March 2, 1983 - Socialists And Sandanistas.

March 2, 1983 - Pope John Paul II en route to Costa Rica in an appeal to end fighting in Central America, primarily El Salvador and Nicaragua. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela hint at lowering oil prices to OPEC. Storms batter California, Los Angeles - worst in years. $150BN Social Security bailout approved. Leading Indicator Index figures at 3.6%, biggest jump since 1950. Burlington Vermont re-elects first Socialist Mayor. Iraq attacks Iranian oil fields, claims 5 ships sunk including oil tankers. Funding and arms appeal to Contras proposed on Capitol Hill. Hmm.

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The world spinning only moderately out of control, this March 2nd in 1983.

Save for the worst weather to Southern California in decades, with storms dumping in excess of 21 inches as of this day, compared to 6 inches for the entire season last year, it was a reasonably calm day, as days on planet Earth go.

Pope John Paul II was winging his way to Costa Rica for the first of an 8 country visit to Central America. Billed as an "Appeal for Peace", foremost on his "to-do" list was having a sit-down with his emissaries to figure out why so many priests were joining up with the Sandanista rebels.

Meanwhile, loud calls for increased funding and arms shipments to the Contras were bouncing around Capitol Hill. The old Domino Theory being trotted out for another moth-ridden appearance. Or maybe a smokescreen.

In other Capitol Hill goings-on; the $150bn bailout for Social Security was approved, and the index of Leading Indicator figures were released showing a whopping 3.6% increase - the biggest jump since 1950.

The worst batch of storms in decades was pounding the West Coast of the U.S., soaking Southern California in particular to the tune of 21 inches for this latest storm - a far cry from the 6 inches total for the previous year. And at last report, a whole series of storms was lined up to continue the assault. The weather put a damper on Queen Elizabeth's visit to California, forcing a cruise of the Royal Yacht up the coast to be shelved in favor of flying to Santa Barbara for lunch with the President.

At least it wasn't lava flowing like it was in Hawaii, compliments of the Kilauea Volcano and the 15 foot wall of molten detritus marching relentlessly towards a newly constructed subdivision.

Or the on-going Iran-Iraq War which saw an attack on Iran's Oil fields and the reported sinking of 5 Iranian ships, including oil tankers - that one sent out pangs of apprehension for the gas pump, even though Saudi Arabia and Venezuela proposed to OPEC a lowering of oil prices, rather than raising them.

And Burlington Vermont re-elected their first Socialist Mayor. Bernard Sanders was ushered in for a second term, defeating both the Democratic and Republican candidates for the job. Burlington was the first city in the U.S. to have a Socialist Mayor and all eyes were gazing askance towards New England, wondering if this was going to be a trend or, like Flashdance, just a phase.

And so it went for this March 2nd, 1983 as told to eager ears on The CBS World News Roundup, Newsbreak, the 9:00 am Network news and Reporters Notebook.

Just in case you needed confirmation.

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