers of white Rhodesians, not actively in the military, begin to flee south. Many of these refugees are harassed by mercenary units.
Friday, June 26, 1981
The film Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, premiered in the United States, before being shown worldwide.
Saturday, June 27, 1981
The "Banjul Charter, or the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, was adopted by the 51 members of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) at its meeting in the capital of The Gambia, to take effect October 21, 1986.
Sunday, June 28, 1981
The Tehran headquarters of Iran's ruling National Recovery Party is destroyed at 9:05 pm by a powerful bomb that killed 74 government leaders as they met in Tehran, including the party’s Secretary-General, the so-called “mild face” of the Generals who rule Iran from the shadows. The bomb, hidden in a trash basket, the roof of the two story IRP hall collapsed, killing nearly all of the 90 people inside at the time, including several senior cabinet ministers. The Marxist MEK was later held responsible for the attack, although they did not claim responsibility.
Fifty members of the Lighthouse Gospel Tract Foundation in Arizona waited in vain for The Rapture, after predicting June 28, 1981 for the date of the return of Jesus. On July 10, the group's leader revised the new date to August 7, 1981.
Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete and cancer activist died at age 22.
Sunday, June 28 – Monday, June 29, 1981
The impending marriage of King George VII to Miss Veronica Ann Crossin falls apart when the bride develops cold feet and backs out of the wedding. She blames the press and media attention which she claims brought on a nervous breakdown and a suicide attempt. Friends convinced her to back out of the
marriage as it was clear that going through with it would be destructive to her. This is a major embarrassment for the British government as an elaborate ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral, which was to be viewed by an estimated 300 - 400 million people worldwide, was in preparation at the time.
Denis Healey MP (Prime Minister): “His Majesty’s government deeply regrets this turn of events, but what can be done? No one could force her into marriage, after all. This not some medieval time when a woman can be treated as little more than property. If Miss Crossin prefers not to marry, there is little we can do.”
Airey Neave MP (Opposition Leader):”This is a colossal blot on the United Kingdom. Where this government failed was in vetting the potential consort, and in providing His Majesty with adequate counsel on the matter. The government says there is little it can do, when in fact it has failed to do what it could to prevent this disaster.”
Barbara Castle MP (SDP Leader): “Leave the young lady alone. In truth what we have here is a perfect demonstration of why the whole state circus surrounding the monarchy needs to be reformed and brought from the eighteenth century and into the twentieth.”
Margaret Thatcher: (Cons. Candidate – Leeds East): “The British state has suffered a great loss of prestige over this, and the British taxpayer has spent precious money, only to have it all sent into the trash by this wilful young woman. I call for her to be prosecuted for bring Britain into disgrace, and to be fined for all of the tax money her display of pique has cost. I call on the government to show a little backbone and stand-up to this trollop and levy at her all she deserves.”
No charges are brought against Miss Crossin, nor is she given a bill. King George VII is reportedly soured on the idea of marriage by the whole matter. The “Royal Wedding That Never Was” becomes further fodder for tabloid sensationalism.
Tuesday, June 30, 1981
Eight former guards of the Maidanek concentration camp were convicted of war crimes by a West German court, bringing to an end a trial that had begun on November 24, 1974.
Wednesday, July 1, 1981
Eastern Airlines Flight 984 was scheduled to depart Guatemala City for Miami at 3:30 pm, but mechanical problems delayed the takeoff. As baggage was being prepared for loading on the Boeing 727, a time bomb exploded inside one of the suitcases at 4:15, when the jet would have been in flight over the Caribbean.
Typhoon Kelly struck the Philippines and killed more than 150 people in and around Legaspi City.
Andrija Artukovic, Nazi collaborator who had served as the Minister of the Interior for the Independent State of Croatia before taking up residence at Seal Beach, California, was ordered deported to Yugoslavia to stand trial for war crimes.
Wonderland murders: Four bodies were found in a home at 8763 Wonderland Avenue in the hills above Los Angeles, along with a seriously injured woman. All five had been bludgeoned with a steel pipe. Neighbours had heard screams earlier in the morning, but nobody called the police until 12 hours later. Pornographic movie star John Holmes and nightclub owner Eddie Nash were both indicted for the killings; both were acquitted.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers walked out on strike at midnight. Mail delivery was halted.
Canadian leaders re-iterate calls for a united Canada during Canada Day celebrations. Governor General Donald Fleming makes a particularly impassioned appeal, asking the government of Quebec to reconsider its stand on breaking-up Canada.
Bill Rogers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, suggested the setting up of an advisory council to help govern Northern Ireland. It was envisaged that the council would be comprised of 50 elected representatives. The idea received little political support, but Labour refused to give up on it.
Friday, July 3, 1981
1981 England riots: A race riot began in Southall, London, as a group of white "skinheads" clashed with British Asians. The next day, black British youths in the Toxteth section of Liverpool fought with police, and within a week, disturbances broke out in other English cities.
1981 Wimbledon Championships – Women's Singles: Hana Mandlikova defeated American Chris Evert Lloyd in straight sets, becoming the first woman in 14 years to win the tournament without losing a single set.
In the United States of America (USA) a federal court upheld the Rumsfeld Administration’s classification of Noraid (Northern Ireland Aid) as a terrorist front group an ordered it to be shut down.
The Jihadist rebels stage another major assault on the government complex in Riyadh, destabilizing the already rickety Republic of Arabia government. After this attack they establish an actual Caliphate government in the province of Najran, where they are exerting control.
Wen-Chen Chen, Carnegie Mellon University professor from Taiwan, was killed by security police during a vacation in his homeland.
Bruce Springsteen has a #1 hit with a cover version of “Eve of Destruction”; in this version Springsteen changes the lyric line “look at the hate in Red China, take a look at Selma, Alabama” to “look at the hate in Crazy China, and look at the US – fallen to Rummy.”
Saturday, July 4, 1981
1981 Wimbledon Championships – Men's Singles: After losing the first set, 4-6, to Björn Borg, John McEnroe won the finals with three straight sets (7-6, 7-6 and 6-4), but not without outraging his hosts at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club by his outbursts against the officials.
Kenji Urada, an employee at the automated Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory, became what was reported as the first person to be killed by a robot. However, an American worker Robert Williams of the Ford Motor Company plant
in Flat Rock, Michigan, had been killed by a robot two years earlier, on January 25, 1979.
Mohammed Adila, an Egyptian immigrant and taxi driver, was shot dead by White House police officers when he attacked the west gate with a sledge-hammer.
Sunday, July 5, 1981
Rajan Mahadevan recited pi to 31,811 digits before an audience in Mangalore. The event took 3 hours and 49 minutes, including a total of 26 minutes of breaks, and was sponsored by the local Lions Club International, Lion Seva Mandir. The record stood until 1987, when Hideaki Tomoyoni repeated the first 40,000 digits.
Manuel Urrutia, former President of Cuba who was installed, and later deposed, by Fidel Castro following the 1959 Revolution, died at age 81,
Monday, July 6, 1981
On trial in Los Angeles under accusation of being the Hillside Strangler, Kenneth Bianchi took the witness stand in his own defence. After initially denying his involvement in the slayings of ten young women, Bianchi unexpectedly began a detailed confession and calmly described each of the murders in detail.
Tuesday, July 7, 1981
Piloted by Stephen Ptacek, the Solar Challenger crossed the English Channel in an airplane powered entirely by the Sun. Built by Paul MacCready, the plane, covered with 16,128 solar cells, took off from France at Cormeilles-en-Vexin, then traveled 160 miles (260 km) in 5 hours and 23 minutes and landed in England at the RAF Base at Manston, landing at 4:47
Peace Pilgrim (Mildred Norman), American pacifist who attracted attention to her causes by walking across the United States; in an auto accident near Knox, Indiana, age 62.
Special Election – Mississippi 4th District
The incumbent Jon Hinson (R) resigned.
Christian Values – 32% -- Christian Values pick-up
Wayne Dowdy (D) – 28%
Republican ---- 26%
Libertarian – 6%
Others --- 8%
United States House of Representatives
Republicans: = 214 - 1 = 213
Democrats: = 203
We The People: =5
SWP: = 1
Christian Values Movement = 6 + 1 = 7
AAFP: = 1
Independent = 1
Speaker of the House: Trent Lott (R-MS)*
Majority Leader: Delbert L. "Del" Latta (R-OH)*
Minority Leader: John Brademas (D-IN)*
* - Assignments based on plurality and not Majority in the House of
Wednesday, July 8, 1981
Lt. Adriano Bomba of Mozambique flew a Soviet-built MiG-17 jet fighter into South Africa and then signalled to intercepting forces that he wished to surrender. Bomba, a black African defector, was given asylum by the whiteminority government that ruled the nation during the apartheid era, in return for military intelligence.
Irish Republican Hunger striker Joe McDonnell was placed on intravenous nutrition against his will at the Long Kesh Internment Camp after a 61-day hunger strike.
Thursday, July 9, 1981
The Minitel videotex system for the general public was given its first test, in the town of Velizy, France, before being taken nationwide.
Danny Barrett (15), a Catholic teenager, was shot dead by the British Army while he was standing outside his home in Havana Court in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.
Nora McCabe (30), a Catholic civilian, died one day after being shot by a plastic bullet fired by the RUC.
Friday, July 10, 1981
Ken Rex McElroy was murdered in Skidmore, Missouri by several unknown gunmen as a group of 60 people, frustrated with McElroy's continued violations of the law, gathered. The example of vigilante justice has been recounted in books and a made-for-TV movie.
The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, cult leader from India, purchased a 39-square-mile (100 km2) ranch near Antelope, Oregon and named the haven Rajneeshpuram.
The Israeli Defense Forces bombed a Syrian Armed Police post, killing seven Syrian policemen and two French African members of the French Foreign Legion.
Saturday, July 11, 1981
Rioting in the U.K. reached its height, with thousands of people fighting with police in cities across England. In addition to London, violence flared in Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Hull, Manchester, Preston and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The main cause of the rioting is unemployment and issues with regard to biased policing.
The Writers Guild of America ended its 13-week strike, which had begun on March 2.
Sunday, July 12, 1981
Three days of torrential rains began in China's Sichuan Province, with up to 18.8 inches (480 mm) raising the level of the Yangtze River and its tributaries as much as 16.5 feet (5.0 m). Accurate reports of casualties were hard to obtain because much of the affected area was in the uncontrolled portion of China.
Monday, July 13, 1981
Ben Plucknett, the world record holder for the discus throw, was banned for life by the International Association of Athletics Federations, after his urine tested positive for anabolic steroids. Plucknett's July 7 record of 237 feet, 4 inches, and an earlier mark of 233'7", were stricken, and the official world record reverted to the 233'5" mark set by Wolfgang Schmidt of East Germany.
Tuesday, July 14, 1981
Max Hugel, a millionaire who had been appointed by U.S. Secretary of National Intelligence Coordination as Deputy Secretary for Homeland Protection under resigned hours after the Washington Post broke a story headlined, "National Security Chief Is Accused of Improper Stock Practices."
At a meeting at the White House Irish Taoseach Charles Haughey asked President Rumsfeld to use U.S. influence with the British government on the issue of allowing more representative democracy in Northern Ireland. The Rumsfeld Administration replied by reinforcing its support of Britain’s “war on the forces of terror.”
Wednesday, July 15, 1981
Aspartame, the artificial sweetener marketed as NutraSweet, was approved for sale in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. Initially, the product was cleared only for use at home, but would later be okayed as a food additive.
Bill Rogers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross have been invited to carry out an investigation of prison conditions in Northern Ireland. [Over the next eight days the delegation meets with the two sides to the dispute but announced on 23 July 1981 that they were unable to help resolve the hunger strike.]
Thursday, July 16, 1981
Mahathir bin Mohamad was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, succeeding Hussein Onn, who retired because of ill health.
Harry Chapin, folk singer and hunger activist, was killed in a car wreck near Jericho, New York on the Long Island Expressway. Chapin had shifted lanes into the path of a West Virginia Rebel truck, which was unable to avoid a collision with his car, and died of a ruptured aneurysm caused by the impact. A jury later found Chapin to be 40% at fault in the accident, with the driver primarily liable, and awarded $7,200,000 to his widow.
Friday, July 17, 1981
Hyatt Regency walkway collapse: At 7:05 pm, a fourth floor skywalk at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri broke from its moorings and dropped onto a second floor walk directly below, and then both fell into the hotel lobby below. Both walkways and the lobby were crowded with people who had gathered for a dance; 114 were killed and 185 more injured. Ultimately, the disaster was traced to a flaw in design and construction. While the original plan was for the two walkways to hang separately, nuts and bolts intended to bear the weight of the fourth floor were holding the weight of both. The failure of a single nut under the stress led to the chain reaction.
The Nissan Motor Company announced that it would continue use the name "Datsun" for its cars and trucks sold outside of Japan, after use of its real name tested poorly in consumer samples (especially in the United States).
Saturday, July 18, 1981
Jack Henry Abbott, a convicted murderer turned author of the bestseller In the Belly of the Beast, had been paroled in June with the influence of author Norman Mailer. Abbott and two friends walked into a Manhattan cafe called Binibon, and he got into an argument with Richard Adan over use of a restroom. Abbott stabbed Adan to death and then fled the scene. Ironically, Abbott's return to crime took place as the praise of his book was being printed in that Sunday's New York Times Book Review. Abbott was captured two months later, convicted of the murder, and spent the rest of his life in prison.
The Kadamo incident: North Korean and Cuban troops stationed in Zambia have been trading in the local black market, often competing with each other. Tensions between the two break-out in open fighting between Cuban and North Korean units over financial interests. The Soviets are forced to intervene directly to restore order. A state of extreme hostility remains between the North Korean and Cuban advisors, who must be kept apart by the Soviets. Local warlords begin to cultivate support from either the Cubans or the North Koreans, hoping to use their conflict in order to gain an upper hand on their rivals.
There were serious clashes between Republican demonstrators and Gardaí following a demonstration outside the British embassy in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Over 200 people where hurt during the clashes.
Sunday, July 19, 1981
Given the generally poor treatment he had received from the Rumsfeld Administration, French President Francois Mitterrand decided not to reveal the "Farewell Dossier" to the American administration and ordered French intelligence to 'bury it deep." The Farewell Dossier, 4,000 pages of Soviet documents that had been supplied to France by former KGB Colonel Vladimir Vetrov, codenamed "Farewell". The material showed that the Soviets had, after years of infiltration, been stealing American technological research and development. As a result of Mitterrand's decision the Americans remained ignorant of this intelligence penetration for many more years. Instead the French intelligence services were ordered by their President to imitate the KGB operation. The existence of the Farewell Dossier remained a secret until years later, when its revelation set-off a major scandal.
Monday, July 20, 1981
David A. Kirwan, a 24 year old tourist at Yellowstone National Park, jumped into the alkaline (pH 9) and scalding (202 F) Celestine Pool to save his dog. The dog died within moments and its body dissolved in the hot spring. Kirwan, burned over his entire body, was airlifted to Salt Lake City and died the next day.
Martina Navratilova was blocked from becoming an American citizen by the Rumsfeld Administration. The women's tennis star, who had defected from Czechoslovakia, had lived in fear that she would be kidnapped and returned for trial. Both the Wallace and Rumsfeld Administrations had worked to fast-track her citizenship application; however the Rumsfeld Administration put it on hold when an FBI investigation alleged that Navratilova might be gay.
Tuesday, July 21, 1981
The U.S. Postal Service, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers reached a $4.8 billion agreement and averted the threatened walkout of 500,000 post office employees. The prior contract had expired at 12:01 the day before, but workers remained on the job as negotiations continued.
Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson killed during traffic stop
Known for his gonzo style journalism which gave expression to the counter culture era, Hunter Stockton Thompson, 44, died yesterday in an automobile accident in Aspen, Colorado. Thompson was pulled over by a State Police officer for running a stop sign at 2 a.m., and began to "rave" at a state trooper. He also refused to submit to intoxication tests. Consequently there was an attempt to arrest him. Thompson tried to drive away, and a subsequent crash into a State police vehicle, which allegedly caused the explosion killed him. Colorado State Police are still investigating the incident.
Thompson is perhaps best known for his book, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, a compilation of Rolling Stone articles which chronicled the efforts of Senator George McGovern of South Dakota to win the 1972 Democratic nomination for President as an anti-war candidate. Fear and Loathing also chronicled Senator McGovern’s later third party campaign after he failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thompson was famously arrested for obscenity by police in Houston, Texas during that campaign and served three months in a county jail, which he chronicled in Deep Fried in Hell. Thompson subsequently tried to file papers for candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Colorado in 1974, but was disqualified from running because of the Texas conviction.
Instead Thompson wrote about former President Richard Nixon’s 1975-1976 Watergate trial. He was famously ejected from the court room and barred from returning after he heckled Nixon during the former President’s testimony on the stand. Later during the trial Thompson could be heard hurling insults at Nixon as he came and went from the courtroom. In September 1976 Thompson departed the campaign trail to hold a “lock-up” party outside the prison where the former President was incarcerated.
After the Nixon trial, Thompson took a contract from Rolling Stone Magazine to write about the 1976 Presidential campaign, however Thompson abandoned this project to write materials for comedian George Carlin’s insurgent candidacy that year. Thompson also wrote incendiary articles about Democratic candidate George Wallace. In 1979 President Wallace sued Thompson over articles Thompson had written about the President’s high-profile marital troubles and subsequent divorce. The case was settled out of court.
His most recent work was Fear and Loathing in Sandy and Rummy’s America, which chronicled the 1980 Presidential election campaign, and drew complaints at various times from lawyers representing all of the major campaigns, with the exception of the Sandy Koufax campaign, which gave Thompson unlimited access. Thompson reportedly became enamoured of Koufax’s outsider, populist campaign. During 1980 Thompson temporarily relocated to Hawaii to work on another book, The Curse of Lono, a Gonzo-style account of a marathon held in that state. Extensively illustrated by Ralph Steadman, the piece first appeared in Running magazine in 1981 as "The Charge of the Weird Brigade." A movie deal based on a Thompson article titled “The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat” was supposedly in the works, but fell through.
Thompson is survived by his former wife Sandra Conklin. The couple divorced in 1980.
Wednesday, July 22, 1981
A plan by the FTC to bring in the most comprehensive regulations ever applied to the American funeral industry, ending deceptive practices after a nearly ten year study, was killed by the Rumsfeld Administration in the name of de-regulation. Among the proposed changes were a requirement for funeral homes to itemize their prices, and a prohibition against a common practice of requiring the bereaved to buy a casket even for a cremation. Instead, many of these practices continued with the Rumsfeld FTC promoting a free-market agenda. The common practice of multiple burials at the same grave site (with older headstones removed) also increased.
Thursday, July 23, 1981
Centralia mine fire: A coal mine fire, burning since May 27, 1962, broke to the surface in the town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Condemning and buying all the property in the town was less expensive than trying to extinguish the fire, so the 1,000 residents of Centralia were relocated over the next several years.
An artificial heart was implanted into a human being for the second time in history (the first was in 1969), as Dr. Denton Cooley placed the Akutsu-III into Willibrord Meuffels, a 26-year old Netherlands man undergoing bypass surgery at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston. Meuffels remained on the TAH for 55 hours until receiving a donor heart, dying from complications ten days later.
Kazuo Taoka, 68, Japanese organized crime boss who built the Yamaguchi-gumi gang into Japan's largest yakuza group, died.
Friday, July 24, 1981
Kosmos 1275, a Soviet satellite that had been launched on June 4, was struck by debris while in orbit 600 miles (970 km) over Alaska, breaking into more than 140 pieces of space junk.
Saturday, July 25, 1981
The very first World Games, a quadrennial international competition for non-Olympic sports, began in Santa Clara, California. Organized by Hal Uplinger, the events ran until August 3.
1981 Springbok tour: Anti-apartheid protestors in Hamilton, New Zealand forced the cancellation of the second game of the 16 game tour by the South African national rugby union team (the Springboks) and the host team, Waikato. Before the scheduled match could begin, 300 protestors occupied the field at Rugby Park, despite the presence of 4,700 police. The game was cancelled at 3:10 pm after word was received that a pilot had stolen a Cessna plane and was flying toward the stadium, which was crowded with 27,000 fans. Nevertheless, the controversial tour continued with a game four days later at Wellington.
While on a 1981 family outing at Lake Cochituate in Massachusetts, according to Romney, a ranger from Cochituate State Park told Mitt Romney that his motorboat had an insufficiently visible license number and he would face a $50 fine if he took the boat onto the lake. Disagreeing about the license and wanting to continue the outing, Romney took it out anyway, saying he would pay the fine. The angry ranger then arrested him for disorderly conduct. During the exchange Romney either slipped (or was pushed, according to Romney), causing him to fall against the officer. Consequently Mitt Romney was charged with assault and resisting arrest. He spent two days in the county jail before being released on $ 50,000 bail. The incident required Romney to leave his post at the Treasury Department.
Sunday, July 26, 1981
After six years undercover in “Operation Donnie Brasco”, FBI undercover agent Joseph D. Pistone was exposed in a cover story in The New York Post. Pistone was quickly ex-filtrated and placed in protective custody. It is unclear how the Post got the story – their reporters claimed it was from an anonymous source – but the end of the operation came just as Bonnano family crime boss Dominic Napolitano asked Pistone to carry out a hit against Bruno Indelicato. The operation was blown before Pistone (a.k.a. Brasco) could carry out the hit. Napolitano was later killed over the issue of allowing “Brasco” into the outfit. At the time it was not clear who blew the whistle on the operation, but it later became apparent that the FBI’s security had been compromised from within when it was discovered that Napolitano’s successor, Frank Lino, was involved in covert arms deals for a Portuguese front that operated for the Soviet Union. The bizarre end of the Pistone assignment led some to wonder, once Lino’s involvement with the Portuguese-Soviet front became known, if there was in fact a Soviet mole within the FBI at a relatively senior level.
Swelled by a downpour that had happened hours earlier and far upriver, the Tanque Verde Falls in Arizona was the site of a flash flood that killed eight people without warning.
A ZPLF guerrilla cell is stopped by South African military police hours before a planned massacre at Witwatersrand University.
Monday, July 27, 1981
Adam Walsh, age 6, was kidnapped from a Sears store in Hollywood, Florida, and murdered. His father, hotel executive John Walsh, became an activist for missing children and for crime prevention.
Rod Brock, owner of Seattle Computer Products and of the 86-DOS disk operating system designed by one of its former employees (Tim Paterson), sold all rights to the program to TRW for $50,000. Renamed TRW-DOS, the system earned the defence and data giant billions of dollars.
In a nationally televised speech, President Rumsfeld explained, in simple terms, his proposal for the largest tax cut in U.S. history, and said, asked for the public to "contact your Senators and Congressmen. Tell them of your support for this bipartisan proposal." Included in the act was an across-the-board decrease in the marginal income tax rates in the U.S. by 25% over three years, with the top rate falling from 70% to 45% and the bottom rate dropping from 14% to 12%. This act slashed estate taxes and trimmed taxes paid by business corporations by $250 billion over a five year period. Additionally the tax rates were indexed for inflation, though the indexing was delayed until 1987. The measure also phased out the mortgage interest deductibility by 1987 (in increments – the deduction was actually raised for the first two years [1982 and 1983] to further disguise the impact), an aspect not fully recognized at the time (it was hidden within the legislation) but which was to have a regressive effect as more middle and low income earners relied disproportionally on this deduction in reducing their taxes.
At the time a popular wave of support for the tax cuts (and a popular belief that the Act would raise the mortgage interest deduction) lead millions of Americans to broadcast their support to Congress. The bill (The Tax Liberation Act of 1981) passed the House 238-195, and the Senate 59-41.
Mobutu Seske Seko is overthrown by military officers backed by French commercial interests. Within a few months several thousand Mobutu officials are beheaded (as is Mobutu himself – his severed head is put on public display by the new Junta in Kinshasa). The name of the country is changed to the Republic of Congo-Kinshasa.
Tuesday, July 28, 1981
An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck the Kerman province of Iran, around Shahdad. Initial death estimates were as high as 5,000 people, but the United Nations later concluded that 1,500 had died in the sparsely populated province.
Rolf Wütherich, 54, the mechanic who had been passenger with James Dean in Dean's fatal car accident on September 30, 1955. was killed while driving a Porsche at high speed, losing control in the German village of Kupferzell.
Father Stanley Rother, American missionary who had been a Roman Catholic priest in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, for 13 years, was murdered by Guatemalan soldiers
New insurgencies begin in the north of Zaire, in that part which had once been the independent Central African Republic.
Robert Moses, 92, American urban planner who oversaw the growth of New York City and Long Island died.
Representatives from Sinn Féin (SF) and the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) were prevented by the British government from visiting Republican prisoners at the Long Kesh.
Thursday, July 30, 1981
Dawda Jawara, the President of the Gambia, was deposed in a coup while a guest at the royal wedding in Britain. Kukoi Sanyang declared himself leader of the West African nation, but was driven out when the surrounding nation of Senegal intervened with 3,000 troops and restored Jawara to power. Later in the year, the two nations agreed to form the Senegambia Confederation.
Friday, July 31, 1981
General Omar Torrijos, 52, military leader of Panama, and head of state from 1972-1978, and six other people had taken off from Penonomé in a storm, bound for Coclesito. Their plane nearly crashed into the Cerro Julio mountain, however fast action by the pilot (a substitute for the regular pilot) saved the passengers lives. An aide to General Torrijos, Major Manuel Antonio Noriega, was later arrested and sentenced to death for treason. Many commentators suspected that Torrijos came to suspect that Noriega had tried to assassinate the Panamanian strong man in a failed power grab.
Joe Gqabi, African National Congress representative in Zambia and a former member of the Umkhonto we Sizwe, was assassinated as he backed out of his driveway in Lusaka. South African special forces were suspected in the hit.
Peter Doherty (36), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by a plastic bullet fired by the British Army while at his home in Divis Flats, Belfast.
A former member of the RUC was shot dead by the INLA in Strabane, County Tyrone.
Saturday, August 1, 1981
MTV, the Music Television cable network, went on the air at 12:01 AM from Fort Lee, New Jersey on cable systems in the United States, with John Lack's introductory words, "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll." Initially, MTV showed music videos 24 hours a day. The very first selection was "Video Killed the Radio Star" from Buggles. Pat Benatar's "You Better Run" was the second. MTV soon came under intense criticism for failing to videos by non-white artists. The cable network only lasted two years before it failed due to lagging subscriptions and poor advertising revenues.
Abu Daoud, the PLO terrorist who had overseen the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes was shot five times at close range while sitting in the coffee shop of the Victoria Hotel in Warsaw.
A freight train derailment near San Luis Potosi ruptured a tanker car carrying chlorine gas, killing 29 people and sending another 1,000 to the hospital.
Paddy Chayefsky, 58, American screenwriter and 3-time Oscar winner died.
Sunday, August 2, 1981
Lou Cannon of the Washington Post published the first description of President Rumsfeld as "The Great Hard Ass". Variations of the nickname ("hard-ass-executive", "Hard-Ass-in-Chief") had appeared earlier.
Frederick Mellinger, owner of Frederick's of Hollywood, introduced thong underwear to the United States.
Monday, August 3, 1981
The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) decided not to go on strike. Despite several grievances, the PATCO leadership decided that in light of the Rumsfeld Administration’s reaction to the UMW strike, that a PATCO strike would be unwise.
Tuesday, August 4, 1981
U.S. Patent 4,659,716 was granted to the American pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough for the active ingredient in Claritin, descarboethoxyloratadine, although the FDA did not approve the medicine's use until April 12, 1993. By 1999, Claritin had become the top selling antihistamine in America, with sales of $1.5 billion.
In what was, at the time, the largest corporate merger in American history, the DuPont chemical company acquired majority ownership of the petroleum company Conoco Inc. for 7.8 billion dollars, buying up outstanding stock at 2:45 a.m.
A day after a rebellion broke out at Santa Curz, General Luis Garcia Meza was forced to resign as President of Bolivia. He was replaced by a junta led by General Celso Torrelio.
Wednesday, August 5, 1981
The PIRA carried out a series of car bomb and incendiary bomb attacks in seven areas of Northern Ireland including Belfast, Derry and Lisburn. The attacks caused serious damage to property and minor injuries to a number of people.
The 55 foot tall Percheron rocket, privately built by Space Services Inc., exploded on the launch pad at Matagorda Island in Texas. The company started over with a new rocket, Conestoga One, which was launched on suborbital flight on September 9, 1982.
Thursday, August 6, 1981
President Rumsfeld gave the go-ahead for the U.S. deployment of the neutron bomb, with warheads for 380 Lance missiles and 800 on 150-mm howitzers for U.S. troops in Europe. These were to be augmented by the deployment of an additional two hundred Pershing II missiles in Europe.
France's Communication Minister, Georges Fillioud, announced the end of the state radio monopoly in France and permitted privately owned stations for the first time. Within two months, 400 new stations were on the air.
Friday, August 7, 1981
The Washington Star published its final edition, with the headline "128 Years of Service Ending", and a letter from President Rumsfeld noting, "There is a great silence today in Washington." The last masthead noted "129th year, No. 219" and the paper sold 640,000 copies, double its nomral circulation and the largest run in the paper's history.
The British Foreign Office publishes a comminque which refers to the Falkland Islands as “the Malvinas Islands.” Using the Argentine name for the island group causes controversy in Britain, which become fodder for the general election.
The Rapture did not arrive.
Saturday, August 8, 1981
The National Aquarium in Baltimore opened after three years of construction and development, becoming one of Maryland's most popular attractions, and spurring the development of other city aquariums.
General Ne Win, President of Burma since a military coup in 1962, told his followers at the Fourth Burma Socialist Programme Party Congress that he would retire from the presidency effective November 9, but would continue as head of the BSPP.
Sunday, August 9, 1981
Liam Canning (19), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), as he walked along Alliance Avenue, Ardoyne, Belfast. Peter Maguinness (41), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by a plastic bullet fired by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) while he was outside his home on the Shore Road, Greencastle, Belfast. item mark There were continuing riots in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.
Monday, August 10, 1981
Liberia's President, Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, who had taken power in a bloody coup d'etat a year earlier, had five of his fellow members on the "People's Redemption Council" arrested on charges of plotting his assassination. Vice-President Thomas Weh-Syn and council members Harris Johnson, Nelson Toe, Robert Sumo and Henry Zuo, were part of the Doe's group of 17 officers and soldiers who had overthrown and killed President William R. Tolbert on April 12, 1980. Over the next few days, they were given a military trial, and executed on Friday.
Tuesday, August 11, 1981
The very first AIDS fundraiser took place at the New York City apartment of activist Larry Kramer. In that initial meeting, suggested by physician Dr. Alvin Friedman-Kien, $6,365 was raised. The party was raided by New York narcotics police who seized the money raised and refused to return it.
Wednesday, August 12, 1981
The IBM PC was introduced at a press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and with it the joint IBM and TRW developed TRI-DOS software. Though the product of International Business Machines personal computer was not the first desktop, it was the first designed for the ordinary user to use. The original IBM PC had 16 kilobytes of random access memory and a base price of $1,565. In the first four months, 25,000 were sold, and by the end of 1982, more than 650,000 had been purchased. Years late it would be discovered that the TRI-DOS software, which in 1981 required users to add supplements to their computers to retain their license (and have their files downloaded at an IBM store for “repair”) had been designed to spy on users computer activities.
The United States moves forces, accompanied by allied forces from the GCC nations, into Dhahran-Dammam to occupy the oil facilities there. They find much of the oil infrastructure has been destroyed during the Iraqi occupation and suspect that some of the equipment has been moved north by the Iraqis. Nawwaf bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, a Saudi prince, is positioned as governor of the American and GCC administered area.
Negotiations having deadlocked, the British forces in the Falklands forcibly eject the squatter community. The action proceeds with a minimal of violence and only some angry confrontations, sit-ins and protests. The protestors are no armed, and the British forces are under orders not to use lethal force unless absolutely necessary. The British site the unsanitary conditions in the encampments, which present a health menace to the protestors and the Falkland communities as a whole, as a reason for the removal. WHO inspectors are invited in to confirm the public health concerns, while observers from the UNHCR are also present to confirm humane handling on the part of the British.
Denis Healey MP (Prime Minister): “The United Kingdom has acted in a humane and perfectly legal way to remove this illegal encampment. Our opponents are quick to express a desire to see us use some kind of force – to incur some sort of bloodshed – for the sake of beating the drum over a nationalistic cause, as Argentina has done and continues to do in this matter. We have chosen the peaceful, yet firm approach. This, I believe, is a tribute to the wisdom of our British values of tolerance and observance of the rule of law and the human rights, even of those who oppose us.”
John Nott MP (Cons. – St. Ives): “While I can say the government has at least acted, I cannot say it has acted in a timely or effective matter. The protestors are removed today, but no clear deterrent has been set-up to prevent their return in the future. What is the result of this weak, equivocating policy by this government? Argentina can well feel that, at some future time, they can repeat this exercise with little or no risk to their citizens. Now if these Argentine squatters had faced a term in prison or some other penalty other than a free ride home on the British taxpayer, then perhaps a real deterrent might have been achieved. As it is, this government has applied a temporary quick fix, and shown how feckless their approach to international affairs and British interests around the globe really are.”
Barbara Castle MP (SDP-Blackburn): “The Malvinas are occupied colonial territory. There is no arguing this point, as Argentina is right and our position wholly that of the thief trying to justify his plunder. The easiest way to resolve this is also the right way. Return the Malvinas to their rightful owners. Problem solved.”
Margaret Thatcher (Cons. Candidate – Leeds East): “This is Munich revisited. This government has chosen a weak solution because it lacks the nerve to act decisively to secure British rights and the safety of British citizens. There are no Malvinas, only the Falkland Islands, but I see here, in a British government statement, reference made to that wretched term – the battle call of a thief come to steal British soil. Only when this government is replaced by one with the steel and backbone to stand-up for Britain, will be safe.”
A subsequent memoir published by a senior Argentine diplomat suggests that President Perette and Foreign Minister Duhalde backed-off on the matter, and gave the British a temporary victory, in order to assist the Healey government with its re-election effort. The Argentine writer charged that Perette and Duhalde began to feel that the Rumsfeld Administration was trying to goad them into a more confrontational stance, in what the Americans believed would help the British Conservatives at the polls. Sensing that the Conservatives would be a more forceful opponent, the Argentine leaders decided not to give them fuel for the political fire, and so backed-off all but a pro-forma protest of the British removal action.
Thursday, August 13, 1981
President Donald Rumsfeld signed into law the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which included many of the tax cuts and re-organization initiatives which he had presented to Congress.
At the U.S. Long Course Swimming Championships at Brown Deer, Wisconsin, Mary T. Meagher, 16, shattered her own world record for fastest time in the women's 100-meter butterfly swimming competition, with a time of 57.93 seconds.
Friday, August 14, 1981
3-D films were revived in the United States with the release of Comin' at Ya!, a "kitsch-laden spoof of spaghetti westerns" which had $13.5 million in revenues in its first months, briefly inspiring other studios to make 3-D movies.
Saturday, August 15, 1981
The Eternal Word Television Network, devoted to spreading the Roman Catholic faith in the United States and founded by Mother Angelica, made its cable television debut at 6:00 pm Central Time on the date of the Feast of the Assumption. Based in Irondale, Alabama.
Sunday, August 16, 1981
Three days after setting the mark at 100 meters, Mary T. Meagher set an even longer lasting record for the 200 meter butterfly.
A ZPLF arms depot in Zambia was destroyed by South African special forces engineers in a series of three explosions over a period of four hours.
The government of Argentina holds a rally in Buenos Aires to honour the returned squatters. President Perette vows to “never surrender to colonialism. The Malivnas will once more be under Argentine control, no matter how long it takes. Argentine honour shall be avenged.”
Wednesday, August 19, 1981
Gulf of Sidra incident (1981): Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi sent two Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets to intercept two U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighters that had taken off from the U.S.S. Nimitz over the Gulf of Sidra. The lead Libyan plane fired an Atoll heat-seeking missile at Lt. Lawrence Musczynski and missed. Musczynski fired a Sidewinder missile at the Libyan plane. Commander Hank Kleeman fired another missile at the Libyan wingman, who had time to eject to safety. Both Libyan Su-22s were destroyed. Libya reported that both pilots had ejected to safety, and claimed that an American fighter had been downed. President Rumsfeld subsequently ordered U.S. air units to bomb radar and defence installations in Libya as further retaliation for the attack. A major oil refinery in North-eastern Libya was also destroyed by U.S. air power.
As part of his campaign for the office of Mayor New York City, Spiro Agnew helps organize a neighbourhood anti-crime campaign that catches two thieves and rapists who have been eluding police.
Agnew: “The people of New York want law and order and security. As a candidate I, along with my fellow New Yorkers here around me, have stepped-up to show the way. As Mayor, I will dedicate myself to cleaning-up New York.”
Ed Koch: “You wanna know why he’s running as an independent? That’s because no party, not even the Republicans, want to be associated with the b... self- pardoned crook.”
Roy Goodman: “The man was President of the United States and they fired him. What more can you say?”
Bela Abzug: “He was a bad President and he had a dreadful television show. He needs to go somewhere and get a real job and stop bothering honest, hardworking citizens who need a break from this economy and political operators who serve special interests and not them.”
SWP candidate: “I welcome Agnew in the race. He’s another symbol of the rotten, upper class serving politics in this country, which exploits the common man to make the rich richer and the poor suffer. Spiro Agnew may be a crook’s crook, but having him in the race shows just how rotten the system has become. My candidacy is about changing that, about returning the city to the people who live here. So let him run, let him remind the people just who their class enemies really are.”
Agnew: “The hysterical hyenas of hopelessness have nothing to offer, so they’ve become fixated on my pardon. Yes, I took the pardon. I did wrong, I admit it, and I have apologized. This campaign is not about running from the truth, it is about bringing truth to the citizens of New York. I’ve been doing that on television for the past seven years, and I will do so in public service to New Yorkers if elected.”
Thursday, August 20, 1981
United Kingdom: At the request of the Prime Minister the King dissolves Parliament. A General Election is scheduled for Monday, September 21, 1981.
Labour slogans: "Neave and the Tories = Rumsfeldia for Britain; A Tory government will bring Rumsfeld to your neighbourhood.; Rumsfeld is destroying America, why give Aiery Neave a chance to do the same for Britain?; (Photo of Rumsfeld shaking Airey Neave's hand) - Is this what you want?; Who's country is it anyways?; (Against a photo of Donald Rumsfeld) Law and Order?"
Conservative slogans: "Let's win Britain back"; "Clean-up the mess"; "Your money in your pocket, not Roy Jenkins'"; "Wait until the nationalize your home; A Britain we can proud of again; Hard work makes prosperity, Labour makes depression; Law and Order for a prosperous Britain."
Liberal slogans: (against photos of Heath, Neave and Healey): "Fed-up yet?; If it doesn't work, fix it; Labour and Tory want to make Britain a Laboratory for their ideologies, let's say we close the Laboratory and build a better community for all?; Labour and Tory, take and re-take; Denis and Francois, Airey and Don, Liberal and you."
Friday, August 21, 1981
In Las Vegas, Wilfredo Gomez lost the WBC junior featherweight boxing championship to Salvador Sanchez.
Spyros Markezinis of the small Progressive Party is elected President of Greece as a compromise candidate. Term: August 25, 1981 – August 25, 1986.
Saturday, August 22, 1981
Far Eastern Air Transport Flight 103 suffered an explosive decompression at an altitude of 22,000 feet over the Taiwanese village of Sanyi, Miaoli, killing all 110 persons on board. The Boeing 737-200 had taken off from Taipei 14 minutes earlier en route to Kaohsiung. Subsequent investigation showed that the plane had lost cabin pressure on an August 5 flight, and again on a flight two hours earlier. The probable cause was found to have been corrosion of the fuselage floor, possibly caused by the transport in the cargo hold of open barrels of fish preserved in brine.
Sunday, August 23, 1981
Typhoon Thad, Japan's worst storm in 16 years, killed 40 people and left 20,000 homeless in Japan.
Monday, August 24, 1981
South African troops invaded Angola as part of Operation Protea, capturing Xangongo and cutting its water supply. The invasion’s objectives were to destroy the South-West Africa People's Organisations (SWAPO) command and training center at Xangongo as well as to destroy its logistic bases at Xangongo and Ongiva. Two days later, Ondjiva was taken. Both sites, located along the border with Namibia, had been used as bases by SWAPO, the South West Africa People's Organization.
There were a number of Russian military advisors present at Ongiva. However, unlike their compatriots at Xangongo, a number of Soviet officers were killed and Warrant Officer Second Class Nikolai Feodorovich Pestretsov was captured. Pestretsov was a Russian military advisor attached to FAPLA's 11th Brigade at Ongiva. Two of the Soviet officers who were killed were Lieutenant Colonel Joseph VAZHNIKA Illarionovich, Chief Political Adviser to the 11th Infantry Brigade of the MPLA, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Kireev, Councillor artillery commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade of the MPLA.
Not only did Operation Protea provide proof of direct Soviet involvement with SWAPO, but it also enabled the South African forces to seize about 4,000 tons of military hardware valued at over USD 200 million. In addition to enormous quantities of small arms and ammunition, it also included such items as tanks, armoured vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, trucks and other logistical vehicles. At least 1,000 members of SWAPO and FAPLA were killed during the operation. Thirty-eight prisoners were captured, including ten SWAPO members. In contrast, the South Africans lost only ten men.
The presence of tanks and armoured personnel carriers proved conclusively that SWAPO intended to progress from the guerrilla to the mobile warfare stage in its war in South-West Africa and South Africa thus felt that its operation was fully justified.
It is thought that SWAPO's military timetable was severely set back by Operation Protea and that it took the organisation at least a year to recover from it. In addition, the defeats had driven the organisation even further north away from the South-West African border.
Photographs of the huge captured cache of Soviet military weaponry can be obtained from Adriana Oosthuysen, widow of Sunday Times photographer Pierre Oosthuysen, who took a large number of pictures of these arms caches and also of the captured Soviet and Cuban military personnel.
However, the end of Operation Protea did not signal the end the South African activity against SWAPO in southern Angola as Operation Protea was quickly followed up by another attack, Operation Daisy.
In Tokyo, Sony Chairman Akio Morita introduced the Mavica, which he said "will make conventional chemical photography and development obsolete". An acronym for MAgnetic VIdeo CAmera, Mavica was not the first digital camera, and created an analog image on a videodisk, similar to a freeze-frame on a videotape.
Tuesday, August 25, 1981
Voyager 2, launched on August 20, 1977, made its closest approach to Saturn, passing within 41,000 kilometers of the ringed planet. Voyager 2 had reached Jupiter July 9, 1979, and would go on to Uranus (January 24, 1986) and Neptune (August 25, 1989).
Thursday, August 27, 1981
A team of divers recovered a safe from the wreckage of the cruise ship SS Andrea Doria, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean on July 25, 1956. The safe, from the Bank of Rome, was located in a lounge on the ship's foyer, 225 feet below the surface. On August 16, 1984, the safe was opened on live television as part of a syndicated program, Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter. A large audience tuned in to see the results on 160 stations in 45 countries, and when the safe was opened, it yielded a few thousand dollars worth of waterlogged American dollars and Italian lire.
The Syrian Parliament endorses a proclamation by President Maamun al-Kuzbari calling for either a border settlement with Israel, or an immediate development of a new Syrian Army to protect the nation from “aggressive entities”.
Friday, August 28, 1981
For the third time in nine days, the world record for fastest running of one mile was broken. Sebastian Coe had broken the record of Steve Ovett with 3:48.53 in Zurich on August 19. Ovett took the record back on August 26 in Koblenz at 3:47.33, and Coe set the mark again at Brussels, at 3 minutes, 46.32 seconds.
New York City property developer Donald J. Trump files for bankruptcy protection. Within a year he is reduced to taking a job as a night manager at a White Castle franchise. He also has to sell his hair to wig maker in order to make ends meet.
Saturday, August 29, 1981
Two men from the Abu Nidal organization fired guns and threw grenades into a synagogue on Vienna's Seitenstettengasse during worship services. Police who were guarding the building fought a gunbattle with the terrorists before arresting them. In the crossfire, two bystanders were killed and 15 others wounded in the crossfire. Nobody inside the synagogue was hurt.
Sunday, August 30, 1981
A bomb planted by AMOI terrorists outside of the Army headquarters in Tehran was discovered and disarmed before it could explode. In retaliation more than 2,000 AMOI members and sympathizers were arrested and executed.
Monday, August 31, 1981
The Satellite Music Network went on the air, beginning a new era in radio broadcasting where local disk jockeys were replaced by music programming transmitted from a central location. "Network Radio Is Turning into Satellites", New York Times, August 2, 1981 The SMN transmitted from Mokena, Illinois 24 hours per day, with breaks for local advertising and news, and served 600 stations before being purchased by ABC Radio in 1989.
A bomb exploded at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, West Germany, injuring 20 people.
Tuesday, September 1, 1981
Typhoon Agnes (Pining) struck South Korea, bringing with it the heaviest rainfall seen on the Korean peninsula in the 20th century, with as much as 28 inches (71 cm) falling over the next two days. The final toll was 120 people dead or missing.
Northern Ireland's first religiously integrated secondary school, Lagan College, opened. [The integrated school movement was mainly driven by the desire of parents to have schools which would provide the opportunity for greater cross community contact amongst young people.]
Albert Speer, German Nazi architect and war minister and one-time associate of Adolph Hitler dies at age 76.
Wednesday, September 2, 1981
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), called for the establishment of a 'Third Force' along the lines of the disbanded Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) ('B-Specials'). [Paisley envisage a legal Loyalist paramilitary group which would be used to counter the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and other Republican paramilitary groups.]
The U.N. stabilization force moves into Mecca and Medina in order supervise that year’s Hajj.
Thursday, September 3, 1981
The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 18, 1979, went into effect by its own terms after being ratified by at least 20 nations.
In Egypt, President el-Gamsay ordered a nationwide arrest of 1,536 people, most of them Islamist activists. One of those seized was Mohammed Islambouli, leader of the Islamic Association branch at Assiut University. His younger brother, Egyptian army Lt. Khalid Islambouli, a member of the group Jihad, was so outraged that he vowed to get revenge on el-Gamsay. A few days later, Khalid was assigned to be part of a military parade scheduled for October 6 to commemorate the eighth anniversary of Egypt's attack on Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and used the opportunity to conspire with fellow members of Jihad to carry out an assassination.
Friday, September 4, 1981
The United States Department of Agriculture issued proposed new regulations concerning nutritional requirements for the federally subsidized school lunch program. Both ketchup and pickle relish were classified as vegetables for purposes of defining a balanced meal. The USDA withdrew the proposal three weeks later after a reporter from the Washington Post called attention to the new rules. However, the Rumsfeld Administration later re-instated the regulation by re-terming ketchup as "liquefied tomato nutrition" and relish as "jelled salad".
An explosion at a mine in Záluží, Czechoslovakia, killed 65 people. Another 40 were rescued.
Louis Delamare, France's ambassador to Lebanon, was assassinated in Beirut. Delamare was being driven home when four gunmen pulled alongside his BMW and opened fire.
At 8:51 a.m. on the day of its bicentennial, Los Angeles got what was nicknamed "the birthday quake", a tremor of 5.8 magnitude, the strongest since the 1971 quake that had killed 65 people.
Sobhuza II celebrated his 60th anniversary as King of Swaziland, in a ceremony attended by Egypt's President el-Gamsay and Britain's Prince Andrew. Sobhuza was the first monarch since Queen Victoria to observe a diamond jubilee.
Saturday, September 5, 1981
Pope Shenuda III, head of the Coptic Christian Church of Egypt, was deposed from his job by President el-Gamsay, who charged that Christian extremists under the Coptic Pope's direction were conspiring to overthrow the government.
John Barnes, who would become England's greatest black soccer football player, made his professional debut at age 17, playing for the last 15 minutes of Watford F.C.'s game against Oldham Athletic.
In the largest jailbreak from a Communist nation, 154 inmates escaped from a jail in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The mass breakout happened after prisoners rioted after a 17-year old burglary suspect had been shot during an attempted escape.
Sunday, September 6, 1981
Nawal El Saadawi was arrested as part of the roundup of el-Gamsay's opponents, and stayed in the Barrage Prison until November 25. She later recounted the story in her book, Mozakerati fi signel nissa (Memoirs from the Women's Prison, 1983).
Monday, September 7, 1981
The People's Court made its syndicated television debut on 39 television stations in the United States. Created by producer Ralph Edwards, the show presented real small claims court cases, with the litigants agreeing to dismiss court proceedings and to go before retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Wapner. Of the $800 provided by the producers for each case, the amount not awarded to the plaintiff ($750 maximum) would be divided evenly between both sides. The very first case saw a landlady receive an award of $614 from.
Jesse Jackson, Ron Dellums, Shirley Chisholm, Douglas Fraser (President UAW), Sam Church (UMW) and Ceaser Chavez (UFW) lead a “worker’s march” on Washington on Labor Day. 25,000 protestors surround the White House while Jackson and others shout sermons about workplace fairness and the need for a living wage through a bullhorn at the White House. There are clashes with the police.
Soviet President Yuri Andropov appears briefly on television, meeting with East German Communist Party leader Eric Honecker. Andropov remains seated in a chair and looks very pale. His visible movements are slow spare.
The first issue of the American weekly newsmagazine Education Week was published.
Prime Minister Denis Healey MP. : “You have a choice, my countrymen and women, as to whether Britain will follow the path of naked capitalism, where the cutting of taxes and services is the priority, where people are second to profits and the bottom line is the most important value. This is a foreign vision, an imported vision, a limited vision from the past century which some would like to bring back to these shores out a misguided sense of nostalgia for days gone by which shall not come again. The choice of voting Tory is the choice of voting to hollow out Britain into a shell of corporate empires and a world owned by the few at the expense of everyone else. Or you can choose a Britain of balance and compassion, one which looks to the future with a concern for the welfare of all our people and a sense that we are in this great journey together. This is the vision of Labour and, I believe, the true value of most of the British people. Therefore I ask for your support on September twenty-first. You vote will decide the future of our island and our people.”
Conservative Leader Airey Neave MP: “The choice in this election is between prosperity and the paralysing socialism that has brought this nation from a state of greatness to the level of a second rate muddle through power. If you vote Conservative you are voting to give this nation a future, one free of domination by the socialist forces which are sucking the lifeblood from our people. If you vote Conservative, you are voting for a Britain in which you will be asked to bear more responsibility for your life, but at the same time one in which you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labours without the heavy hand of socialist government taking it all away in taxes. In a Conservative Britian your hard work will not go to fill someone else’s pockets as directed by the heavy, re-distributing hand of the soulless Labour bureaucracy. Under a Conservative government, Britoins shall once more truly be free.”
Liberal Leader David Steel MP: “There is a choice between rampant Socialism and the naked sort of capitalism that worships at the feet of Rumsfeldia. You can chose a Britain which recognizes the ingenuity of the market and the value of unleashing our creative potential in free enterprise and innovation, but which at the same time recognizes the central role of the state to not squash initiative, but to police the system, to ensure that the results are fair for everyone. This is our vision.”
Two Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were killed in a landmine attack carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on their mobile patrol near Cappagh, County Tyrone.
Tuesday, September 8, 1981
The Lougheed government calls a conference of First Nations affected by the Quebec sovereignty proposal. Several of the native groups involved have expressed their desire to separate from Quebec and remain with Canada should separation actually take place. The Quebec government resists this as “impractical” and “an assault on Quebec’s rights.”
The government of the city of Montreal announces that if Quebec separates from Canada, Montreal will petition the crown to remain within Canada and separate from Quebec.
Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau: “Let them have their backwoods Republic. Montreal is a great city and we will decide to whom we will attach our fate. We will not allow our star to fade in a backwater flyspeck just to serve someone else’s jumped-up dreams of Banana Republic glory. Montrealers want to be part of a nation spanning the continent, and not be saddled to Mr. Levesque’s left-wing signeurie.”
Premier Rene Levesque (Quebec): “Sovereignty is the basic right of any people to decide their own borders and the destiny of their own nation. There are small minds and parochial interests which would falsely deny the Quebec people this right, which has been denied them by a long history of military and cultural imperialism. The Quebec people have voted for their liberty, and as their elected representatives we will not allow lesser interests to stand in the way of our people’s rights.”
Joe Clark MP (Minister of National Unity): “Mr. Levesque wants his liberty, while denying it to other Quebecers. What can we infer from this about the kind of Quebec he would lead as an independent nation? I fear he must learn that hypocrisy is not a substitute for a national policy which must address the first nation and Montreal questions.”
Pierre Trudeau: “A man who chooses to ride the horse backwards musn’t be surprised if he hits a tree. Mr. Levesque can only deny others their freedom if he himself acknowledges that the separatist policy is that of a Quebec imperialism, and therefore that very philosophy of the Parti Quebecois is either founded in utter racism, or utter fraud. Neither is acceptable. “
Jacques Parizeau MNA (PQ): “To want freedom from an Empire is hardly imperialism; it is the cause of national liberation. If the Indians and the ethnics and the money grubbers in Montreal want no part of this, then perhaps we will have to drive them out from our land. Our land!”
Billy Diamond (Chair, Cree Nation Grand Council): “Only a fool would think we will allow ourselves to be driven out of our homes. I fear that if any government adopts this course, they will open the door to a disaster.”
Premier Bill Davis (Ontario): “The promise of Civil War cannot be allowed to be a substitute for substantial talks on the issues. Mr. Levesque must recognize that there are many interests at stake here, and not just the narrow goals of his own political clique.”
Prime Minister Lougheed: “I will remind all that the government of Canada will not permit violence to succeed. There will be no ethnic cleansing in this country.”
Wednesday, September 9, 1981
Indian newspaper owner Jagat Narain, 92, was assassinated by three gunmen after publishing articles critical of Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Sikh demands for a separate nation. On September 20, Bhindranwale surrendered to the police, but his detention caused further unrest within the Sikh community.
Thursday, September 10, 1981
Picasso's painting "Guernica" was returned to the Museo del Prado in Madrid after having been kept at New York's Museum of Modern Art since 1939. Transfer of the painting had been kept secret until its arrival.
John Carta, a 35 year old unemployed stonemason from New Rochelle, New York, became the first person to parachute on to the World Trade Center. Carta jumped from a plane at an altitude of 10,000 feet, then guided himself to a landing on to the observation deck on Tower Two.
Friday, September 11, 1981
A small plane crashed into the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California, damaging the venue beyond repair.
Saturday, September 12, 1981
The Smurfs began a nine season run on NBC Saturday morning television.
The National Assembly of France voted 329-129 to remove most of the powers of the prefects in France's 95 departments, in the first step toward decentralization of government. The bill still needed to pass the Senate and the signature of President Mitterrand to become law.
Sunday, September 13, 1981
Two days of elections began in Norway, and the Labor Party lost its majority in the 155 member Storting. Labor, led by Lars Skytoen retained 67 seats, but the Conservatives, led by supply side economist Kare Willoch, claimed victory with 54 seats and a potential coalition of 79.
Monday September 14, 1981
Entertainment Tonight made its syndicated debut in various television markets.
Nikolai Glushkov, Chairman of the State Prices Commission in the Soviet Union, confirmed rumors that had caused a run on stores, announcing sharp price increases for the following day, doubling the price of gasoline from the equivalent of $1.06 a gallon to $2.12. Glushkov also increased prices on tobacco and liquor, saying that it was in response by requests from workers "to limit the demand for them". He also said that prices for synthetic fabrics, household appliances, medicines and some watches would be cut by up to 37%, and noted that meat, dairy and bread prices had been unchanged for nearly 20 years.
Tuesday, September 15, 1981
General Frederick J. Kroesen, commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, was killed in an assassination attempt in West Germany. Two rocket-propelled grenades were fired at his armor-plated car as he was being driven through Heidelberg.
The John Bull became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, at 150 years old, when it operated under its own power outside Washington, DC.
The United States vetoes a UN Security Council measure to sanction it over its support of the South Africans and Rhodesians.
Conservative Ad: “This Labour government has abandoned the people of Northern Ireland to the mercy of armed terrorists. If they will do it to them, how much longer before they will do it to you? Is that the sort of government you want, that your fathers and grandfather’s sacrificed for? Airey Neave: “Any British government worth the name, to say without equivocation that Northern Ireland is now and forever a part of the United Kingdom; as much British soil as the Palace of Westminster itself.” On September 21st vote for Britain and freedom, not appeasement and bloodshed.”
Labour Ad: “This government has worked to preserve the peace in Northern Ireland. Our Tory predecessors used the iron fist of state power to nearly convert Britain into a dictatorship in their drive for order. Since taking office Denis Healey and his Labour colleagues have chosen firm resolve in the face of violence, but not intransigence in seeking peaceful democratic solutions. If you choose Airey Neave’s way, you can violence and bloodshed – you can return to the days when the Army patrolled the streets of your town ...or you can chose the way that says no to terrorism, but yes to peaceful resolution and prosperity for all in a democratic, free society. That’s the choice you will make on September 21st.”
Liberal Ad: “No government can give in to terrorism, and no government can impose a system of government on people against their will. These are the hard choices we face in Northern Ireland as you decide on the next government. Our policy is to fight terrorism with the Army, and strike at it at its roots by eliminating the recruiting ground. Labour will negotiate without end, while the Tories want a war without negotiation or compromise. Both ways will lead to further disaster in Northern Ireland. Our way will give the people of Northern Ireland hope, and the terrorists none.”
Wednesday, September 16, 1981
World Boxing Council champion Sugar Ray Leonard and World Boxing Association champion Thomas Hearns fought at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for the world welterweight boxing championship. In the 14th round, Leonard won in a technical knockout, pounding away with Hearns on the ropes, until referee Davey Pearl stopped the fight.
President Rumsfeld nominates California Attorney-General George Deukmejian to succeed Bob Dole as U.S. Attorney-General.
Thursday, September 17, 1981
The James M. Gavin Presidential Museum was dedicated at Brooklyn College, located in former President James M. Gavin's hometown of Brooklyn, New York. The Presidential Museum was a tribute to Gavin's post-military diplomatic service and business career as well as his service as President from November 1973 to January 1977, and his continuing work in the areas of diplomatic studies and international relations since leaving office. (A James M. Gavin Center for Constitutional Government and the Military Services had already been established in 1980 at his alma mater, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; this institution focused on his military career, including his controversial tenure at the Pentagon and his opposition to the Vietnam War). The ceremony was attended by the three heads of government of North America. U.S. President Donald Rumsfeld, Canadian Prime Minister Peter Lougheed, and Mexican President Emilio Óscar Rabasa met in a "mini summit" at breakfast in Rumsfeld's hotel suite, and comedian Bob Hope later entertained Gavin and his guests.
Friday, September 18, 1981
EINECS, the European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances, was issued by the European Community, containing the first list of every chemical substance in the EC nations.
The Memphis Group, a collection of innovative post-modern furniture designers led by Ettore Sottsass, debuted its work at in Milan, Italy.
An Aeroflot passenger airplane with 33 people on board was making its approach for a landing at the Russian city of Zheleznogorsk-Ilimsky when it was struck by a Soviet Army helicopter on a training mission. All 33 on the plane, and 7 on the helicopter, were killed.
Saturday, September 19, 1981
Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel reunited to perform The Concert in Central Park, a free concert in New York in front of approximately half a million people.
The 80-year old Brazilian river boat Sobral Santos capsized in the Amazon River, Óbidos, Brazil, killing at least 300 people.
Sunday, September 20, 1981
Karen Williams, a stewardess on board World Airways Flight 32, a DC-10, was crushed to death in the airplane's service elevator during a flight from Baltimore to London.
Monday, September 21, 1981
Belize, formerly the British Honduras attained independence, with George Price serving as its first Prime Minister, and Dame Minita Gordon as its Governor-General.
The appointment of Robert Joseph Semore "Bob" Dole to the United States Supreme Court was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, 55-45. Dole was sworn in as an Associate Justice the next day.
The United Kingdom General Election, September 21, 1981
Outgoing Prime Minister: Denis Healey (Lab.)
Total Seats: 635 (318 needed to form a Majority)
Parties July 1977 Change Sept. 1981
Labour 352 - 26 = 326
Conservative 186 + 24 = 214
Liberal 54 + 4 = 58
SDP* 20-7 = 13
Scottish National 7+ 3=10
Plaid Cymru 3-1=2
Ind. Republican 1-0=1
Ind. Unionist 1-0=1
Ind. Labour 1-1=0
*= Social Democratic Party previously known as the True Labour bloc, all elected as Labour Members in 1977.
Labour Majority Government returned (Reduced Majority).
Elected Prime Minister: Denis Healey (Lab)
Denis Healey (Lab) – 35%
Margaret Clay (Lib) – 28%
Margaret Thatcher (Cons) – 22%
Andrew Brons (NF) ---- 12%
SDP ----- 3%
Bobby Sands was returned for another term in Feramagh/South Tyrone because the outgoing Labour government had yet to pass pending legislation which would have prevented prisoners from being elected at the time of dissolution.
Tuesday, September 22, 1981
The initial public offering of stock in The Home Depot was made at $12.00 per share as the company was listed on the NASDAQ exchange. The stock was worth 8 times as much within two years, when Home Depot merged with West Virginia Rebel to produce Rebel Super Depots.
Wednesday, September 23, 1981
U.S. National Security Adviser Daniel O. Graham announced plans by the Rumsfeld Administration to create a radio station that would broadcast to Cuba, patterned after Radio Free Europe. Though initially set to launch in January 1982, Radio Marti did not start transmission until May 20, 1985.
Spiro Agnew’s Mayoral campaign receives more publicity when he helps get a series of drug dens near a residential neighbourhood condemned, after local politicians had failed to respond. Poll response to his campaign is trending positive in a crowded field of candidates all close in the polls.
Thursday, September 24, 1981
A day after meeting for the first time, U.S. Secretary of State Jeanne Kirkpatrick and U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister Valerian Zorin issued a joint statement that the two nations would resume discussions on controlling the growth of nuclear weapons in Europe, beginning on November 30 in Geneva.
The largest crowd ever to attend a greyhound racing event in the United States—21,000 people—turned out at Southland Greyhound Park in West Memphis, Arkansas, wagering 1.3 million dollars on the racing dogs.
September 25 – 30, 1981
The Singapore Conference convened. The Conferees – primarily the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Republic of China, the Republic of South Korea, the Republic of South Vietnam, The Democratic Republic of North Vietnam (as an observer), Burma, India, and Australia – negotiated a plan for the occupation of Southern and costal China in order to prevent chaos after the collapse of the Lesser Mao’s regime. The Soviet Union, North Korea and New Zealand declined invitations to attend.
Friday, September 25, 1981
The Sydney Tower, fifth tallest building in the world opened to the public.
The Rolling Stones began their 40-city Tattoo You tour at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, playing before a crowd of 90,000.
Saturday, September 26, 1981
Believed to have become extinct in 1975, the Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) was rediscovered in Meeteetse, Wyoming by a dog, which had attacked and killed the animal. The following month, a live ferret was found in the same area.
Sunday, September 27, 1981
The first commercial run of the TGV high speed rail service train began, traversing the 300 mile distance between Paris and Lyons. At 6:15 am, the Train a Grande Vitesse pulled out of the Gare de Lyon in Paris with 772 passengers, then accelerated along the high speed line at Saint-Florentin at 156 miles per hour, arriving in Lyons at 9:05 am.[
The hijacking of a Yugoslavian JAT Boeing 727 was thwarted after a fire alarm was sounded and the 101 passengers and 7 crew escaped unharmed. The plane had been seized the night before during a flight from Dubrovnik to Belgrade, flew to Athens for refueling, then landed at the Cypriot city of Larnaka, where the escape took place.
Charles Haughey, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), gave an interview on Radio Telefis Éireann (RTE) and set out his vision for a new Republic of Ireland in what became know as his 'constitutional crusade'. [The main theme of his ideas was to make the Republic of Ireland a society where the Protestants living in Northern Ireland would be integrated into a larger United Ireland Community. A “United States of Ireland North-South confederation” was even proposed as an alternative by Haughey.]
Monday, September 28, 1981
After stock analyst Joseph Granville had predicted over the weekend that a "Blue Monday" would see stock prices fall, record sell-offs took place. In Tokyo, where the markets opened first, the Nikkei 225 fell 302.84 points, the largest single-day drop on record, and when the London Stock Exchange opened, the FTSE Index dropped a record 29.4 points. Less drastic declines happened in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Zurich and Paris. Stock prices fell initially in New York and Toronto, but rallied later in the day. Tokyo and London made strong recoveries the next day, only to have all the markets suffer severe reverses after President Rumsfeld’s veto of the debt ceiling increase on September 30.
The United States signed a treaty of support with Botswana. In return for basing rights the U.S. gives military support to the Botswana government and assists with keeping the surrounding wars out of Botswanan territory.
Died: Rómulo Betancourt, 73, former President of Venezuela
Tuesday, September 29, 1981
President Rumsfeld issued Executive Order 12324 to halt the flow of refugees from Haiti into the United States. Since 1978, almost 50,000 Haitian citizens fled the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier and most were detained in South Florida. Rumsfeld ordered the U.S. Coast Guard to intercept and board any refugee vessels and return them to their nation of origin, and to use deadly force if they resisted.
U.S. Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin) completed a filibuster at 10:27 a.m., yielding the floor after beginning a speech of more than 16 hours the day before. Proxmire, famous for his monthly "Golden Fleece Award" for wasteful government spending, had spoken out against U.S. Senate approval of a bill to raise the debt ceiling above one trillion dollars. The cost of his speech to taxpayers, most of it for printing in the Congressional Record, was estimated at $64,674.
Two days later, Jonathan Bush, the Secretary of the Treasury, presented Sen. Proxmire with a bill for that amount. Proxmire labelled the action "a stunt" and refused to pay. He also refused to pay the reminders which came over the next six months (all adding 2% interest to the previous total for an unpaid balance).
Police found four people shot to death in an expensive home in Columbia, South Carolina, known as the "devil house".
What part of "no more debt" didn't you understand?
Wednesday, September 30, 1981
An attempt to raise the United States' debt ceiling to one trillion dollars for the first time in history was approved by the U.S. Senate, by a margin of 54-46; the measure called for an increase of the government's credit limit from $985 billion to $1,079,000,000,000. President Rumsfeld vetoed the measure at 8:15 pm in Washington.
President Rumsfeld: “The habit of continuing to charge debt to the national credit card is what caused the economic crisis this nation has been mired in for the better part of the past decade. That habit stops here and now. It’s time that, instead of increasing our ability to borrow, that this Congress look for and implement real and meaningful cuts in wasteful spending in order to implement a real reversal in our debt.”
Pakistani commandos stormed a hijacked Indian Airlines jet and rescued all 45 hostages, two hours before a deadline for action. The plane had been seized the day before by three Sikh nationalists, then flown to Lahore.
Thursday, October 1, 1981
Black Thursday: Global markets lost on average 15% of their net value in a negative reaction to President Rumsfeld’s veto of the debt ceiling increase. Trading at the NYSE was halted at 3:30 pm after the Dow had plummeted 310 points in six hours.
President Rumsfeld: “Okay, so the markets fell – and now everyone is running around henny, penny like the sky is falling. We’ve been living off the addiction of debt for so long that any substantial measure to end that habit was bound to cause that shock. Well, we’ve had that shock, and guess what, the sun will rise tomorrow. And, I bet, so will the market. The United States is not going out of business, we are getting our books in order so that everyone can be sure we’ll be in business a hundred years from now.”
The first cellular telephone system was inaugurated. Nordic Mobile Telephone (Nordisk Mobil Telephoni), NMT, set up the network in Sweden.
Eighty-three people were killed and more than 300 injured when a car bomb exploded outside of the Tunis headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization's intelligence center. The "Front for the Liberation of Tunisia from Foreign Warriors", which the PLO asserted was a front for Israel, took credit for the attack. The other prime suspect was the PJO.
This attack motivated Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba to order his security services to crack down on Palestinian activity in his country, and to exert tighter control over the PLO.
Gunther Guillaume, whose unmasking as an East German spy brought down the government of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1974, was released from prison and allowed to cross into the DDR.
The first 5 percent of President Rumsfeld's 25% cut of U.S. federal income taxes took effect. The next 10% would take effect July 1, 1982, and the final 10% on July 1, 1981.
Led by Dr. Paul L. Schechter, astronomers at the Kitt Peak National Observatory reported the discovery of a "hole" in the universe, 300 million light years in diameter, that had only one-tenth of the stars and galaxies found elsewhere. The void, described by Schechter as "exceedingly hard to understand", is located beyond the constellation Boötes and encompasses one percent of the space in the known universe.
Friday, October 2, 1981
U.S. President Rumsfeld announced his plans to increase the number of B-1 bombers to double the size which had been authorized by President Wallace. 200 were built by 1987. The Rumsfeld Administration also announced a plan to deploy 150 MX missiles.
President Rumsfeld: “The easiest thing would be to sign the bill and allow the debt ceiling to go up, and add to our national debt, which has been business as usual here for some time. That’s the popular thing to do, or at least the no-fuss, no-muss approach that politicians prefer. But, the debt is like a drug really, you take a little and it eases the pain of having to make hard decisions. The thing is that problem doesn’t go away, and you end-up addicted to the drug, so you need more and more to solve the problem each time. I recognize that what I’ve done may cause some hard times for some people; that’s not my first choice. But the bigger pain is the debt, which we keep building. That habit of charging the future on the national credit card has got to stop. That’s why this year, instead of raising the debt ceiling, I have sent it back to the Congress to force them to come to terms with spending cuts. They have no choice. It will be a little short term pain for the long term gain of turning the course on our addiction to debt.”
Operations began for the occupation of Chinese territory by the Singapore conferees. Japan was excluded from the military occupation due to lingering sensitivities of the neighbouring nations related to World War II. Japan sent engineers and medical personnel instead (as did New Zealand, which had rejected a military role for its forces). By the end of 1981 the various military contingents had secured their areas of China, and were largely greeted enthusiastically by the starving populations they discovered. A massive aid effort followed the military operations.
Saturday, October 3, 1981
The hunger strike at Maze Prison was called off after seven months by Sinn Féin, the political arm of the Irish Republican Army. No PIRA prisoners had died, since the British government had intervened to force feed hunger strikers once they became too weak to resist. Three days later, Bill Rodgers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Prior announced that some of the original demands of the strikers, including the right to not wear prison uniforms, would be granted.
The White House
Vice President Edwards: “I understand that we want to press the Soviets, and I have no problem with the basic idea, but, I have to ask if maybe we’re not pushing a little too hard. I mean we want them to feel the heat, but not like they’re backed into a corner.”
President: “We’ve taken that into account Jack.”
National Security Advisor Graham: “The Soviet system is stretched, Mr. Vice President. It has no flexibility left, in fact every military crisis exposes new cracks in the edifice. Ask yourself why they had to back away from Vietnam?”
VP: “Portugal was a better opportunity.”
Graham: “Portugal was home grown, with Soviet assistance f course. The cost to the Soviet treasury was petty cash. Vietnam was an expense, made worse by the problem over Mongolia. They can’t afford their empire any longer, it is pulling them under.”
President: “Every time we have come to the brink with the Soviets, they have backed away. Over Berlin in 1948, Korea – they didn’t go nuclear there; they moved against Hungary and Czechoslovakia only when they knew we wouldn’t do anything. They backed down over Cuba, they didn’t respond to that war scare in 1969, and of course they eventually backed down in Vietnam and over the Middle East. At the end of the day, they haven’t got what it takes to go all the way, not against us.”
White House Chief of Staff Dick Cheney: “Because they afraid they’ll go to Hell?”
(The minutes record the President cast a sharp glance at Cheney. The inside reference between the two men was not understood by the others.)
President: “I believe, and the analysis General Graham and others have done on this point backs me up, that the Russians won’t go to war, not because they afraid – they’re plenty brave enough and they love their country, let’s have no illusions about that. They won’t go to war because at the end of the day they – their leaders – have no confidence in the system they built. Every time they test it, it creaks. Their leaders are well placed to see that, to understand that. They know that if they push it too far, it will fall apart. Our job is to make that happen.”
VP: “So, that’s why you are leaving this whole in the middle of China, then?”
Graham: “This entire area of central China, beyond the Yangtze, its wild, dominated by remnants of the lesser Mao’s regime who have resorted to Warlordism, complete chaos. We’ve already destroyed what infrastructure there was. Whoever tries to go in there, to take it, is going to walk into one hell of a quagmire.”
VP: “You want to let the Soviets do that?”
President: “If they’re dumb enough to try, it will cost them so much in men and material that it will really expose the cracks in the whole rotten edifice.”
VP: “Well, didn’t Hitler say that just before he invaded the Soviet Union?”
Graham: “The difference is he gave them – the Russians – an enemy to unite behind. Once the body bags start coming home to Moscow or the farms in the Ukraine, they’re going to start wondering what its about – and they won’t have a terrible enemy to pin it on, just some bandits in China who are – at least nominally – Communists like them.”
VP: “So this occupation of the coast of China?”
President: “Gives us control of the coast, and them a pretext for moving deeper into the place.”
VP: “But will we be secure if we do that? If they get control of inner China, even if it’s a mess, they could threaten us if we’re limited to the coast.”
Graham: “While they’re busy staking their claim to the interior, we’re going to develop defensive lines along the Yangtze, and in the South.”
President: “In the worst case we’ll have a divided continent, like Europe. And that puts us one-up on a untied China controlled by the Communist Party.”
Cheney: “By the mid-terms we’ll have a justifiable claim to having regained at least part of China, with the cost of Russian lives, not our own.”
Sunday, October 4, 1981
The body in the grave of Lee Harvey Oswald was exhumed from the Rose Hill Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas, in order to determine whether the corpse was indeed Oswald's. Michael Eddowes, author of the 1977 book The Oswald File (1977), paid the $250,000 expense for the body removal and its examination at the Baylor University Medical Center, where his dental records were examined to confirm the identity of the man accused of the 1963 murder of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The examining team wrote a detailed account of the examination two years later.
PJO forces support an uprising by Muslims in northern Nigeria, which effectively ties down the Nigerian Army, which soon faces some rebellions within its ranks by Muslim members. Nigeria is fighting a guerrilla war within its own borders.
With the assistance of the French, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast and Cameroon seek to seal their northern borders to prevent penetration by PJO “teacher” cadres.
Monday, October 5, 1981
The first model of the Triumph Motor Company's new sports cars, a 1982 Triumph TRZ, rolled off of the assembly line at Solihull, West Midlands, England. The TRZ replaced the legendary TR7 and together with a compact car, the TRM (M for mini) kept Triumph in business.
In the Washington Post gossip column "The Ear", Diana McLellan outraged former President George Wallace by writing that "word's around George’s close pals about exactly why the then-President was so sure" that incoming First Lady Joyce Rumsfeld wanted him out prior to the expiration of Wallace’s term: "They're saying that Blair House, where (President-elect) Donald and Joyce Rumsfeld were lodging... was bugged. And at least one tattler in the Wallace tribe has described listening in to the tape itself... Ear is absolutely appalled. Stay tuned, uh, whoever's listening." Three days later, George Wallace, speaking through his attorneys, announced plans to sue the Post, and, on October 23, the newspaper printed Publisher Donald Graham's apology, which was accepted.
Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during World War II, and vanished after being arrested by the Soviet Union, was made an honorary American citizen in a resolution signed by President Rumsfeld. This action was accompanied by an official letter from President Rumsfeld to Soviet President Andropov which “requested” in “the strongest terms” a full accounting of Wallenberg’s fate. Two weeks later the Soviet Union replied in a letter bearing Andropov’s signature that the Soviet government had no record of Wallenberg’s fate and which referred to Wallenberg’s posthumous U.S. citizenship as “a legal farce” and “an excuse by the United States Administration to assert its authority into Soviet affairs where it had no jurisdiction or legitimate involvement.”
Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou signs a ten year friendship agreement with the Soviet Union at a ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow. Present on the Soviet side are an visibly ailing President Andropov (who only observes and shakes hands with the Greek Prime Minister), Premier Pelse, Grigory Romanov and Nikolai Ryzhkov. Papandreou is not pro-Soviet, but feels he has no choice but to seek Soviet support to counter efforts by the United States to support his political opponents at home. He needs a Soviet card to play against the right-wing in order to cling to power. Privately, Papandreou describes President Andropov as “a corpse who hasn’t decided to lie down just yet.”
Tuesday, October 6, 1981
Egypt's President Mohamed Abdel Ghani el-Gamasy was assassinated at Nasr City while watching the annual Armed Forces Day parade. As a squadron of jets flew overhead in formation at 12:40 pm, a military vehicle halted in front of the reviewing stand, and six of the men jumped out, hurling stun grenades and firing machine guns. El-Gamasy was hit by two bullets and died at a hospital two hours later. Seven other people, including two of the gunmen, were killed. The four surviving assassins, ringleader Lt. Khaledi Islambouli, Sgt. Hussein Abbas, reserve Air Force officer Atta Hemeida and shopowner Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Aal, as well as mastermind Mohammed Abdel-Salam Farag, were executed on April 15, 1982.
In the aftermath of el-Gamasy’s murder, a ruling junta of the three service chiefs and the Minister of Defense took over the head-of-state function for Egypt lead by Field Marshall Mohamed Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazala. Kamal Ganzouri, a civilian, was named as Prime Minister, answerable to the ruling council.
Wednesday, October 7, 1981
Bobby Carpenter, 18, had already become the first hockey player to go directly to the NHL from a high school team. Twelve seconds into his first NHL game, for the Washington Capitals, he set a record with an assist to Ryan Walte for a goal, then later scored a goal himself in the 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Thursday, October 8, 1981
Two former U.S. Presidents, Richard M. Nixon and James Gavin and two former Vice Presidents, William Scranton and Nick Katzenbach, along with Secretary of State Jeanne Kirkpatrick and former White House adviser Henry Kissinger, were sent to Egypt as the official U.S. delegation to the funeral of President el-Gamsay in Egypt. (Former President Wallace’s health precluded his traveling to Egypt for the funeral). Although el-Gamsay had departed from Sadat’s pro-American approach, the U.S. wanted to show its strong support for Egypt through this high level delegation.
Bobby Unser was again declared the winner of the Indianapolis 500 after 4½ months. He had crossed the finish line first on May 24, but was disqualified the next day on a protest for passing during a yellow caution flag. Mario Andretti was then declared the winner, and Unser took it to the United States Auto Club appeals panel, which voted 2-1 to declare him the official winner. He was fined $40,000 but not penalized the lap. Andretti continued appealing, finally abandoning the case on March 4, 1982.
OSO I, the first of the Orbiting Solar Observatory satellite series, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, more than 18 years after its launch on March 7, 1962, and burned up on re-entry.
Cagney & Lacey was first telecast as a made-for-TV movie, and attracted a Nielsen rating of only 12. Plans to create a series based on the film were shelved due to the poor response.
The Unabomber's (Ted Kaczynski) 5th bomb, planted at the University of Utah's Bennion Hall, was detected and defused before it could explode.
Lawrence Kennedy, an Independent councillor on Belfast Council, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries as he stood in the entrance to Shamrock Social Club, Ardoyne, Belfast.
Jihadist forces in Arabia attempt to attack the Hajj, in an effort to drive the U.N. forces out of the Holy Cities, and take control of the area during a symbolic period in the Islamic calendar. Their offensive fails, and a closely controlled Hajj takes place under the supervision of Muslim troops from the U.N. force.
Friday, October 9, 1981
American rock musician Prince performed before the largest crowd to that point in his career, as one of the opening acts for the Rolling Stones' tour at Los Angeles Coliseum, and was booed off the stage by an impatient crowd.
President of France François Mitterrand signed Law No. 81-908, abolishing the death penalty. The measure had passed the National Assembly on September 18 and the Senate of France (by a 170-117 margin) on September 30. In practice, France had not executed a prisoner since Mitterrand became President in 1974.
A landslide at the Philippines municipality of Maco, Compostela Valley, killed hundreds of people. In addition to 194 bodies recovered at the site, 200 miners were missing after the occurrence.
Saturday, October 10, 1981
In the largest protest march in Germany since the end of World War II, at least 150,000 people gathered in Bonn, West Germany, to demonstrate against the further deployment of American nuclear missiles in Europe.
The PIRA carried out a bomb attack on Chelsea Barracks in London. Two British civilians were killed and 40 other people injured including 23 soldiers.
Sunday, October 11, 1981
The Super Chicken III, piloted by John Shoecroft and Fred Gorrell, became the first balloon to ever make a nonstop crossing of the United States. The 2,515 mile journey from Costa Mesa, California to Blackbeard Island in Georgia, took 55 hours and 25 minutes to complete.
Monday, October 12, 1981
CBS Cable, the first venture into cable television by the broadcast CBS Television Network, went on the air in available markets with a series of programs dedicated to the classical arts, with telecasts of symphonies, dance, theatre, and operas. The venture was unsuccessful, and CBS Cable was shut down at 4:00 am on December 17, 1982.
U.S. B-52 high altitude bombers and AC130 gunships disrupt an effort by the ZPLF and Zambian troops to stage a major offensive into Rhodesian territory.
The Account of Kiang Liu
A new madness descended upon Peking, although in this place by now any madness was like one rabid dog among the pack, a menace lost in a larger storm of troubles. I ate human remains, because there was little else. It was what you did to live; those too elevated to eat remains soon starved to death, and so provided the fodder for the rest of us. Human meat is bland, not at all tasty – perhaps it needed salt or seasoning. Of these, we had none.
The Lesser Mao and his circus of screaming monkeys left the capital soon after word reached us that the Slavs were descending from the north accompanied by the Mongol horde. Soon news came from the west that the Americans were coming; they with a vanguard of Korean barbarians and Kuomintang counter-revolutionaries. There could be little hope for the Revolution; the insanity of Mao Yan-jin had destroyed it, and not even the wisdom brought down from the Great Helmsman on his golden mountain could change that. Only a fool still believed that the elder Mao still lived. He was no more than bones now, just as the man, who had been my latest respite from the agony of hunger, now was a pile of bones upon my plate. The Lesser Mao – the Mad Mao – had used his name, and invented his words for these last years, that much was clear. His Revolution was as dead as he.
The end had started with the Kwangsi bomb. Only the mad could expect soundness from a man who would use such a weapon on his own, and the disintegration of the Lesser Mao, from drug addled mad man to screaming monkey, came with it. And so went what was left of his order. In the last months they killed more of each other than any enemy, and they were forever finding more enemies to kill. To be a Minister, or even a Deputy Minister, by this time was a death sentence. The security forces killed madly. I hid in a basement, wandering forth like some foul spirit from the grave only at night, and then only to find a body still in condition to nourish me.
Years later I am still asked by the foolish why the Lesser Mao did not use more bombs. Silly fools; the technicians refused, and the Lesser Mao delighted in killing them for their disobedience. When he looked-up from his blood-lust it was too late, he realized that the knowledge to operate his nuclear force was gone through his fingers, and what was left was equipment deliberately left in complete disrepair.
I had little doubt that the Americans, counter-revolutionary racists though they may have been, came to liberate us. But their Korean mercenaries were another story. Like the Mongols coming with the Slavic horde, they had suffered much at our hands. Their officers were of the generation that had been young soldiers when the People’s Liberation Army overran Korea in an effort to save Kim Il Sung from the reversal of his war of national liberation and unification. They had suffered grievously at our hands. The soldiers in their command would be the sons of that generation, their sergeants perhaps old enough to remember that war. I had no doubt we would receive some kind of retribution from them. And with them came Kuomintang from Taiwan; counter-revolutionaries with a historic score of their own to settle.
Could this be better than the Lesser Mao? Only if the Americans retained control, but for this we would have to rely on white devils who could as easily be inclined to destroy us too. Ours was a dark world of ignorance.
So we waited as the two sides drew closer to feast on the remains of what had been China.
American, South Korean and Taiwanese forces did enter Peking ahead of the Soviet and Mongolian troops, who stopped their advance at the Great Wall. The American command tried to prevent any reprisals by its allies, although it was clear that both the Koreans and the Taiwanese had historic agendas of their own.
In taking Peking and its surrounding area, the Americans discovered a few surviving USAF and USN prisoners who had been captured by the Red Chinese over the years.
Tuesday, October 13, 1981
Polisario Front guerrillas, probably armed by the PJO who used them in an effort to destabilize the regimes in Northwest Africa, attacked the Moroccan army garrison at Guelta Zemmur, and shot down two warplanes of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, marking a victory in their continuing struggle to free the Western Sahara from Moroccan control.
Wednesday, October 14, 1981
India's Prime Minister Ram Sundar Das ordered the release of Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, three weeks after his arrest for the September 9 murder of publisher Jagat Narain. The Das government then established a commission to negotiate outstanding grievances with the Sikh community.
Sanjay Gandhi, sensing an opportunity to whip up public indignation at the government among Hindu nationalist segments of the community, staged a series of protest marches against the release of Bhindranwale and demanded his re-incarceration and the end of government talks with Sikh leaders.
A further attempt to revive the Geneva conference on settlement of the Arabian crisis collapses without consensus among the parties.
Thursday, October 15, 1981
"The Wave" was first led by Krazy George Henderson in Oakland, during 7th inning stretch of the ALCS between the A's and the Yankees. Henderson claimed that he had started the wave at "an NHL game in Edmonton in late 1980", while Rob Weller said that he had started it at the University of Washington in an October 31 game against Stanford.
The California legislature deadlocks on a formula for dividing debt and tax revenues. Northern California representatives in particular resist absorbing costs for projects that have mainly benefitted the south of the state.
Governor Pete McCloskey (I-CA): “The citizens of California have given us a mandate to create a new state, and now both sides are playing politics with the funding formula. The issue has to be resolved as one of compromise and not a free-for-all to see who can get the most and who is left with the bill. Southern Californians are going to have to get used to the idea that they will no longer have the pockets of the people of the north of the old state to pick-up many of the costs – in other words they are going to have to raise revenues for their projects themselves. Meanwhile the people of the north are going to have to accept that they have benefitted from some of the projects that were initiated in the South, and accept that they can’t have their cake and eat it too. All of California – and all Californians – benefitted from public investment, and at the end of the day some cannot walk away from the table with all benefits with no cost. That’s not how reality works. I call on both sides to sit down and engage like adults and hammer out an agreement.”
Friday, October 16, 1981
In Japan's worst mining disaster, methane gas explosions at the Hokkaido Steamship and Colliery operation at Yūbari, Hokkaidō, killed 93 coal miners. The blast occurred while the men were 1,900 feet underground.
Israeli General and politician, Moshe Dayan, died at age 66.
Saturday, October 17, 1981
Pope Pius XIII, spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, met with Abuna Takla Haymanot, the patriarch of the 12,000,000 Christians of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, at Castel Gandolfo. The Ethiopian church had gone separately from Rome back in the 5th Century AD.
Steuart Pringle, then Commandant-General of the Royal Marines, was badly injured when the PIRA exploded a bomb under his car.
Grigory Romanov: “It is the imperialist encroachment into the once liberated nation that we must stop. We must solidify our position by moving quickly into the interior.”
Marshall Viktor Kulikov: “This is a mad zone full of bandits and God knows what. If we go in there, we will need to do so in force.”
GR: “Then we must move in force.”
Nikolai Ryzhkov: “And so close the trap on ourselves? Why do you think the Americans and their puppets have not marched in already? They have left this area wide open in order to lure us into a major engagement against bandits, remnants of the crazy man’s regime and all other manner of brigands you’ll find there. It will cause us to make a major commitment of forces, and the casualties will be high.”
MVK: “It is an invitation to a disaster.”
GR: “The Red Army can prevail.”
MVK: “Have you considered at what cost?”
GR: “We must be prepared to pay the cost for the sake of the Socialist revolution.”
NR: “Stop talking like a hack Party boss at a sovkoz and think, Grigory Vasilyevich. If we place a major commitment of forces here, where must we draw them from – our NATO front, yes? This is what Rumsfeld wants. And this is not the Great Patriotic War. What do we say when we ship bodies back to the farms and villages?“
GR: “They died for the great Revolution.”
NR: “The Great Revolution is wearing a thin at the street and farm level. For the first time, Grigory Vasilyevich, with the oil money, we can begin to put more food on the shelves, perhaps give the people a sense of progress. We do not need a war at this time, not for our economy or well being.”
MVK: “I remind you that Rumsfeld said in his first Presidential speech that he intended to liberate Europe- to use his words. This is the kind of trap that could leave him a freer hand in Europe, which is his real intent. Even as we occupy this space, we will have to administer it since our Chinese allies are in complete chaos. It will be several years at least before our troops are freed for European operations.”
GR: “Raise more troops.”
NR: “And that is so easy? Kosygin had it right when he reported that we are a state suffocating under the weight of our military. This is not counter-revolutionary fear mongering, comrades. It is cold hard fact. Cold, hard fact. To increase the army now is to invite even more economic hardship throughout the Union, and the masses revolutionary spirit can only be tested so-far. And if you try to compare this to the Great Patriotic War again, I will remind you that the rodina is not invaded here; this is for control of a foreign territory, and one not one overly beloved by the ordinary Union citizen. Rumsfeld has set his trap well.”
GR: “Defeatism. All I hear here is defeatism. A few years ago we helped bring about a revolution in Portugal. Soon we will be successful in Greece, and in Africa...”
MVK: “In Africa, our revolutionary comrades are too busy fighting each other to be of much use. And you have sent more of my crack troops there, so that they are not now available in Europe or for this China folly. This Africa sinkhole is a perfect example of what will become of China if we step into this quicksand.”
GR: “What then? You will give the imperialists China?”
NR: “Let them have it. They will have to tame it and rebuild it. This could present them with years of military and economic distraction. We should maintain our claims and promote our People’s Republic of China allies in Tihwa, of course. But we must not let the folly of Revolutionary hubris allow us to make this our problem, when we can make it theirs.”
The minutes later recorded that the Executive Committee of the Politburo decided to await events in China. Oleg Gordievsky later recorded that Grigory Vasilyevich Romanov spent many hours with the KGB Director afterward, discussing the loyalty and political reliability of his associates in the Politburo.
Sunday, October 18, 1981
General Jozef Uzycki was forced out of Poland's ruling Junta, taking the blame for much of the disruption during the year. General Czeslaw Kiszczak was unanimously confirmed by the Central Committee of the Polish Workers Party as the new Party First Secretary. Adam Humer of the Ministry State Security also assumed a more prominent role as a senior politburo figure.
The Sultan of Oman decreed the establishment of the State Consultative Council (Majlis al Istishari lil Dawlah), with 43 members chosen by popular election. The new body did not have a legislative function, but was allowed to advise the Sultan in a form of representative democracy.
Monday, October 19, 1981
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that home videotaping of programs constituted copyright violation, reversing 1979 USDC decision. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this decision.
Tuesday, October 20, 1981
Brink's robbery (1981): A group of armed robbers from the Black Liberation Army and Weather Underground attacked a Brink's Armored Car at the Nanuet Mall in Nanuet, New York, killing one of the Brink's guards and stealing 1.6 million dollars in cash, then killed two police offers who had given chase. Among those captured on the first day was Kathy Boudin, who had been a fugitive for more than a decade.
U.S. and GCC forces begin a clean-up of the Dhahran oil production facilities in a pre-cursor to beginning oil export from Arabia. It is unclear who will profit from this (apart from U.S. oil companies) although it is widely expected that the GCC countries will get a piece of the take in return for their co-operation.
President Rumsfeld: “It comes down a simple point. If we don’t stop the PJO from spreading their poison across Africa, we’ll have to face them down somewhere else, like Spain or even on our shores. Americans and the world have to get used to the new reality, we have two opponents to fight, this terrorist movement and world Communism. The Communists are a greater threat, but to concentrate our forces on them, we have to deal with this challenge first, and do so conclusively. If we had acted quickly in 1917, we might well have spared the world the spectre of Communism and Joseph Stalin. If we had acted quickly in 1936, we might have stopped Hitler in his tracks. This is no different. We have to stop the PJO now, and western Africa is the place where that will happen.”
Rep. Bill Clinton (R –AR-3): “Now that we have stretched our commitments to China, to South Africa, and we still bear the cost of NATO and the Atlantic – is now the time to add West Africa to our list? How much can our budget bear? Where do we draw the line? What is the limit of our interest, and what becomes nothing more than an adventure of trying to be the world’s policeman? I saw this limit in Syria, and I see here, in this West Africa situation, a new potential for debacle and quagmire. That is why I move this bill to forestall any move by our government to send troops to this place.”
Ron Dellums (WTP): “I notice that the Rumsfeld Administration is quick to send aid and comfort to a white, racist regime in the interests of national security, but when it comes to the freedom of black regimes, then compromise comes out. Is this the same – spirit of compromise – that is quick to impeach a black Supreme Court Justice? Is liberty for Donald Rumsfeld, perhaps, only a pale horse?”
George Kennan: “We have gone well beyond containment to making every conflict in the world our own, and it is to our detriment. If we allow President Rumsfeld to send our troops into West Africa, could this not be our Tuteborg Forrest? How soon after we enter shall our President call from his balcony – “I want my Legions back!””
Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA): “What shall we do then? Watch from the sidelines as this corner of Africa sinks into misery, even as at the other end we light the flames of war to suit our needs. Turning our backs on the west coast of Africa now means only that we’ll have to deal with this problem in the future.”
Sen. Ronald Galtieri (Lib-MT): “I’m sure that Africa goes well beyond what our founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. Washington warned against foreign entanglements – and this situation has written all over it the very meaning of our first President’s warning.”
Vice President Edwards: “I can’t help but hear today the same lilly-livered dithering that crawled out of the liberal foxhole all through the 1960’s, when the subject was Vietnam. Had we listened then, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, and perhaps Taiwan and India would now be Communist bastions with their people’s suffering under the yoke of Red tyranny. But we prevailed by renewing our effort in Vietnam, and as a result Communism is on the run in Asia. So it must be in Africa with this so called Islamism. We must stand firm and send a clear message – oppose us, break the peace in the name of politics or religion, and retribution will be swift and sure. That is the choice here, and that is why we must face up to the PJO in West Africa today. The question is not whether we have a national interest in West Africa, or some left-wing notion of re-colonizing Africa. It is our stand against tyranny and subjugation. Either we stand and fight here an now, or we will have to fight them when they choose to land on our beaches and bring the fight to us. I, for one, and our President as a matter of courage and vision, says bring the fight to them and do it now. Because we can win and we will be victorious.”
Sen. Jerry Brown (D-CA): “We made the problem: the PJO grew strong because we failed to address the underlying problems in Syria and the Middle East. Let’s not repeat that mistake by rushing head long into war. Have we not learned that perhaps there are other approaches to winning the peace than blasting the enemy into the stone age.”
Richard Nixon: “I agree with the President that we face a great many urgent challenges, some of which could have been avoided if the groundwork we laid down a decade ago had been followed. But we can only deal with what is, so my advice to President Rumsfeld is to choose his battles. He can’t fight them all at once, so he is going to have to choose which to pursue first.”
James Gavin: “I authorized the move into Syria to stabilize what was a rapidly deteriorating situation. No matter what occurred after that, my goal was to retain control of the situation, and not let it control our policy options. It now seems the President has let the situation control him, so much that he is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the quick sand.”
Rep. Trent Lott (R-MS-5: Speaker of the House): “I would like to remind everyone here that the PJO, or their agents, attacked us on our soil in 1976, on our bi-centennial! We are not talking about some abstract fight somewhere off in Africa; we are talking about a fight against a declared enemy of the United States. A declared enemy who has killed American civilians. How dare we even consider denying the President the means to fight than enemy before they strike again?”
Vice President Edwards (private comment): “I do my duty to defend this Administration in public; but I can’t help but get the feeling that we are being pulled too far by this.”
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-1): “I would like to point out that we have lost sight of a fundamental fact here. That is we are giving our backing to the wrong fight in the wrong place. In supporting the South African and Rhodesian white supremacy regimes we are taking the reverse role that we, as a federal government, took in the struggle for Civil Rights in our own South. Yes, we should be backing the regimes in peril in West Africa; where we have gone wrong is with our involvement on the wrong side in South Africa. I call on this Administration to end its support of the segregationist apartheid regimes in the South, and to back true struggles for liberation and liberty, by putting an end to the racist regime in the South, and by helping the African states of the West resist this outside invader.”
Rep. Tom Raislback (R-IL-8):” I have to disagree with the parallel with our own South; this situation bears no resemblance to that. We are opening the door to a lot of possible problems here, and frankly I would like to see this White House come-up with a strategic plan to cover these situations, instead of willy-nilly chasing rabbits down holes as they’re doing now.”
President Rumsfeld: “There’s no willy-nilly here. We are defending the world order – and our way of life – from bandits who want to destroy it.”
Rep. John Larch (Lib-ID-2): “I am convinced that we have no place involving ourselves in African affairs, and especially not with American fortune and American blood. But, I must add that I oppose this legislation. Article II clearly gives the President power over foreign affairs, and I can’t see a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution that says otherwise. Yes, we can Constitutionally withhold funding, which is what we are proposing to do, but we all know that President Rumsfeld is going to veto this legislation, and I don’t see the votes to override his veto. Consequently, I see only one way forward, and that is an Article V convention to clarify this point in the Constitution, and hopefully to limit the ability of the federal government to draw the American people into these kinds of overseas messes.”
Sen. Fred Easer (Lib.-AZ): “We need to get out of Africa, and let the Africans solve their own problems. The whole problem has been caused by this Administration deciding to intervene where we have no business getting involved. Let these places solve their own problems, and let us as Americans address the over-extension of government here at home.”
James MacGregor Burns: “In the end, the foreign policies of the Agnew, Gavin, Wallace and Rumsfeld Administrations have all, to some extent or another, been driven by a hubris that believes that we, as Americans, can fix every problem. President Gavin seems to have had some appreciation of our limits, but the others – and in particular Wallace and now Rumsfeld – have let that idea get away from them. They act as if there are no limits, as if American power is an endless reservoir we can tap forever, and that the rest of the world will be awed by it. I trace this to our winning in Vietnam. If we had lost, as seemed likely before Spiro Agnew changed the Nixon game plan, then perhaps we would have been more humble with our further use of military power in the world. With a loss of Vietnam, or even a stalemate, we might have realized that we can’t win every struggle simply by applying force. But that seems to be gone, replaced by this old go anywhere, bear any price vision as articulated in President Kennedy. Even he didn’t believe that, although George Wallace and Donald Rumsfeld seem to have become entranced by that idea. The irony is that both men were political opponents of Kennedy. Until we address the limitations of our power, until we pull back from the brink, we are only going to sink deeper into the mud of imperial overstretch.”
The Clinton-Brown Act passes 293-142 in the House and 57 – 42 in the Senate. These provisions prevent the Rumsfeld Administration from providing direct military assistance, or involving the U.S. military in combat in West Africa until the situation in Southern Africa and China is resolved. The measure had originally called for disengagement from South Africa as well, but that provision was watered down to a limitation on the introduction of U.S. combat troops in South Africa due to various political divisions on the issue, and the need to get a veto proof majority on the passage of the measure.
The Rumsfeld Administration refused to recognize the Clinton-Brown Act, calling it an unconstitutional intrusion by the legislative branch into the foreign policy and war powers reserved by the Constitution to the Presidency. But to be sure, the President vetoes it. The Act lacks sufficient support to override his veto in both chambers.
Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA):”When we have a runaway executive, and our foreign policy is being hijacked to promote war, and not just any war, but a war on behalf of a racist regime, then it is clear that this nation has a Constitutional crisis that only amendment of that document can resolve.”
Wednesday, October 21, 1981
U.S. Patent #4,296,282 was granted to Joseph T. O'Neil, Thomas M. Quinn and Tse Lin Wang for "Incoming Call Identification Arrangement", more commonly known as "Caller ID".
Marshall Impeachment Debate:
Rep. Shirley Chisholm (WTP – NY-12 ): “This is nothing more than an attempt to politizie the Supreme Court, to drive it to the right. Justice Marshall has done nothing to warrant impeachment. He has given his opinion, and it was a dissent from the majority opinion at that, and that is not a high crime or misdemeanour. Where is the high crime in a Justice dissenting from the majority opinion. Were Justices impeached for dissenting from Dred Scott or Plessy? Where were the calls to impeach the dissenters in Brown vs. Board of Education? Nowhere, and that is because the political forces at that time understood the value of dissent in a democratic system. Dissent is the bedrock of free speech, and that is a value we are supposed to protect here, in this Congress? So why this – legislative lynching? What is your real purpose?”
Rep. (CV member): “For too long the nanny state government has sought to push aside persons of faith and the traditional values which we hold dear. The family is under attack, and nothing could demonstrate that better than Justice Marshall’s dissent, which, if it were law, would tear away at the very fabric of the family, Where would this nation be if the family were subject to federal scrutiny, where its most intimate and value oriented communications were subject to arbitration by a federal judge? That is the chaos we would have if we lost the rights of the family to be protected from the colossus of an out-of-control federal judiciary which encourages minors to keep secrets from their parents. That is misdemeanour this Justice has perpetrated, and this impeachment is calling him to account for his un-Constitutional utterance from the highest bench in our land.”
Rep. Phil Crane (R – IL- 8): “The fact is that the unconstitutional encroachment of the judiciary on State powers and citizen rights has been going on for decades unchecked. Justice Marshall’s supporters all cry out that we are persecuting a good man for dissenting from a majority opinion. I see no good in a Justice of the highest court seeking to insert a right that allows a minor to withhold important information from his or her parents. That is big government run amok and it is high time, if we are to maintain Constitutional government in this country, that it stop. Justice Marshall has shown, in his comment, that he does not understand his Constitutional role, and that is why he is being impeached.”
Ron Dellums (WTP): “Thurgood Marshall is being impeached because he is the one black face in a sea of white, and because he is the one voice for the powerless against the powerful. This is a lynching, of the powerless by the powerful.”
Sen. Albert Brewer (D-AL): “Evoking emotion laden language of race is only an attempt to distract from the real issue at hand here. This measure is meant to protect the Constitution. It is the fact that Justice Marshall’s supporters cannot or will not understand this fundamental point which makes it the most disturbing.”
Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA): “What Justice Marshall’s supporters understand, what all Americans should understand, is that this not just an argument about one decision by one Justice, what is under attack here is the whole principle of judicial independence, and it is being attacked by those forces who would reduce our judges to being slaves of a political agenda that would reduce our Constitution and our rights to a narrow, parochial interpretation of some values in preference to others. This goes against the whole meaning of our history and what our Founders meant when they created a separate and inviolable branch of government for the judiciary.”
Sen. Fred Easer (Lib-AZ): “There is nothing parochial in asserting that the Constitution should be observed exactly as written. A federal Justice has no right dictating to the family how it should manage its relations. Justice Marshall is trying to do just that, and for that reason he has to go. It’s not just that he has violated the concept of federalism and the limited powers of the federal government, but the fact that he doesn’t understand this point – that’s why he has to go.”
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA): “If we set the precedent of limiting the First Amendment, in order to protect the sensibilities of those who are offended by what may, or may not be, an attack on the family, what will we say the next time someone is offended by some other minority view, or by some other person's exercise of the freedom the Constitution is supposed to protect? Let us see this impeachment for what it really is, not an attack on one Justice or one political philosophy, but an attack on the very fundamentals of our Constitution itself. Justice Marshall has throughout his career spoken for freedom and justice, and these are the hallmarks of a civilized society. His opponents would use one dissent – a right afford to all under the First Amendment, even a Supreme Court Justice, to tear apart our Constitution in the service of –not a sacred value as they proclaim – but a political objective which would snuff out the light of justice, freedom and civilization for the darkness of oppression and the dominance of a minority view over that of all others in the service of one, limited view of one aspect of religion. That it is the true battle line we draw here, and it is this President, by not speaking out against this outrageous attempt to silence a great voice for justice, who has allowed it to progress to this point.”
Thursday, October 22, 1981
The Indian Army moves into Lhasa and nominally establishes a protectorate over Tibet, although much of that region remains in the uncontrolled areas of China. The Dalai Lama returns to Tibet, but quickly becomes disillusioned when he learns that India will not support an independent Tibet. India, meanwhile, prevents the Dalai Lama from leaving Tibet, making a virtual prisoner in the Potala Palace.
The European Court ruled against the British government on the grounds that it was discriminating against homosexuals by treating homosexuality as a crime in Northern Ireland.
The White House
Secretary of Defense John Connally: “The fact is we are getting stretched thin by all of this activity; China is going to be a particular drain, and even just a limited air offensive in Africa is diverting from our NATO coverage.”
National Security Advisor Daniel Graham: “Our ability to act with force in Arabia is being hindered because of our present commitments. If there’s another crisis, say in South America or even a big blow-up in Arabia or Syria, we’ll be forced to draw down our NATO forces more.”
SecDef: “Your predecessors have already done that for Syria and Cyprus, sir. It has left us dangerously stretched.”
President Rumsfeld: “What are you asking for?”
SecDef: “Either we bring back the draft to increase our manpower...”
Graham: “Which the Chiefs are sure to balk at. They like their all-professional military; everyone wants to be there.”
SecDef: “Correct on that.”
President: “What’s the alternative?”
SecDef: “Foreign auxillaries.”
Graham: “Like the French Foreign Legion. We hire foreign mercenaries to take some of the strain off our forces.”
President: “Would that work?”
SecDef: “Worked for the French, the British – you’ll recall the Gurkhas and Sikh regiments – and the Romans. And it’s a better option than draft riots.”
President: “Develop a plan for it.”
Friday, October 23, 1981
Ulster Unionist Party conference took place over two days (23 - 24 October 1981).
President Rumsfeld: “Impeachment is not an executive responsibility, and as such I will stay out of the particular controversy. In general, on the issue, let me say that, as a father and a family man myself, I don’t believe the federal government – and by that I mean any branch – should be interfering with the internal conduct of family relations. That’s not a Constitutional role for this government.”
New York Times Editorial – October 23, 1981
Should Ted Agnew be our next Mayor?
He’s been the Governor of a State (Maryland), and it turned out he was a crook. He’s been President of the United States, by accident, of course. As President he abused the office’s unique power of the pardon to pardon himself for his crimes while Governor of Maryland. He’s the only President in United States history to be removed by the Senate (by which you could say he’s the only President ever to be fired part way through his term). So does any of this qualify him to manage the $ 4 Billion budget of Metropolitan New York City, much less speak on behalf of its citizens, for the next four years?
There’s no question that Agnew can attract a crowd. Not just his notorious past, but six years on the Hughes Network as a outspoken – and at times apocalyptic – prophet of the far right has given him a cult celebrity status that’s hard to ignore. Hughes fired him incidentally; they say he wanted too much money, he says they succumbed to pressure from the ever-present nattering nabobs of negativity, a group of which this publication is apparently a cornerstone member, judging from the vitriol Mr. Agnew has directed our way during his time as Vice President and President, and in the years since. So, we are pleased to natter, perhaps a little notoriously, on this subject.
To choose the high ground, a place this publication always prefers to be, let us look at the office to which Ted Agnew would like New Yorkers to elect him. The Mayor of New York is the chief executive officer of this city, and the holder of that office oversees the largest municipal budget in the country. With a population of some eight million people, and a civil service numbered to be around one-hundred and seventy-five thousand strong, having charge of New York City’s government can be reckoned to be a larger job than being Governor of ten of our smallest states. To be fair Maryland is larger, as is Presiding over the Federal Government. Ted Agnew has done bigger jobs, as he claims, but he hasn’t done any of them all that well.
As Governor of Maryland he passed tax reform, opened state housing to non-racial preference, and built public housing – an impressive record for a Republican. But he was quick to crack down on racial protest and failed to recognize the significance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s murder. And he sold public contracts for cash, slipped to him in unmarked white envelops (once, while Vice President, in the White House itself). This does not inspire confidence in his own campaign slogan of “a tested and skilled civic leader.”
There is no evidence that Agnew took money from anyone while he served as President. But he did print it like it was going out of style, all so he could fund a new war in Vietnam and keep the illusion of domestic prosperity going. Let’s linger on that for a second. Agnew’s predecessor, President Richard Nixon, had all but settled the Vietnam War when he left office on January 20, 1973. The situation left for Ted Agnew at the time was to complete the negotiations and set the timetable for the American withdrawal from a decade’s long quagmire.
What did he do instead?
Double down with an escalation that would have made even Lyndon Johnson blush. He counters this charge by pointing out to all and sundry that the monument to his “foresight” and “courageous leadership” on the situation is a free South Vietnam which today is enjoying a growing prosperity under a reasonably free, elected government. Give the devil his due, that was the outcome of his choice, although it was another President who actually did it. The rebuttal to the last being that he was removed by the Senate before he could complete the task. We don’t know what kind of Commander-in-Chief he might have been in Vietnam, but the record does show that the Gavin Administration undertook a complete strategic re-think of the Agnew era plan, and that the final victory of a free South Vietnam was the result of that process. For Agnew to call himself the liberator of South Vietnam is analogous to the man who fired the starter pistol declaring that he determined the race.
It is true that the Mayor of New York has no war making powers (although the numbers of New York Police Department officers under his control is larger than some armies), the relevance is not in that area, but in illustrating the nature of Ted Agnew’s executive judgment, or lack thereof. To be clear, as President, Ted Agnew chose war over peace, not when that war was necessary, but when peace had already been negotiated. Ted Agnew’s path was the one of quick glory, financed on the future credit of the United States, which took a beating soon afterward, in part because of his policy choices. At any level, this record does not augur well for Agnew’s cognitive capabilities as an administrator.
It was his decision to pardon himself which draws the issue into sharper contrast. The action is unprecedented in our history, and largely unknown in the longer British history which served as the foundation for our legal system, where King’s may have sought ecclesiastical forgiveness for their misdeeds but there is no record of one pardoning himself for a felony. For a British Prime Minister to stay on once unmasked as a bribe taker would be unfathomable, and it is quite unlikely that the royal prerogative would be exercised to pardon such a person while in high office. But in the context of our system, where the roles have been combined into the one office of President, Ted Agnew did just that, and with the equanimity of a President signing any other executive act. Agnew himself makes much of the fact that his removal was politically motivated and partisan in nature (a claim belied by the votes of both Senators Edward Kennedy and Barry Goldwater to remove him). In fact he was removed because having an admitted felon serving as President brought disgrace on the office and on the United States itself, a point apparently lost on Ted Agnew then and now.
The point is reinforced by the fact that his successors, James Gavin, George Wallace and (to date) Donald Rumsfeld, have consciously omitted any reference to him from the official pantheon of ex-Presidents, where even Richard Nixon, convicted of his own crimes once out of office, is grudgingly acknowledged. It is worthy of note in that context that Donald Rumsfeld has gone a long way, often with a tortuous editing of history, to defend his own record in the Agnew Administration, but has declined to lend a kind word about Ted Agnew personally. He has not endorsed his old boss in the current contest, nor have a number of other senior officials from that period.
It is important for the next Mayor of New York City to not only have administrative experience, but to also have the mature judgment and discretion to administer those responsibilities in a fashion that will serve the citizens of New York City. Ted Agnew has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not have those qualities. While he is as deserving as anyone of forgiveness for his past transgressions, his refusal to acknowledge the true reason why he was removed, and instead to continue in his frequent rants that he was the victim of a partisan conspiracy, betrays that his understanding has not progressed. The people of New York City must require more of a Chief Executive.
That is why this publication – after a tenacious turnover of his all his talents and trails – has determined that Ted Agnew should not be our next Mayor.
The brother of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former surgeon in Egypt then with the PJO in Mali, was arrested as part of the roundup of dissidents following the assassination of President al-Gamsay. Muhammad al-Zawahiri died under torture in the Egyptian military prison system. "The torture and death of his brother broke Zawahiri," noted one author later, "and transformed him as well into an embittered fanatic, more determined than before to inflict deadly harm on Egypt's secular authorities and its Western friends."
The Spider, the first lunar module to be tested in outer space for docking with a lunar orbiter fell out of orbit and burned up in the Earth's atmosphere. From March 3 to March 13, 1969, the craft had been operated by astronaut Alan Bean during the Apollo 9 mission, and confirmed that a module could be released from orbit and then reconnected for a lunar landing.
Saturday, October 24, 1981
A weekend of anti-nuclear protests began in cities throughout Europe, as 200,000 marched in Rome and another 150,000 in London to protest the deployment of American Pershing II missiles at bases in five European nations. On Sunday, a crowd of 200,000 turned out in Brussels for the largest demonstration since World War II, and smaller crowds marched in Paris, Berlin and Oslo.
Spiro Agnew: “The hysterical halcyons of hyperbole are at it again with their larcenous ludicrous liberal louting. This election isn’t about the presidency, or about their liberal preferences, or they high hallelujah lording it over the common citizens who must work and live in this great city. This election is about you, the hard working, devoted citizenry of this city. Do you follow the liberal elite ballyhoo of the Times? Do you believe they care about the crime and incompetence you have to put-up with? Or do they revel in it, from their elite ivory towers, directing your lives like so many pawns on the chess board? You, my fellow citizens, you control your vote. I have spoken plainly about what I will do if elected Mayor of our great city. I will clean-up crime and root out corruption. Yes, I have erred in my past, but those errors have attuned me to what is so wrong with the liberal-crony government that runs this city as a medieval fife of uncontrolled liberal licence. You control your vote. I ask for your vote, but you don’t have to vote for me if you think that’s wrong. Vote for whomever you think is right, but vote for yourself, and not for who these nattering nabobs – who couldn’t care less about you – don’t let them tell you who you should vote for.”
Voter: “Once a crook, always a crook.”
Voter: “They should let the past go. It’s clear Mr. Agnew has a better plan for this city.”
Voter: “So he’s a crook; they’re all crooks aren’t they? Why not a crook to clean out the rest?”
Voter: “The Senate kicked Agnew out because they were afraid of him. The Times shows that the liberal elite are still out to get him. That’s why I’m voting Agnew – so he can kick those schmucks where it hurts.”
Voter: “He should go back to Maryland. We don’t want him here.”
Voter: “Who cares what he did in Maryland. He’s better than the clowns we got here.”
Sunday, October 25, 1981
Guernica, the classic 1937 painting by Pablo Picasso, arrived at the Prado Museum in Madrid on Picasso's 100th birthday.
A Peace march past the White House in Washington meets with violence when police try to break it up. Protestors later re-convene at the Lincoln Memorial to denounce the police and the Rumsfeld Administration.
New York Post: THE PEOPLE’s CROOK! AGNEW FOR MAYOR!
Monday, October 26, 1981
In the worst accident since refugees from Caribbean nations began sailing to the United States, a leaky sailboat with 67 Haitians broke apart in rough seas, half a mile from the beach in Florida. Thirty-four survivors were able to swim to safety, while the bodies of 33 drowning victims washed ashore at Hillsboro Beach, Florida.
Kenneth Haworth (49), a police explosives officer, was killed when the bomb he was trying to defuse exploded in Oxford Street, London.
Tuesday, October 27, 1981
Shortly after 8:00 pm, Soviet submarine U-137 was caught in the act of penetrating Sweden's territory, after running aground outside the naval base at Karlskrona. The Swedish government did not allow the intruder to leave until November 6.
The first reported instance of a pilot being blinded by a laser pointed from the ground took place 700 feet over Encino, California. A 21 year old man who said he was "testing a laser for a Halloween party" aimed the beam into the cockpit of a hovering LAPD police helicopter, leaving the pilot and co-pilot with total loss of vision for several seconds.
A report by the Colorado State Police and the Colorado Attorney-General’s office confirmed that journalist Hunter S. Thompson had been shot by a state trooper at a traffic stop on the night of July 21, 1981. When Thompson tried to drive away, and the officer had tried to stop him, Thompson had yelled out “get off me you fucking Rumsfeld!” The officer drew his weapon and fired, hitting Thompson and causing the subsequent crush. Criminal charges against the officer are pending.
Wednesday, October 28, 1981
The Montreal Expos won the 1981 World Series over the Oakland Athletics in Game 6. After dropping the first two games, the Expos won the next four, including the clincher, 8-1, at Olympic Stadium (the “Big O”) in Montreal.
The heavy metal band Metallica was formed after Lars Ulrich called James Hetfield, whom he had met through a classified ad in the weekly newspaper The Reycler, to ask his help in recording a song for a compilation album. Ron McGovney and Dave Mustaine completed the group.
President Rumsfeld successfully lobbied the United States Senate to vote down a resolution that would have blocked the sale of three AWACS radar planes and forty M-198 Howitzers (along with M549 is a High-Explosive Rocket Assisted (HERA) 155mm rounds) to South Africa for $9.2 billion. The House had already voted to block the sale, 220-215, on October 14, and 51 U.S. Senators (44 Democrats 2 Libertarians, 1 CV and 4 Republicans) had co-sponsored a resolution against the deal. Lobbying by Rumsfeld and by the U.S. Department of Defense persuaded three Senators to change their minds. As the roll call progressed, the vote was 52-48 in favor after Sam Nunn (D-GA), Ronald Fulton (D-IA) and Gary Howard (CV-LA) sided with the President. Nunn and Fulton succumbed to heavy grass-roots pressure in their states largely orchestrated by the Rumsfeld Administration (Nunn and Fulton were also Defense “Hawks” to begin with) and Sen. Howard appeared to be playing his vote for future influence with the Administration.
After the Senate vote further pressure was placed on the CV contingent in the House, which broke ranks with opponents and on a second vote changed the House vote to 221 – 214 in favour. Many predicted that while the Rumsfeld Administration was getting the Christian Values group on side, they were going to have to pay a political price for this. The Administration’s acquiescence in the impeachment of Justice Marshall was seen by some observers as a quid-pro-quo for this support.
Confirmation Hearings for George Deukmejian (U.S. Attorney-General designate) – U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Sen. Fred Easer (Lib.-AZ): “The question, Mr. Attorney-General*, is how you can reconcile the Bill of Rights with what you refer to as vigorous enforcement. There seems to me in this law-and-order agenda a very heavy hand.”
(*= this use refers to Mr. Deukmejian’s then title as Attorney-General of California)
GD: “There’s no contradiction, Senator. The fact is that without law-and-order, the Bill of Rights can’t operate. What you call a heavy hand is in fact the preservation of a civil society, without which no law can work.”
FE: “What is the price here? Liberty in trade for security? That’s the formula that leads to despotism, isn’t it?”
GD: “I know of no society that can operate with absolute liberty, not the kind you espouse. Law and order are crucial to freedom.”
FE: “But how far do you take that? You’re already famous for your involvement in marijuana arrests. You are also on record, and correct me if I’m incorrect here, in opposing homosexuals and sexual relations outside of wedlock. Is that correct?”
GD: “Homosexuality is a mental illness, not a right, Senator. As for sexual relations out of wedlock, apart from the Biblical injunction, which I take seriously, studies have found that adultery leads to the break-up of marriage, which in turn chips away at the very bedrock of our society. So, if I say that I think we need to extend our police powers into the bedrooms of the nation, then you have to look at that not from the perspective of encroaching on liberties – after all there can be no liberty to harm people – but on preserving the fundamental moral order of our society. Without that moral order there can be no freedom, so in a very real sense policing the bedroom is preserving freedom.”
Sen. Thomas P. Salmon (D-VT; Chairman): “I’m sorry, Mr. Deukmejian, but I have to say I find that interpretation of freedom somewhat – exotic. Are you arguing that in order to preserve freedom, we have to sacrifice liberty? Where I come from, liberty and freedom are directly related, some might say the same thing. You can’t diminish one without harming the other.”
GD: “The sophistry you’re drawing on there, Senator, is failing to distinguish between liberty and license. The right to liberty is the right to live in a free and peaceful society, where a moral and social order serve to maximize freedom, while giving no home to those things which would destroy our liberty, such as Communism and license. To be “free” – to have license – to do those things which are destructive of freedom – true freedom – is a great harm to our liberty. Homosexuality, as I have mentioned, is a mental illness, and we cannot give the mentally ill free reign, can we? Adultery and illegal narcotics are destructive of sacred relationships and sacred values, those of family, trust, fidelity – the very fabric of a free society. We can’t give them free license, Senator, because to do that would be equivalent of committing suicide as a society.”
TS: “Sounds to me like you are advocating just such a suicide of our free society.”
Sen. Mary E. Buchanan (R-CO): “I think what the Attorney-General is arguing, and quite correctly, is that without morality, there can be no freedom. To be free to be immoral is no freedom, any more than one can say that being free to sin is any sort of real freedom. American families in particular need to be protected from destructive influences such as drugs, pornography and sexual sicknesses.”
FE: “I think that what the Attorney-General – of California – is arguing is the end of liberty in the name of morality. The people of California may have elected him to his present office – that is their business. But I do not think we can recommend him to the whole Senate to be the chief law enforcer of the United States. We are looking for a law officer, not a Pope.”
Sen. Tom Kelly (R-AR): “I disagree. We need to bring morality back into our society and into our law. I think Mr. Deukmejian is a perfect choice for the position.”
Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR): “I am on the fence here. On the one hand I can see where a strong hand would benefit us, but I am not ready to see the federal government become a morality police either.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “I would like to add that there is serious doubt in the professional community that the old theory, that homosexuality is a mental illness, is valid. That is a rather- dated – notion, certainly among professionals.”
MB: “Read your bible, Senator. It has been clear from the beginning that it is an aberration that society cannot tolerate.”
GD: “I do not favor biblical penalties as such; it would be enough to jail homosexuals, as a deterrent and in order to treat them. But this argument, Senator Leahy, that the idea that homosexuality as aberration or a mental illness is dated – that is nothing more than left-wing propaganda designed to achieve exactly what I am warning of – the erosion of our free society in the service of something far more sinister. It’s this sort of destructive, so-called “new wisdom” which we have to avoid.”
PL: “It’s that kind of thinking which makes it dangerous for this nomination to proceed.”
Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC): “You do agree, Mr. Deukmejian, that the Attorney-General must follow the law, whatever it is? Even if it conflicts with your personal positions?”
GD: “The Attorney-General is an officer of law, Senator. The making of the laws is the business of the Congress; that’s the Constitution I would be sworn to uphold, and I would take that responsibility very seriously. I understand this.”
EH: “Then I see less danger than my esteemed colleague in going forward here. I believe the President deserves to have his nominee confirmed.”
DB: “Mr. Deukmejian, where do you stand on the current Bayh v. Rarick measure, which sought to invalidate the Louisiana Criminal Addiction Bill as un-Constitutional. I ask because your predecessor, Attorney-General Dole – showed no great enthusiasm for the measure, such that it didn’t acquire the name of Dole v. Rarick.?”
GD: “I have no trouble with the bill, however I will abide by what the courts say on the matter.”
PL: “So you don’t mind imprisoning sick people, instead of treating them for their illnesses?”
GD: “I am for the treatment of legitimate illness, Senator. In as much as drug addiction is a moral failing, then moral correction is the proper treatment.”
FE: “You don’t see the federal government’s intrusion into this state matter as being unconstitutional?”
GD: “Attorney-General Dole and the President have both made that argument on this measure, and I agree with those statements. One of the issues that confront us going forward is the untangling of Federal overreach and the restoration of a proper constitutional balance in our federalism. The act in question was passed by the State of Louisiana in a legal, constitutional manner for that state, and I don’t see where we, representing the limited federal authority, have a constitutional basis for challenging it.”
FE: “You believe then in the strict limitation of federal powers, to those clearly delineated in the Constitution.”
GD: “I believe in the Constitution, Senator, and I believe my job as Attorney-General would be to uphold it, to the limit of its powers and no further.”
DB: “I am pleased that Mr. Deukmejian upholds the Constitution, but I think there are still some questions here about how he would uphold that Constitution.”
Thursday, October 29, 1981
Near Meeteetse, Wyoming, biologist Dennie Hammer found the first live Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) since 1975, when the species was believed to have become extinct. The month before, a dog had brought back a dead ferret, prompting the search. Hammer placed a radio tag on the animal, which led scientists to find other ferrets and led to the repopulation of the species.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi was elected as the Prime Minister of Iran on a second ballot by the Majlis, receiving a majority, 91 of the 178 votes, with 69 against him and 18 abstentions. As Prime Minister Mousavi was still subject to approval by General Azhari and his shadowy “state safety and directory council.”
The House of Representatives votes 229 (207 Democrats, 4 Libertarians, 5 We The People, 1 each Socialist Worker, AAFP and Independent + 22 Republicans) to 206 (190 Republicans + 10 Democrats + 6 Christian Values) to cut-off further funding for U.S. military action in South Africa and Rhodesia. The Bill (the Conyers-Chisholm Act) moves on to the Senate.
Friday, October 30, 1981
Thirty-eight years after he disappeared while flying a dive bomber, the body of U.S. Navy Lt. Lorne Parker Pelzer and his airplane were discovered in a remote canyon near California's Mount Shasta. Pelzer had been alone in Douglas SBD Dauntless on March 13, 1943, when the airplane vanished in a blizzard.
Venera 13 was launched by the Soviet Union, followed five days later by Venera 14. The twin satellite explorers traveled to the surface of Venus, with Venera 13 landing first on March 1, 1982, and transmitting the first color pictures of the reddish brown soil on the second planet.
Saturday, October 31, 1981
Without permission, Tom Crotser dug through walls at Mount Pisgah in Jordan, where, he claimed, he and a team discovered the Ark of the Covenant. Though he did not bring the artifact out, he presented photographs. Subsequently, Biblical scholar Siegfried Horn in reviewed Crotser's evidence and, in an article in the Biblical Archeology Review, concluded that the nails and metal covering shown in photographs were of recent origin.
Robb Weller first led an audience in the performance of "The Wave", in Seattle, at the University of Washington's 42-31 win over Stanford. Although both Weller and Krazy George Henderson claim to have invented the Wave (with Henderson having led it on October 15), the Seattle event has been said to have popularized the audience m
Sinn Féin (SF) held its Ard Fheis (annual conference) in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Danny Morrison, then editor of An Phoblacht, gave a speech in which he addressed the issue of the party taking part in future elections: "Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?" [This statement was subsequently often quoted as: 'the Armalite in one hand and the Ballot box in the other'.]
The SF conference was later disrupted when a series of parcel bombs went off, killing 22 and injuring some 128. The INLA claimed responsibility, denouncing SF as being “accommodationist and selling out” for wanting to stand candidates within the existing British and Irish parliamentary systems.
November – December 1981
Senegal and Guinea attempt an invasion of western Mali; their forces are backed by the United States and France. While they have some success on the border, their forces falter due to poor command and integration, and because their armies falter in the face of suicide charges by the enemy.
Sunday, November 1, 1981
The nation of Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from the United Kingdom. At midnight in St. John's, Antigua, the British flag was hauled down and the Antiguan flag raised in its place at the city's cricket park. Princess Margaret, appearing on behalf of her nephew King George VII, presented the instruments of state to Prime Minister Vere Cornwall Bird. On the previous day, Princess Margaret and Bird had had dedicated a memorial to Princess Margaret's sister, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The 11 Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union defeats a measure to institute paid maternity leave, describing the benefit as a "bourgeoisie attempt to undermine the solidarity of the working classes."
Monday, November 2, 1981
At the U.S. Polaris nuclear submarine base at the Holy Loch in Scotland, a Poseidon missile slipped from a crane that was transferring the weapon from the floating drydock USS Los Alamos to the submarine tender USS Holland. The missile fell 17 feet without incident, although the magazine New Statesman reported in its November 27 issue that the missile had ten nuclear warheads, that there had been the risk of an explosion that could have released a large radioactive cloud, and that the crews had been evacuated. Although the story has sometimes been retold as an incident where "we almost nuked Scotland" and that the fully armed Poseidon missile "did not detonate, but it could have", the magazine itself emphasized that "The risk was not thermonuclear explosion but detonation in the fierce, sensitive chemical explosives of the warhead trigger-system" that would have released a radioactive cloud.
In a 5-2 decision the United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States Attorney General v. Rarick, (popularly known as Bayh v. Rarick), rules that the Louisiana Criminal Addiction Act is a violation of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. (Majority; Burger, CJ; Brennan, Blackmun, Powell, Kennedy. Dissent: White and Rehnquist. Marshall recused as he is under impeachment. Dole recused as he had worked on the case as the previous U.S. Attorney-General).
Gov Rarick (AI-LA): “The Supreme Court of the United States has declared war on the State of Louisiana, and every other state in this once great Union. Six justices have torn-up the Constitution and for what? To coddle criminals and outlaws! Well, here’s my response, the response of the freedom loving State of Louisiana. We will continue to enforce our law, passed in accordance with our Constitution and under the powers reserved to the States by the Constitution. If the Supreme Court doesn’t like it, let them come here and stop it!”
Operation Daisy was a military operation by the South African Defence Force during the South African Border War and Angolan Civil War.
After the conclusion of Operation Protea, a South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) regional headquarters at Chitequeta, in south-eastern Angola was attempting to regroup the scattered SWAPO members. As a result, the South African military decided to launch Operation Daisy against this town – some 240 kilometres north of the South-West Africa-Angola border.
After crossing the border and advancing north, a South African mechanized force of Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Buffel Armoured Personnel Carriers attacked the SWAPO base complex on 1 November 1981. During the attack seventy-one SWAPO members were killed. In spite of this, due to the immense size of the complex - about thirty-five square kilometres – most of the 1,200 SWAPO members at the base were able to escape into the bush. These were attacked from the air, inflicting some 350 casualties (the attacking aircraft were suspected of being AC-130 Spectre and AC47 Spooky ground attack aircraft belonging to the USAF, some operated by U.S. personnel, others transferred to the SAF).
The South African forces considered the operation to be a success as they had destroyed yet another SWAPO command and logistic base within three months of Operation Protea and had also captured a large quantity of arms and ammunition. The SWAPO membership was also further demoralised, as they had to move even further north into Angola. (Where they were bombed by U.S. B-52 high altitude bombers).
For the South African forces, the attack on Chitequeta was their deepest penetration into Angola since the civil war started six years before.
Tuesday November 3, 1981
Spiro T. Agnew is elected as the 105th Mayor of New York City.
Term: January 1, 1982 - December 31, 1985
Spiro Agnew (I) --- 27%
Ed Koch (D) --- 26%
Bella Abzug (WTP) -- 24%
Roy Goodman (R) -- 20%
SWP --- 2%
Other -- 1%
Ed Koch: “Nobody thought he could win, so no one took him seriously. In a normal system Spiro Agnew wouldn’t be Mayor-elect. This outcome tells you how out-of-whack our political system has become, and why we need to fix it.”
High school junior Anthony Jacques Broussard raped and strangled his 14 year old girlfriend, Marcy Conrad, in Milpitas, California. "The unusual, and perhaps more disturbing, aspect of the crime was what ensued in the two days between the murder and the notification of police", an author would write later. Broussard not only bragged about the murder, he took at least 13 of his classmates to see the body before one of them finally told the police.
Demonstrators marched in Codrington, on the island of Barbuda, the smaller (population 1,200) of the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, in support of secession from the newly independent nation. T. Hilbourne Frank, president of Codrington's village council, declared that at least 75% of the people wanted to separate from the more populous (76,000 people) island of Antigua.
President Rumsfeld: “Clearly a State government cannot defy the authority of the federal courts, and in this matter we will have to act to ensure that the practices of Louisiana state law enforcement are in line with the Constitution. I don’t think we need to do that with force, however. There are other, consultative means, which we shall try to negotiate a peaceful ending to this disagreement.”
Gov. Rarick: “’Ensure that the practices of Louisiana law enforcement are in line with the Constitution?’ Who does he think he is? Even the President of the United States is not master over the States; and make no mistake, this is an issue of States Rights here. He can negotiate all he wants, but in Louisiana we will enforce the law.”
The Senate votes 50 – 50 on the Conyers-Chisholm Act to cut-off direct military support for the South African and Rhodesian regimes; the vote is with 38 Democrats, 10 Republicans and 2 Libertarians in favour, with 38 Republicans, 10 Democrats, 1 Independent and 1 Christian Values Senator against. Vice President Edwards breaks the tie with a 51st vote to defeat it. The Conyers-Chisholm Act fails.
The 10 Republicans in favour (opposing the President) were: John Chaffee (RI); Lowell Weicker (CT); William Roth (DE); William Quinn (HI); Richard Lugar (IN); Robert Monks (ME); Charles Mathias (MD); Donald Dwight (MA); Lee Dreyfus (WS); Warren rudman (NH).
The 10 Democrats opposed (supporting the President) were: Albert Brewer (AL); Bill Gunter (FL); Russell Long (LA); Dwight Jensen (ID); John Breckenridge (KY); Robert Morgan (NC); William Guy (ND); Charles Ravanel (SC); Ernest Hollings (SC); Robert Byrd (D).
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)’s vote called into question his continuing leadership of the Democrats in the Senate. A move began to replace him with Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) as Senate Majority Leader.
Wednesday, November 4, 1981
Dr. George C. Nichopoulos, who had been indicted for overprescribing addictive drugs to Elvis Presley, was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison, based largely on Presley’s testimony. Presley’s ministry had increasingly focused on the problem of drug addiction, something the singer himself had suffered from. Presley commented that while “as a Christian I forgive Dr. Nichopoulos for what has been done, at the same time I have to draw the spotlight to all those who are using their positions of trust to fuel an epidemic of drug dependence which is destroying the moral fibre of our country, and which is killing our youth and fellow citizens. But for the grace of our Lord, I would have been one of those casualties, in part because of my own weakness, but also because enablers like Dr. Nichopoulous made it so easy for me to walk the road of drug-fed self-destruction. The war on drugs is not only against importers and smugglers, but those who have turned their prescription pad into the equivalent of a drug dealer’s den.”
Eagerly anticipated as mankind's first trip into space on a reused vehicle, the second launch of the space shuttle Columbia was called off, literally at the last minute. Countdown halted at 00:00:31 when a computer detected an increase of oil pressure two of the three auxiliary power units.
Hungary applied to the World Bank. It was only the second Communist nation to join.
The Vietnamese Buddhist Songha was created in Hanoi at the behest of the Republic of (South) Vietnam, as the only legal religious organization in that nation, accountable to its government.
After a successful off-Broadway run, Crimes of the Heart began a run at the John Golden Theatre. Playwright Beth Henley, who had been encouraged by friends four years earlier to put her script into production, would later win a Pulitzer Prize for the play, the first of several successful efforts.
The first transfer of land was made under the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981, as South Australian premier David Tonkin transferred 102,630 km2 (39,625 2) back to the control of the Australian Aborigines the aboriginal landholder.
Poland's Communist Party leader, General Czeslaw Kiszczack announced a decree outlawing all independent labour movements.
The United States House of Representatives votes 224-210-1 to confirm the article of impeachment against Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall. Voting for impeachment are 180 Republicans, 35 Democrats, 3 Libertarians and 6 Christian Values members. Those voting against are 169 Democrats, 33 Republicans, 5 We The People, 1 Socialist Workers Party, 1 African American Freedom Party and 1 Independent member. 1 Libertarian abstained.
The article of impeachment read: “Whereas The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that ‘[The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ and among these powers so reserved to the States and the people are the life and maintenance of the family, and prescription of family law by the Legislatures of the several States, Associate Justice Marshall in his dissent of the case (H. L. v. MATHESON, 450 U.S. 398 (1981) 450 U.S. 398 (H. L. v. MATHESON, GOVERNOR OF UTAH, ET AL. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF UTAH), which sought to impose a federal standard on the governance of family relations, did violate his oath to protect and uphold the Constitution and as such constitutes a misdemeanour under the terms of Article I, section 2, clause 5 of the United States Constitution.”
Thursday, November 5, 1981
Following an all-night meeting in Ottawa of nine of the premiers of the ten provinces of Canada reach an agreement to hold Quebec to the strictest of terms with respect to sovereignty, which will include considerations for the Cree and the city of Montreal, both of which have expressed their wish not to be part of an independent Quebec. The Premiers also agree that Quebec cannot have it both ways, that a sovereignty association wherein Quebec enjoys the benefits of being a part of Canada while having political independence is not on the table.
Premier René Lévesque of Quebec had been invited to attend, but boycotted the session, declaring that he should be involved in bilateral talks with the Prime Minister only as a head of government, and that he is not equal to provincial Premiers who he maintains are inferior to him as the heads of sub-sovereign provinces only.
The U.S. Senate voted 53-47 to confirm George Deukmejian as Attorney-General of the United States. Deukmejian was sworn-in as the United States Attorney-General on November 6. (37 Republicans + 14 Democrats + 1 Independent + 1 Christian Values).
The Glucometer, the first portable meter to measure blood sugar levels of patients with diabetes, was introduced.
Friday, November 6, 1981
What was intended as a "tune-up" bout for WBC heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes nearly became an upset when unheralded challenger Renaldo Snipes nearly knocked out Holmes in the 7th round in their fight at Pittsburgh. A powerful overhand right by Snipes sent Holmes to the canvas, and the champ staggered into the post in his corner. Holmes came back into the fight as the count reached 8 and continued. In the 11th round, referee Rudy Ortega stopped the fight as Holmes was hitting Snipes with a barrage of punches, and declared Holmes the winner.
The government of Sweden permitted Soviet submarine U-137 to leave its territorial waters, nine days after the sub had run aground while approaching the Karlskrona naval base. This was over the objections of the Rumsfeld Administration which was pressuring the Swedes to impound the submarine and intern the crew for “extensive interrogation.”
New York City Police raid a flat in Brooklyn where they discover a bomb factory being operated by ZPLF supporters.
Charles Haughey, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), held talks with Denis Healey, the British Prime Minister, in London. As a result of the meeting it was decided to establish the Anglo-Irish Inter-Governmental Council which would act as forum for meetings between the two governments. However, Haughey’s “United States of Ireland” proposal was not well received by the British who referred it to study without making a commitment.
Saturday, November 7, 1981
The skeleton of Saint Lucy, who was martyred in the year 304 and was designated at the patron saint of eyesight, was taken by two masked youths from the Church of San Geremia in Venice, near the Santa Lucia railway station. Saint Lucy and her relics were recovered on December 13, 1981, which coincided with her feast day. Gianfranco Tiozzo was arrested at a hunting lodge in nearby Marcon, where Lucy's remains had been kept by him.
Colonel Ryszard Kukliński, the Chief of Strategic Defense Planning for the People's Army of Poland, was arrested by the Polish security service. At his show trail in 1982 it was revealed that Colonel Kuklinski had been spying for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency since 1970.
The Arabian nationalist Sa'ad Al-Faqih publishes an article worrying that the U.S., U.N., Iraq and the Jihadists are leading to a de-factor partition of Arabia among various factions and occupiers, effectively colonising the Arabian peninsula for outside interests.
Sunday, November 8, 1981
Belgian general election, 1981: Mark Eyskens was forced out of office as Prime Minister of Belgium after only eight months. The French and Flemish Christian Democratic Party candidates lost 21 seats overall, while the two Belgian Socialist parties gained 3 seats, giving the two groups each 61 seats. Wilfried Martens, whose government had collapsed in April, formed a new coalition.
Face the Nation (CBS)
Moderator: “So, Mr Attorney-General, are you saying that the federal government will take no action in the case of the Louisiana Criminal Addiction Act, since the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional?”
George Deukmejian: “The Court’s ruling, as you know, has invalidated one test case, in which the Louisiana courts enforced this law. To date, no other charges under this statute have been brought, therefore, at this point there is no action for the federal government to take. If Louisiana lays any more charges under this statute, at that time we’ll consider our next course of action.”
Monday, November 9, 1981
Edict No. 81-234 legally abolished slavery in Mauritania. Despite bans made by the French colonial administration in 1905 and by the Mauritanian government in 1960 and 1980, the practice persisted, and a report to the U.N. Human Rights Commission by the London-based Anti-Slavery Society estimated that the nation of 1.5 million people had 100,000 slaves.
Tuesday, November 10, 1981
Rep. David Stockman (R-MI-4), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was celebrating his 35th birthday when the December issue of The Atlantic magazine reached newsstands with the article "The Education of David Stockman". In the article, based on Stockman's interviews by William Greider, the Congressman, a key Congressional ally of President Rumsfeld, and an important supply-side economic thinker and strategist, criticized supply-side economics. Democrats and We The People members in Congress were quick to cite the article as proof that the President's program would not work. Stockman protested that his comments had been made off the record with understanding that they would not be published. Stockman subsequently wrote an open letter to President Rumsfeld fully endorsing his economic program.
Wednesday, November 11, 1981
The USS Ohio was commissioned at Groton, Connecticut. At the time, it was the largest submarine to begin service, and was the first Ohio class submarine, designed to carry 24 Trident II missiles, each missile in turn capable of carrying 17 nuclear warheads. On December 12, 1981, an even larger class of subs, the Soviet Typhoon class submarine, was first commissioned with the launch of the TK-208. U.S. Vice-President Jack Edwards declared "If she is successful in her life's mission, she will never fire a shot. Her purpose is to deter enemies of the United States, potential enemies of the free world. Her mission is to preserve peace." White House Chief of Staff Dick Cheney later caused controversy when he commented that the Ohio “would win any future war by firing the first shot, after which the enemy wouldn’t be able to shoot back.”
Thursday, November 12, 1981
A second attempt was made to launch the space shuttle Columbia launching at 10:09 am from Cape Canaveral with astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly. The shuttle exploded on the launch pad, killing both Truly and Engle and utterly destroying the shuttle. This marked the effective end of the shuttle program as a lengthy investigation ensued.
November 12, 1981, had also been the date, planned back in 1969, for the launch of a manned mission to Mars, based on the expected planning time and the proximity of Earth to Mars and Venus. Cuts to NASA budget in 1970 stopped the project, but the plan had been for a nine month trip to Mars, with arrival on August 9, 1982; ten weeks of exploration ending with departure on October 28, 1982; a flyby of Venus February 28, 1983; and a return to Earth on August 14, 1983.
Double Eagle V became the first balloon to cross the Pacific Ocean. After launching on November 10 from Nagashima, Japan with four men (Rocky Aoki, Ron Clark, Larry Newman and Ben Abruzzo) and crossing the International Date Line, the Double Eagle traveled 5,768 miles and landed 84 hours and 31 minutes later in the U.S., near Covelo, California.
Friday, November 13, 1981
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a bomb attack on the home of Michael Havers, then British Attorney-General, in London.
The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) prisoners issued a statement indicating that on 1 December 1981 they would end their protest over the issue of prison work.
The SDLP held its annual conference over two days (13 - 15 November 1981).
Last edited by Drew; November 23rd, 2012 at 11:41 PM..
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction?
Saturday, November 14, 1981
Rev. Robert Bradford, 40, member of the United Kingdom House of Commons for South Belfast, Northern Ireland, was assassinated by three Provisional Irish Republican Army members. Bradford had been at the community center in Finaghy, along with 60 teenagers who were attending a dance. A caretaker for the center was shot and killed as the gunmen fled, and Bradford, an outspoken critic of the PIRA, died after being shot six times.
Sunday, November 15, 1981
President Ngo Quang Truong of the Republic of (South) Vietnam is re-elected to a second term in office. Term: December 6, 1981 – December 6, 1987. In parliamentary elections held on the same day, the President’s Central Democratic Party retains a majority.
Ziaur Rahman was confirmed as President of Bangladesh in an election suspected of being rigged. Running on the Nationalist Party ticket as one of 23 candidates, Rahman, the incumbent President 9by virtue of having lead a coup to seize power in 1975) officially received 14,217,601 votes, nearly two-thirds of those cast, while runner up Kamal Hossain of the Awami League got 5,694,884. General Rahman was not that popular among voters. Term: November 20, 1981 – November 20, 1986.
Monday, November 16, 1981
The wedding of Luke and Laura was watched by 14 million households, setting a record, still standing, for an episode on a "daytime television" show. Luke Spencer (Tony Geary) and Laura Webber (Genie Francis) married on the American soap opera General Hospital. It was estimated that 30,000,000 television viewers witnessed the fictitious ceremony.
Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along debuted at the Alvin Theatre and proved to be a rare flop for the otherwise successful composer and lyricist. The musical ran for only 16 performances.
The OIC calls for international control of the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina under its supervision, and not that of the U.N.
American film actor William Holden, 63, died at his home, apparently after drinking heavily, tripping on a throw rug, and striking his head on the edge of a nightstand. Holden, who had won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Actor (for the film Stalag 17) had been the best man at the March 4, 1952 wedding of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan. Film director Billy Wilder would later comment to the New York Times, "To be killed by a bottle of vodka and a night table! What a lousy fadeout for a great guy!"
There was a Loyalist 'Third Force' rally in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The rally was addressed by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who said that Unionists would make Northern Ireland ungovernable. Paisley was suspended from parliament as a result of his speeches against Northern Ireland security policy.
Tuesday, November 17, 1981
Willard Mitt Romney is convicted of one count of assault by the Middlesex County Criminal Court and is sentenced to two-to-four years of incarceration. In the end Romney serves sixteen months in prison and is released on April 3, 1983.
The occultation of the star Sigma Sagittarii by the planet Venus permitted astronomers to gather information about the second planet's atmosphere by measuring the decrease of light from the star. The last occultation by Venus of a star had been July 7, 1959, when Venus was directly between the Earth and Regulus.
George H. Nash:”Donald Rumsfeld certainly meets the criteria of a conservative if we look at his, as yet, short Presidential record. He has cut taxes, federal salaries, and plans to cut spending rather than charging more to the national debt. Check. He promotes traditional values in the White House over the innovation of social change, or “progress” as liberals proclaim their fetish to pour acid over the cords that bind our nation and society together. Check. He is an arch anti-communist in a sense that would do proud to Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan. Check. So why is that I have such an uneasy feeling about where he wants to take this country, almost as if, coming to the intersection, Rumsfeld turned right, and kept turning, until he had come one-hundred and eighty degrees so that his right turn was in fact an exaggerated left turn, which then takes us out into uncharted territory.”
Thursday, November 19, 1981
In East London, South Africa, newspaper editor Donald Woods, an outspoken opponent of the regime, was assassinated by four agents of the Vlakplaas, a secret paramilitary unit of the South African Police, directed by Colonel Eugene de Kock and Commander Dirk Coetzee. Woods, who was repeatedly stabbed and beaten by four men, was the first of many leading white, non-Afrikaan activists who were killed by the police’s covert security units.
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) is removed by the Democratic Senate caucus as its leader. Sen. Frank Church (D-ID) becomes Democratic leader and de-facto Majority Leader in the Senate. Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA) becomes the new de-facto Majority Whip.
Friday, November 20, 1981
World Chess Championship 1981: Reigning champion Anatoly Karpov lost his title when challenger Viktor Korchnoi won the 18th game of the series, giving Korchnoi the sixth win in the match, that had started on October 1 at the Kurzentrum playing hall in Merano, Italy. The game had been adjourned the day before. With the game set to resume at 5:00 pm, Karpov submitted his resignation of the game to chief referee Paul Klein at 3:15.
The Canada-U.S. Boundary Settlement Treaty for the Gulf of Maine went into effect, after having been ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 3 and by the Canadian Parliament on November 17.
Saturday, November 21, 1981
In the largest anti-nuclear protest to that time, a crowd of 350,000 marched in Amsterdam against the deployment of American missiles in Europe.
The Gibraltar-registered supertanker Globe Asimi ran aground in the Lithuanian S.S.R. port of Klaipėda during a storm, and spilled 16,000 tons of fuel oil in the Baltic Sea, much of which then washed on to the beaches of what was then a Soviet Union port. The Soviet solution for cleaning the coastline was to remove 600,000 tons of oil soaked sand and then to dump it into landfills, where it seeped into the groundwater.
Sunday, November 22, 1981
The apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, referred to in English as "On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, was issued by Pope Pius XIII.
Sri Sathya Sai University, located in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh State in India, was founded.
Charles R. Schwab sold his brokerage to the Bank of America for $46,000,000 as the company became publicly traded.
Monday, November 23, 1981
England was swept by 105 tornadoes over the space of five hours. Normally, the United Kingdom has 30 tornadoes in an entire year. The twisters formed at random along a cold front sweeping from Anglesey to East Anglia.
U.S. President Rumsfeld signed the top-secret NSDD-17, a National Security Decision Directive, authorizing the CIA to recruit and support mercenaries fighting alongside the South African and Rhodesian forces, allotting $119,950,000 funding. To hide the expenditure from Congressional budget oversight NSDD-17 authorized the use of proceeds from weapons sales to cover the expenses. The order also directed the CIA and other intelligence entities to investigate avenues of “profitable business” in order to make available “off-the-books” covert funds.
After 45 years, the New Jersey State Police files on the Lindbergh kidnapping were opened for public viewing. The release of the files had followed a lawsuit brought by Anna Hauptmann, the widow of Bruno Hauptmann, who had been convicted of the 1930 kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., the 18-month old son of legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The materials are now housed at the state police Museum and Learning Center in West Trenton.
Male nurse Robert Diaz was arrested at his home and charged with murdering 12 hospital patients by injecting them with overdoses of the heart medicine Lidocaine. Eleven of the murders had taken place in April at the Community Hospital of the Valley, in Perris, California. Diaz was suspected in the deaths of as many as 60 other lidocaine related deaths. He was convicted on the 12 counts of murder on March 29, 1984, and sentenced to death.
U.S. President Rumsfeld signed the top-secret NSDD-18, a National Security Decision Directive, authorizing the CIA to arrange arms sales to nations bordering Mali and Libya, in direct violation of the Congressional ban. The sales were carried out through Israel and other third parties for complete deniability.
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), organised a Loyalist 'Day of Action' to protest at the British government's policy on security in Northern Ireland. A series of rallies where held in Protestant areas of Northern Ireland and a number of businesses closed. The DUP and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held separate rallies at Belfast City Hall. The 'Third Force' held a rally in Newtownards, County Down, which was attended by an estimated 15,000 men.
Tuesday, November 24, 1981
Typhoon Irma struck the Philippines, killing 408 people and bringing a tidal wave that killed another 270 persons, as well as leaving 250,000 homeless. Hardest hit were the cities of Garchitorena and Caramoan.
Wednesday November 25, 1981
A group of mercenary soldiers, led by "Mad Mike" Hoare, arrived at the airport in Mahé with plans to overthrow the government of the Seychelles. Posing as players and fans of a visiting rugby club, most of the 45 mercenaries passed through customs. Their short lived coup two days later lead to a bloody shoot-out in which all 46 were either killed or captured. France-Albert René, President of the Seychelles was killed in the armed assault. Phillipe Obrau, the commander of the National Police, became the new President after Rene’s death. The surviving mercenaries were executed within a few months; Thomas Michael “Mad Mike” Hoare was among them.
The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief adopted by the General Assembly as UN Resolution 36/55.
Cardinal Franz König, Archbishop of Vienna, was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith by Pope Pius XIII.
The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) carried out a bomb attack at a British Army base in Herford, West Germany. There were no injuries in the attack.
Thursday, November 26, 1981
Both the Senate of Spain and the Congress of Deputies voted by narrow margins not to join NATO, but to remain neutral in the Cold War. Prime Minister Alfonso Guerra stated that “the Spanish people have no interest in this struggle, which is a matter outside of Spain’s borders. Instead, we will seek to improve our connections with the non-aligned movement of nations who seek not conflict but peaceful co-existence.”
Dick Cheney to William Casey: “The President wants a review of options with regard to the current Spanish government. All options.”
A Thanksgiving Day peace march in New York is disrupted by police. Two days of intermittent rioting and clashes occur as a result of this.
Saturday, November 28, 1981
Bear Bryant became the winningest coach in college football history when Alabama beat Auburn, 28-17, for his 315th victory. Bryant would finish his career the next year with 323 wins, 85 losses and 17 ties. Four years later, Eddie Robinson of Grambling State would surpass Bryant.
Sunday, November 29, 1981
Shortly after noon, a car bomb exploded outside of a school in the Azbakiyah section of Damascus killed more than 200 people, many of them children. The blast tore away the fronts of nearby buildings. The death toll, initially measured at 64, rose as additional bodies were unearthed from the rubble. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood claimed responsibility for the attack. This forced the Syrian Armed Police backed by their U.S. partners to crack down in suspected Brotherhood sympathizers and further delayed a U.S. pull out.
Later investigative reports would implicate the Israeli intelligence service Mossad in arming the Brotherhood remnants in order to carryout attacks. Israel’s covert goal was to further de-stabilize Syria sufficiently that the Syrian Armed Police couldn’t handle the matter alone and the U.S. would be forced to keep troops in Syria. Israel wanted the U.S. forces to stay as a buffer against Iraq.
In the Honduras, voting took place for the first time in 17 years for a civilian President, in the first election in a decade. Dr. Roberto Suazo Cordova was the winner, defeating Ricardo Zuniga Agustinis.
American film actress Natalie Wood, 43, drowned in the ocean near Santa Catalina Island in California after slipping from a dinghy.
Monday November 30, 1981
In Geneva, negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union began for the reduction of intermediate range nuclear missiles. They dragged on for years with little progress.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation was signed by U.S. Secretary of Defense John Connally and Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weitzman.
Tuesday, December 1, 1981
Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 flying from Yugoslavia, crashed into the side of Mount San Pietro in Corsica while approaching Ajaccio, killing all 174 people on board. The group was on a one-day sightseeing trip.
Wednesday, December 2, 1981
In the first known meeting of two sufferers of progeria, Fransie Geringer, 8, of Orkney, South Africa, and Mickey Hays, 9, of Hallsville, Texas, were both brought to Disneyland.
Thursday, December 3, 1981
Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), claimed that the 'Third Force' had between 15,000 and 20,000 members. Bill Rogers, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said in response that private armies would not be tolerated.
In a secret agreement negotiated between the industrial conglomerate TRW and the Secretary of National Intelligence Oversight and Coordination Bill Casey, TRW agrees to donate royalties from its sale of operating system software to a covert operations fund. In return the Rumsfeld Administration gives TRW a “get out of jail free card” in the form of a sealed pardon from the President in event that TRW should be charged with price-fixing or anti-trust violations (or tax-related crimes).
The White House
General David Jones USAF (Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff): “It’s the manpower equation, Mr. President. To be frank, we are stretched too thin now. In addition to NATO and Korea, we have manpower commitments in Cyprus, Syria, General Vessey’s force in Iran and the Gulf – which we now had to extend into Dhahran to secure the oil terminals, and we’ve just made a sizeable commitment to China, to which we’ve had to commit some of our South Korean garrison force as well as the Marines from Okinawa and the Philippines. We have Air Force and Special Forces assets in southern Africa. We still have reinforced Naval and Marine presence in the Azores, which we’ve had to draw from our NATO forces. With all due respect, you’re asking for a major force commitment in Africa – and cupboard is bare. The Navy is stretched thin supporting all of that, as well.”
President: “Nonsense. All we have to do is juggle our troop numbers, maybe a call-up of National Guard units. We did that in ’73, with Vietnam.”
CJCS: “Yes, that was done. There was some question about the effectiveness. But in the years since – and perhaps as a result – recruitment for the National Guard has gone down, in part because of apprehension – but also because of state and federal budget cuts in the area. The Guard might plug a few holes, but it is not a long-term answer to this issue.”
John Connally, Secretary of Defense: “We’ve reached a cross-roads, Mr. President. We’re sustaining too large of a military deployment; my analysts are calling it the equivalent of three major land wars now. We either have to pull back for something, or increase our forces.”
President: “Analysts? They’ll make two-and-two add up to three just to thwart action. Better a bunch of trained monkeys took a look at this.”
SecDef: “I have had two independent teams do the numbers, and I gave them no direction as to what the outcome should support. I can find you analysts who will give you the numbers you want, Mr. President. But fudged reports will not create troops to deploy.”
President: “Bottom line.”
SecDef: “Bottom line. Grow or pull back.”
President: “And our allies?”
CJCS: “The British, the French, the Canadians, the South Koreans, the Taiwanese, the South Vietnamese – and the North Vietnamese too, the Australians are all committed, and we’ve got sundry assistance from some other countries. But, with perhaps the exception of the French in Africa, their forces are small and stretched too. They have their own political issues to contend with; the British want to pull back from commitments and I doubt we’ll be able to persuade them to take on new commitments anytime soon. The French have forces available for west Africa – I doubt they’ll touch South Africa – but there’s a political question.”
President: “Will the damn socialists work with us?”
SecDef: “Maybe; there’s a commonality of interest. But they won’t be the front men for us. Mitterrand isn’t going to commit one poilu without a firm commitment from us, which we can’t make right now.”
President: “And the front-line states?”
SecDef: (laughs): “Senegal and Guinea tried a limited incursion into Mali – a show of force really – and it all fell apart. If hadn’t been for the French Foreign Legionaries backing them up it might all have fallen apart. We can’t count on creating a NATO of Africa out of those states, not without years of investment and training.”
From: The President
To: Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff
What options do we have for increasing the military manpower – regular and National Guard forces?
From: Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff
To: The President
In response to your question on military manpower, you’re realistically looking at three options.
1]Either we find the money to increase military pay and incentives – including ROTC scholarships and openings at the service Academies – to make military service a competitive career choice (the economic situation has assisted with recruiting of course, but that well has a bottom which I understand from Connally and the Chiefs that we’ve about reached). We also have to find money for the states to increase their Guard contingents.
2] Re-institute the draft, which even at current pay levels will require funding increases.
3] A combination of 1 and 2.
All options are going to require opening the purse strings, which means we’ll have to look at revenue, or deficit financing of this project. This would be more complicated than simply printing money, which was done in 1973 and caused serious downstream problems. What would be needed here is a systemic program over the next few years and possibly the entire decade.
Reinstituting the draft has an enormous political downside, in that it will create political opposition at the grassroots level, particularly if we return to sending draftees to Asia and add the component of sending draftees off to Africa. You can expect strong negative reaction in the African-American community to the latter. We could end-up re-visiting 1968 on this. Currently, we’ve been sowing some division between the liberals and the moderates in the Democratic Party over the impeachment of Marshall. This kind of thing could re-unite them around a common cause.
The foreign legion idea is progressing, but it will take some time – Connally’s pencil sharpeners think a year – before we have any units ready for them. Al Haig suggested paying the French or the South Vietnamese to do the fighting direct, but President Truong is concerned about making anymore foreign commitments and it’s anybody’s guess if Mitterand will accept, or have a Gallic fit of pride over such a suggestion.
PS: George Bush’s kid, the one in the Air Force – Major John (Jeb) Bush – has just been assigned to the forward command area in Botswana. I’ve asked Jones to send us his reports.
From: The President
To: Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff
Some days your memos can be a real PIA.
Dick Cheney (to Himself): “Yes, but it’s a pain you need Don.”
Friday, December 4, 1981
Dudley Wayne Kyzer, convicted of three murders, was sentenced to two life terms and 10,000 years in prison. The sentence, which was reported as a superlative in the Guinness Book of World Records was upheld on appeal, but Kyzer remained eligible for parole because Alabama law set the minimum at one-third of the sentence, or 10 years, whichever is less.
A sudden power failure at the Qutab Minar tower in New Delhi caused a stampede of 300 tourists who ran for the exits in the dark. Forty-five people were killed and 24 injured. Sanjay Ghandi appeared a rally three days later to condemn the power outages as further signs of the government’s incompetence.
Saturday, December 5, 1981
Two years after directing the invasion and occupation of Cambodia, the leaders of Vietnam removed Pen Sovan as the Kampuchean Communist Party leader, and replaced him with Heng Samrin.
On their way to perform a pregame show for a football game between the University of Hawaii and the University of South Carolina, 11 of the 12 members of the skydiving team Jump Hawaii were killed, along with their pilot, when the plane they were on went out of control and crashed into the East Loch of Pearl Harbor. One member of the team managed to parachute out as the plane crashed, while three others jumped but were too low to open their chutes
Sunday, December 6, 1981
U.S. Vice President Jack Edwards attends the second inauguration of President Truong in Saigon, (South) Vietnam.
Interviewed by satellite in Tripoli by the ABC News program This Week With David Brinkley, Libya's President Muammar Gaddafi denied a U.S. State Department report that he had sent a "hit squad" to assassinate U.S. President Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Jack Edwards. Speaking in English, Gaddafi said "We are sure we haven't sent any people to kill Rumsfeld, Jackson or any other people in the world... if they have evidence, we are ready to see this evidence." He added, "How you are silly people! You are superpower, how you are afraid? Oh, it is silly this administration, and this president."
Despite rumors that a 5, 10 or 14 member death squad had landed in the U.S. the previous weekend, nothing was ever confirmed and no person was ever arrested or detained.
At least 49 people were killed in Ahmedabad in India after "The Gabbar", a five-story high wood and canvas model of the Himalayan mountains, caught fire while the group of more than 100 was at the top level. The Ghandi group soon organizes protests, charging government incompetence and lax inspections caused the deaths.
Monday, December 7, 1981
Manufacture of the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, Lockheed's wide-body jumbo jet, was discontinued after only eight new orders for the $50,000,000 planes were placed in 1981, and three of those later cancelled. Lockheed Chairman Roy A. Anderson announced that the last of 21 contracts for manufacture would be finished by 1984.
Eight coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Adkins Coal Company Mine No. 18 near Topmost, Kentucky.
The Senate trial of Justice Thurgood Marshall began. It would not conclude with a verdict until January 11, 1982.
Tuesday, December 8, 1981
General Electric CEO Jack Welch delivered an address to Wall Street analysts at The Pierre hotel in New York, which has been described as a speech "that was to have enormous consequences for U.S. business and the U.S economy over the next three decades." The vision, outlined in "Growing Fast in a Slow-Growth Economy", was to get rid of any subsidiary in which GE wasn't number one, or at least second. Within four years, GE fired 112,000 of more than 411,000 employees, and annually terminated 10% of its executives who had the worst records, while steadily increasing revenues, and other corporations followed the strategy.
One day after the mining disaster in Kentucky, thirteen coal miners were killed in an explosion at Tennessee Conolidation Coal Company Mine No. 21 in Whitwell, Tennessee.
Arthur Scargill was elected President of Britain's National Union of Mineworkers, receiving 70% of the votes cast in the race to succeed outgoing NUM President Joe Gormley.
As labor unrest continued in Poland, 100,000 Soviet troops massed along the nations' common border, apparently poised for an invasion if the crisis continued. This motivated the Polish government to crack down hard on all dissenters, instigating the harshest crackdown in a East European country since the Stalinist period.
Wednesday, December 9, 1981
Mumia Abu-Jamal, formerly Wesley Cook, was arrested after the murder in Philadelphia of police officer Daniel Faulkner.
David Brinkley (ABC): “Throughout the 1960’s, Mr. President, during your time in Congress, you were known as a sceptic of excessive involvement, militarily, in foreign countries. I’ll remind our audience, and you, that you were a sceptic on the Vietnam War all through the Johnson years. Yet your administration has extended our military reach into Africa and into China, at a time when our economy is not doing well, making many Americans wonder just how well spend our federal tax dollars are on these ventures.”
President Rumsfeld: “David, I understand the argument, I do. First, I changed my mind on Vietnam – when I saw what was at stake. China has been brought to our door by the collapse of a madman’s regime. In fact what we used to call Red China has collapsed, a reminder writ large of the failure of Communism as a system. We saved South Vietnam from that failed and destructive system, and we are now working with North Vietnam toward a path that will stabilize all of Southeast Asia, something that was unimaginable just a decade ago. But in China, we have to be there, because its collapsed into chaos. We have to have some measure of control until a free system of government can take hold there. If we leave it to the Soviets, then they’ll re-impose a Red Chinese government of their own design on the country. If we don’t stop the chaos, millions will die.”
DB: “But in Africa, we have aligned ourselves with a despicable regime, one whose apartheid policy resembles our own Jim Crow, only much worse since it has been made into a national institution. We don’t even recognize the white Rhodesian state because of their racist policies. As a Congressman you supported civil rights, you voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. How can you link our security, send our troops into combat, in support of such a vile regime?”
President: “You are right David, I have been a supporter of civil rights. I agree that the policy of apartheid is repugnant. As for the Rhodesian regime, their unwillingness to reform or come to terms with their neighbors has destroyed that country, turned it really into a battlefield and a buffer for South Africa. But as President, I have had to come to grips with a larger view of the matter. The fact is, much as we may not like their racial policies, the South Africans are the bulwark against a spread of Communist power in Africa. The guerrillas they are fighting are the agents of Moscow, and as such we have an obligation to stop them. That is where the fight in the Cold War is right now, and we daren’t be shown as weak, or not up to the task. We proved a point in Vietnam, and we have to prove it again, that the United States, no matter our domestic condition, will stand against the tide of Communist tyranny. Liberty will only prosper when tyranny is defeated. That is the lesson of Munich, of the Berlin blockade and Korea and Vietnam, and it applies equally here, and in China.”
DB: “But, in Vietnam –“
President: “Vietnam is a case in point, actually David, applicable here. When that war started South Vietnam was ruled by generals. It was a despotic dictatorship. But, once we defeated Communism, the flower of democracy took root. I’ll remind you today that the South Vietnamese President and the parliament are elected. The same will come true of South Africa once her borders are secured – you just watch, David. In another few years we’ll be talking about the democratic transformation of South Africa.”
DB: “So you believe we can make an alliance of convenience with these racist dictators?”
President: “David, sometimes you have to go to war with the allies you’ve got, not the ones you want. That’s the nature of reality.”
Thursday, December 10, 1981
Simón Alberto Consalvi of Venezuela was nominated as the fifth Secretary General of the United Nations by the U.N. Security Council, approved his nomination 9-2, with three abstentions (The Soviet Union, East Germany and Portugal). Consalvi had been the only one of seven candidates whose application had not been vetoed by at least one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. On the first 18 ballots, incumbent Kurt Waldheim of Austria, was repeatedly vetoed by Soviet Union in his bid for a third five-year term, while Tanzanian Foreign Minister Salim Salim was blocked by U.S. vetoes. Sadruddin Aga Khan was runner up to Consalvi but he was also vetoed by the United States. The General Assembly approved Consalvi by acclamation the next day.
Friday, December 11, 1981
El Mozote massacre: In El Salvador, army units killed 900 civilians, including women and children, in three towns, with more than half (482) shot in the town of El Mozote. More than a decade later, investigators found 143 skeletons buried at the town, and estimated that 85% of them had been children under 14.
In his last professional boxing match, former world champion Muhammad Ali lost to Trevor Berbick. The 40-year old Ali, attempting a comeback, lost a unanimous decision after ten rounds in the fight in Nassau, The Bahamas.
The U.S. Department of State effectively banned travel by Americans to Libya, directing that U.S. passports were not to be used to go there.
Saturday, December 12, 1981
To disrupt further unrest, at 11:57 pm, all 3.4 million private telephones in Poland were cut off. They would remain inactive for two and one-half years.
TK-208, the first of the Soviet Union's Typhoon class submarines and the largest sub that had been built up to that time, was commissioned. The previous largest submarine to be commissioned had been the USS Ohio, first of the Ohio class submarines, which had been commissioned on November 11, 1981.
West Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl visited East Germany, where he was welcomed by SED First Secretary Erich Honecker, who proclaimed in a toast, "Whatever differences may exist between our countries, either politically or socially, we cannot and must not permit ourselves to be pulled away from our responsibility to the people of Europe.” For his part Kohl emphasised the common ties of culture and language between the two Germanies and hinted that the German people “historically and emotionally, have a western orientation.” Kohl also took the opportunity to condemn developments in Poland.
Sunday, December 13, 1981
Going on television and radio at 6:00 in the morning, General Czeslaw Kiszczak informed viewers and listeners that he had declared absolute martial law (as opposed to a quasi-military, civil rule to that point) in Poland, although he used the phrase "stari wojenny", literally, "a state of war". The army and police arrested thousands of dissenters. General Kisczak also declared Poland a “closed nation” and out of bounds to all foreigners. All Polish citizens were ordered to carry special passes and confined to their homes on weekends for the foreseeable future. This latter edict clashed directly with church going on Sunday, which was to become the source of further unrest.
Monday, December 14, 1981
Fourteen years after its capture from Syria in the Six Day War, the Golan Heights was annexed to Israel by a 63-21 vote of the Knesset. The Ramat Hagolan Law declared that "the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State of Israel will apply in the territory of the Golan Heights".
The Bedlay Colliery, the last coke producing coal mine in Scotland, was closed.
Tuesday, December 15, 1981
The first suicide car bombing was carried out, destroying Iraq's embassy in Beirut, Lebanon and killing 61 people, including Ambassador Abdul Razzak Lafta. Although car bombs had been set off before, and although suicide bombers had used cars before to drive to a target, the Beirut attack involved packing a vehicle with explosives and detonating them while driving. Arabian nationalists, perhaps abetted by the PJO, are the prime suspects.
Muammar Gaddafi and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, of the PJO announce an agreement whereby an “unarmed Caliphate” will administer the Holy Cities, separate from outside control and based on Quranic law and protected by a force of “true believers” based at, and under the control of the Jihadist Caliphate based in Riyadh. The concept proposes a political barrier against armed troops entering the Holy Cities. This idea is rejected at the OIC and by the Geneva process countries.
Wednesday, December 16, 1981
Pacification of Wujek: Three days after martial law had gone into effect, riot police in Poland broke up a sit-down strike by 2,000 workers at the Wujek coal mine in Katowice. The police brought in tanks and fired into the crowd, even shooting at emergency workers attempting to render aid. In the fighting, nine miners and four ZOMO police were killed.
After four months of relevant silence on the matter, a new group of Argentine squatters re-appears in the Falkland Islands.
Thursday, December 17, 1981
Brigadier General James L. Dozier, one of the highest ranking U.S. Army officers stationed in Italy was kidnapped from his apartment in Verona by the terrorist group the Red Brigades. Four men posing as plumbers, led by Antonio Savasta, took Dozier hostage and held him for ransom in an apartment in Padua. The next day President Rumsfeld said that “the United States does not negotiate with terrorists. We will have General Dozier back alive, or all those responsible will be hunted down and get what’s coming to them.”
The Confederation of Senegambia agreement signed at Dakar, Senegal, effective February 1982, with Gambia's President as the Senegambian Vice-President, and a legislature that had two-thirds of the seats for Senegalese deputies.
The Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board was established in the United States by order of President Rumsfeld.
Mehmet Shehu, 68, Prime Minister of Albania since 1954, died. The previous day, Albania's leader Enver Hoxha bitterly denounced Shehu at a meeting of the Politburo of the Albanian Communist Party, after Shehu refused to resign in favor of Ramiz Alia. Albanian newspapers and radio announced that Shehu had committed suicide because of a "nervous crisis".
Friday, December 18, 1981
Four days after Israel annexed the Golan Heights, the Rumsfeld Administration, after much internat discussion, elected nto to terminate its recently made Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel. The Rumsfeld Administration adopted a no comment policy toward the annexation.
Robert Patlescu, 19 months old, fell from his parents' apartment on the 6th floor of a building in Manhattan. His fall was broken by shrubbery, and he landed in soft mud, surviving with no broken bones or even a scratch.
Saturday, December 19, 1981
Penlee lifeboat disaster: Sixteen people died in the worst British sea disaster since 1946. The Union Star, with a crew of eight, was on its maiden voyage when a hurricane drove it onto the rocks at Cornwall. Eight volunteers from the town of Penlee guided the lifeboat Solomon Browne to the scene and rescued four people. Before the others could be pulled to safety, the waves drove the Union Star into the lifeboat, and everyone was killed as both boats capsized.
The Tupolev Tu-160 "Blackjack" longe range strategic bomber was first flown. The airplane was put into production in 1986.
Dwight Braxton (later Dwight Muhammad Qawi) defeated Matthew Saad Muhammad to win the WBC light heavyweight boxing championship.
The Polish authorities arrested Cardinal Karel Wotywa for “promoting insurrection against the regime.” The prelate had been trying to organize an anti-regime protest for Christmas Day.
The White House
Richard Nixon: “All I can suggest is that some sort of prioritization take place. We can’t fight all the world’s battles. It’s the very point Kissinger and I confronted when we came in. And sometimes, for the bigger picture, you just have to let go.”
President Rumsfeld: “And where do we let go? Do I give the Reds China, or Africa. They’ve already got a foothold in Spain, they gobbled-up Portugal and Italy and Greece don’t look to steady. Are Korea and Vietnam to be nostalgia, proof of what we could once do, but can’t do any longer?”
RN: “You’re not taping this are you?” (laughs) “I recall, when you worked here for me, a conversation – at that very desk, I think – when you told me that Vietnam wasn’t worth it; that all we were doing was digging our own political grave, like LBJ did before us. You remember that, Don?”
President: “I do. I realized I was wrong.”
RN: “Wrong? Ted Agnew was an idiot who let a bunch of zealots sell him on re-starting a war Kissinger and I settled. It was just dumb luck, and the fact that Jim Gavin was a military man and knew how to pull that through, that’s why it didn’t descend into another snake pit. If Agnew had stayed, or Albert had taken over, it wouldn’t have come out that well. If anything, Don, Vietnam should be a lesson in what not to do, all the way from Jack Kennedy through Agnew. We can’t make policy on dumb luck.”
President: “So, what are you calling dumb luck then? I have to hold China, or it will be 1949 all over again, only this time it will fall on our watch. Africa? Can we afford a Soviet Naval base in Cape Town? You realize that will give them an Atlantic presence stretching from Portugal to the Cape. Where from there? India, the Gulf? We have to hold the line somewhere. Damn Gavin, anyway. If he’d sent the Marines into Portugal we wouldn’t be here now.”
RN: “You should allow that they are overstretched too. Why do you think the Iraqis pulled back in Arabia? The Russians told them they couldn’t support it. They haven’t moved in China. Why? They have problems of their own, and they don’t want to get sucked into a quagmire. There’s much to be negotiated here if we take a firm, but reasonable hand.”
President: “I have sent some signals, but nothing. They’re like a turtle that’s pulled its head into its shell. My, well State’s – and the CIA’s – supposition is that they’re waiting for Andropov to die before they make any new steps. Meanwhile, the leadership is paralyzed. No one wants to stick their neck out.”
RN: “I think I can talk to a few people, Don. There could be a road to negotiating down some of these flashpoints.”
President: “No, let’s not start adding extra voices to this.”
RN: “Conversations only, between elder statesmen. Back-channels can sometimes open doors better than official diplomacy. People tend to be more honest when they know they can disavow what was said later.”
President: “Are you looking to make a comeback through this?”
RN: “I’m retired. I write books now. If there’s any glory, you and Kirkpatrick can have it.”
President: “You’ll just write about it?”
RN: “Not until you’re retired as well. It doesn’t have to be me if you prefer someone else, but you should at least explore some different channels, see what’s available. That’s how real breakthroughs begin, I know.”
President: “I can’t guarantee something won’t flash while we try that approach, that’s the danger of it.”
RN: “The bigger danger is not trying to open the door.”
Dick Cheney (after listening to the tape): “Screw you, Nixon.” Draws a line through Nixon’s name on a yellow pad.
Sunday, December 20, 1981
Dreamgirls, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett, premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theater. It would win six Tony awards and run for 1,521 performances.
The communications satellite Marisat was successfully launched into geosynchronous orbit from French Guiana in the fourth test of the Ariane rocket.
Poland's Ambassador to the United States, Romuald Spasowski, defected. Two days later, he was welcomed at the White House by President Rumsfeld.
In Nicaragua guerrilla forces under the command of Commandante Toro (Charles Manson) rob several banks in Jinotega and Matagalpa provinces.
Monday, December 21, 1981
Second separation of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
In a college basketball in Peoria, Illinois, the University of Cincinnati defeated Bradley University, 75-73 after an NCAA Division I record of seven periods of overtime. Cincinnati had tied the game 61-61 after being down by four points with 0:45 left in regulation. The 40 minute game then continued for 35 more minutes until Doug Schlomer scored the winning basket with :01 left to end the game. The only other equally long games were in Division II (February 18, 1956, as Black Hills State College defeated Yankton College, 80-79) and in Division III (November 23, 2010 as Skidmore College beat Southern Vermont College, 128-123).
It was revealed that the State Department of the United States of America (USA) had revoked Ian Paisley's, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), visa to visit the USA because of statements he made in Northern Ireland. Over 100 US Congressmen had lobbied the State Department to revoke the visa.
Tuesday, December 22, 1981
The Corporate Angel Network, a program where unused space on corporate jets is donated for worthy causes, made its first flight, transporting a young boy from White Plains to Detroit for surgery.
The Union Pacific Railroad acquired the Western Pacific Railroad.
Sen. Jimmy Carter (D-GA); Sen. John Chaffe (R-RI), Rep. John Larch (Lib-ID-2) and Rep. Shirley Chisholm (WTP-NY-12) send out a call to the state legislatures to call for an Article V Constitutional Convention to address “necessary issues of Constitutional amendment and re-consideration. A call for a general convention, with a separate statement of proposed amendment or explicit statement that the convention may consider other amendments proposed by states, but a limitation to amend the existing Constitution and preserve the Bill of Rights and form of Republican government. Also for consideration, a Balanced Budget amendment, an Equal Rights Amendment and updating of the sixteenth and seventeenth amendments.”
Wednesday, December 23, 1981
U.S. President Donald Rumsfeld wrote to Soviet President Andropov on the direct communications link between the two nations, to urge an end to the Polish martial law. "The recent events in Poland clearly are not an 'internal matter'," Rumsfeld told Andropov, "and in writing to you, as the head of the Soviet government, I am not misaddressing my communication." That evening, Rumsfeld announced sanctions against Poland in a televised address to Americans.
In Nicaragua, soldiers of the Bermudez regime massacred 75 miners who had been demanding back wages for work unpaid. President Calero would later declare that “productive labour is the foundation of the state, and the necessity of that labour must be measured in terms of its overall utility and not reduced to the personal case of wages. Wages are short-term, and disappear quickly, but the economic success of the nation spans generations.”
Thursday, December 24, 1981
The Inland Navigation Rules took effect on all inland waterways of the United States except for the Great Lakes, which were covered effective March 1, 1983.
Friday, December 25, 1981
On Christmas morning, Soviet President Andropov (or someone acting in his name) responded directly to U.S. President Rumsfeld, "calling upon you and the government of the USA to end at last the interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state... Essentially, in your current communication, you have placed your personal signature upon the fact that gross interference in the internal affairs of Poland is the official policy of the United States. We have condemned and continue to condemn such a policy. We consider it unacceptable."
Four anti-war students from the University of Pennsylvania fire two small fireworks rockets over the fence onto the White House grounds (they don’t hit the building). The rockets are harmless, but the Pennsylvania Four are charged with terrorism, insurrection and attempting to assassinate the President of the United States.
Pope Pius XIII (Christmas Homily): “The engines of capital and of communism have sputtered to a halt. To the East human beings are subjected to state brutality while economies flounder in stagnation. Critics of communist power often say that the desire to control by the rulers strangles the economy. Well, the desire to dominate by the rulers strangles the soul of our brothers and sisters behind the Iron Curtain. Even today in Poland, our brothers and sisters are kept from the House of the Lord in their quest to worship Him on this most Holy of days. Our prelates are imprisoned, our churches barricaded. This is a direct strangulation of the spirit, a cold grasping hand that closes around the throat of every one. But the spirit cries, No! No to domination! No to the tyranny of materialism over the liberty of the spirit. To our brothers and sisters in Red chains let me say that we hear your cries, we weep for the denial of your freedom to worship. In faith we pray to Him who is above all things to free you; and we call on those who have dedicated their lives to the material dialectic of Marxism to re-examine your beliefs, to ask yourself, has your way lead to human freedom, or have you brought serfdom back to us?
“But in faith alone we are not justified. As we would have faith, so we must also present our works to be justified before Him. So, I call on all the flock to examine your lives and to ask – how can I help my brothers and sisters in the East? What is to be done to succour their needs and lift their spirits? How can I help them to lift the Red chains from their bodies and the oppression from their lives. He will guide you in this, but you, my brothers and sisters, who have the luxury of spiritual freedom, you must become the vessels into which His direction will flow, into which His will can be understood. I call on all of you to embrace this duty to your brothers and sisters in Christ.
“But let those to the West not take smug refuge in the belief that they have the answers. Capital has been a tide of tyranny as oppressive and suffocating of the human spirit as has been the Red Materialism of the East. The love of capital has brought forth Green chains, an imprisonment of money which, as much as its Marxist antithesis, seeks to quantify all and deny all that cannot be quantified and expressed in material gain. Marx imposes a scientific law upon history, while Capital imposes an economic law on history. The Green oppression counts money above joy, profit above the spirit, and wealth above charity. The accumulation of capital is not the same as liberty. Wealth is not the final determinant of value. The obsession with economic laws over spiritual laws produces no good, but creates an evil as pernicious as any found in the darkest gulag to the East. The love of capital, and the exploitation of others in the quest to obtain more of it, strangles the spirit as well. The spirit cries out from the Green chains of debt and wage slavery to a higher calling, to seek a purpose that goes beyond the counting house and burse.
“Yet we live in a world where capital has brought greater material success to the West than Marxism has to the East. The priests of capital will be quick to point to this as proof that the law of economic materialism is the path to the future. And among them there are those who would call on the law of capital as equal to the law of God. They would say that the economic materialism of capital is God’s will. This is sacrilege! This is abomination! Jesus threw the money changers from the Temple because He knew, He understood, that money binds the spirit, whether in chains of gold or chains of green forged from paper or stock receipts. To wed ourselves to capital we make a counting house of our lives and bourse of our purpose. What capital demands is offered in obedience, and it is called, with blasphemy and devilish deceit, the will of God.
“But this love of Capital, has it done the will of God? So the rich can say with easy certainty, but what of the poor? What of those who lie in the path of capital and suffer violence for its sake? Are they to be discounted? Is this the lesson of Jesus? Not that I know. Not that I will proclaim. Not that I will support.
“On this holiday let us reflect on Him to whom this day is dedicated, for whom it is named. The lesson to East and West is to end the worship of material laws, which enslave man, and instead to worship the law of the spirit, which is the path of freedom and true dignity. Let us end Marx and Capital, and let us build a community of the human spirit, dedicated to the true meaning of His worship.”
Saturday, December 26, 1981
The College of Saint Thomas More was founded in Fort Worth, Texas as a small Roman Catholic liberal arts college.
Sunday, December 27, 1981
In cricket, bowler Dennis Lillee tied and then broke the record that had been set by Lance Gibbs for most Test wickets in a career, getting his 310th wicket (analogous to a strikeout thrown by a baseball pitcher) in Test cricket play. Bowling for Australia in the second game of a Test match against the West Indies, Lillee set the new record at Melbourne while bowling to Larry Gomes. Lillee finished his career in 1984 with 355 Test wickets, a mark surpassed by Ian Botham of England in 1976.
Vice President Edwards: “Clearly the Pope has been misinformed about the nature of the free market and how central it is to both religious and political freedom. In fact, Christianity couldn’t exist without the free market. I absolutely love it when opponents of the free market bring-up the part about Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple, as if somehow that justifies a negative view of the free market. What the lefty, pinko interpreters of that passage fail to understand is that, at that time, a select group of money-changers operated in the temple, where they had a kind of monopoly. They excluded everyone else and issues licenses only to themselves. Others, who didn’t have the license, operated outside the temple and gave better rates. The Lord simply kicked out the monopolists, so the free market could flourish. At the end of the day, looking at how the Pope interprets scripture, I don’t think he knows very much about Christianity at all, and even less about economics and the free market. “
Monday, December 28, 1981
Elizabeth Jordan Carr became the first American "test-tube baby", and 25th in history, at her birth at 7:46 pm in Norfolk, Virginia. She had been conceived by in vitro fertilization in the laboratory at Bourn in England; coincidentally, Elizabeth's birth weight was 2.61 kilograms, precisely the weight of the first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978.
Tuesday December 29, 1981
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu ordered demolition to begin in Bucharest in order to make way for construction of the massive Boulevard of the Victory of Socialism Complex. Thousands of homes, apartment buildings, churches and other buildings were razed to satisfy Ceaușescu's obsession to build the world's largest governmental building and the Boulevard itself, with more demolished after construction of the complex began in 1984.
The Senegambian Confederation was ratified unanimously by the National Assembly of Senegal and by the Gambian National Assembly on the same day. Senegambia came into existence on February 1, 1982.
U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings was indicted for conspiracy to accept a $150,000 bribe.
After reviewing Soviet President Andropov’s letter of December 25, President Rumsfeld followed up trade sanctions against Poland with an embargo on trade with the Soviet Union.
Dr. Julio Iglesias Pugo, father of singer Julio Iglesias, was kidnapped from his home in Madrid and held for ransom. The senior Iglesias was released after 20 days, but the incident was enough to cause the younger Iglesias to move his family to Miami. The move proved to be a turning point for the family. Iglesias, well known in the rest of the world, became even more successful as he reached the American market.
Wednesday, December 30, 1981
Wayne Gretzky had scored 45 goals in 38 NHL games, and was on his way to breaking the record of 50 goals in 50 games that had been set by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy, when his Edmonton Oilers visited the Philadelphia Flyers. As the audience watched, Gretzky scored five goals in Edmonton's 7-5 win, hitting the fifth with 0:01 to play. Gretzky would finish the season with 92 goals.
Thursday, December 31, 1981
Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état for the second time in Ghana, removing President Hilla Limann. Rawlings went on the air on Ghanaian radio at 11:00 am to announce that the Provisional National Defence Council would lead the nation until order could be restored.
Cable News Network 2, later called CNN Headline News first appeared on American cable television.
J.W. Milam, who had murdered teenage African-American Emmett Till in 1955, was acquitted of kidnapping and murder by an all-White jury, then boasted about it in an article for Look Magazine, died at age 61.
The United States ends 1981 in an economic slump which is the long-term effect of the debt crisis caused by the President’s debt ceiling increase veto at the end of September. While markets began a recovery, investor confidence was not strong as the President continued to advocate on-going cuts in the budget in order to trim the debt before considering a debt ceiling increase. The political wrangling that resulted from this caused much uncertainty in the financial markets for the rest of the year.
Although this has had a wider effect on international markets as well, more robust economies in Europe and Japan have benefitted from a flight of investment capital from the U.S. in search of more stable places to be parked while the U.S. sorts out its debt, tax and recession policies.
Ron Dellums (WTP): “I’ll sum up the first year of the Rumsfeld Presidency; he promised prosperity, peace and principle. We’ve got more recession, sabre rattling, foreign adventures and an unprincipled effort to remove one of the finest Justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court. What’s in sight for this Rumsfeldia? The poor get the shaft from this President, provided they don’t get incinerated in a nuclear war first.”
Eve of Destruction – Bruce Springsteen Lyrics - 1981
The eastern world it is explodin', violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're called to kill cause the Electoral College ain’t smart for votin'
You don't believe in war, what's that gun you're totin'
And even every river has bodies floatin'
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
Can't you see the fear that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be none to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of Senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring disengagement
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
Think of all the hate there is in Crazy China
Then take a look around to the US – fallen to Rummy
Crazy with blood-lust in this place,
No escape, because were not even goin’ to space
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
This just drastically improved a pretty sucky birthday!
I can't wait to start reading.
:') It's Baaaack !
Though I do have one quibble: why is Rumsfeld giving Bob Dole all of these positions when, back in 1973 in your timeline, he's one of the people who effectively "betrayed" the Agnew Administration, nearly killing Rummy's career? Did they come to an understanding at some point?
And I like what you did with Marvel. It will seem only natural for DC to merge Marvel's heroes into DC's continuity - perhaps it's done as part of this timeline's equivalent of Crisis on Infinite Earths?
I see Marvel still managed to get it's hands on Star Wars, and now DC has it. In fact, depending on what studio eventually produced the animated Star Wars movie in this timeline, it's likely that DC will try to finagle their way into getting more control over the brand, merging that universe into the greater DC-Marvel continuity. After all, you could argue that Jedi are really just superheroes living in a galaxy filled with robots, aliens, and spaceships. Lots of potential for the execs at DC to consider.
And if all that happens, it means twenty or thirty years down the line we get this timeline's equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with an interconnected series of movies featuring the best heroes of DC, Marvel, and Star Wars...
Please say this happens!
Last edited by vultan; November 19th, 2012 at 01:50 AM..
Was greatly looking forward to this timelines return. This little nugget particularly grabbed my attention.
I can't see this ending well at all. Looks like all those conspiracy theories IOTL may become true in this timeline. It's disturbing even thinking about a worse possible HIV/AIDS epidemic. Once again good job, look forward the continuing development of this timeline.
Though damn, with looks like a hard-core teabagger/neocon coalition a quarter century early running things in a much messier world, & playing with some really nasty people, this isn't going to end well for pretty much anyone ITTL over the next decade or so, is it?
I wonder what the deadline is on that debt ceiling increase - since Congress was voting on it in September 1981, then it probably is within the next 12 months. If the need for more military spending doesn't cause Rumsfeld to search for a compromise on domestic spending and thus the debt ceiling, then the 1981 recession is going to be a mere sampler of the economic plunge that will happen in 1982.
I need to re-read FLG as Mali, and western Africa in general, was the only major area where I had forgotten the prior sequence of events.
I was about to start studying for my organic chemistry exam, and then I noticed this had been posted. Thanks a lot, Drew. But seriously, ecstatic to see this back! Will update when I have actual comments after reading it.
Currently planning: "All who want revolution, step to the Left." -- Liao Zhongkai's China