News of the day for April 1, 1983 - earthquake in Popayan Colombia worst since 1734, 5 cent Gas tax begins, Unemployment edges down to 10.3% with 1.8 million discouraged workers in March. U.S. withholds shipments of F-16's to Israel until they withdraw from Lebanon - the Israelis react with annoyance. Terror threats towards Marines in Beirut and Ban The Bomb demonstrations in London.
April 1, 2011

Popayan hadn't seen that much action since 1734.

First day of April for 1983 - not a whole pile of Fooling around as news hit of an earthquake hitting Colombia and centering in the town of Popayan. It was acknowledged to be the worst since 1734. Speaking of shaking, motorists were shaking their heads over the 5-cent gas tax they now had to shell out at the pumps since the 97th Congress passed legislation, saying it was for "road repair". There was a small cause celebre when news of unemployment figures were released for March saying the unemployment rate actually went down to 10.3% - although there were still 1.8 million discouraged workers to contend with (don't let's forget they eventually vanish off the unemployment rolls after a while - making you wonder just how many unemployed people there actually are in this country) and 11 million people were still out of work. And of course the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chimed in saying it was very likely unemployment would go below 10% by the end of the year (you just GOTTA love those highly paid optimists). As always, the Middle East figured into our daily consciousness with news Pres. Reagan withheld shipment of F-16 fighter planes to the Israeli's until they withdrew from Lebanon. Israel reacted with annoyance. Speaking of Lebanon, terrorist threats got the notice of the Marine detachment stationed there, who were told to start packing live ammo, which was probably a good thing as nineteen days later the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed - and in October the threat hit the Marines.

All on this day in 1983. Lucky us.

Here is the CBS World News Roundup and 9:00 am (Pacific) news for April 1, 1983 - and there's a rather nice "first day of baseball" radio spot in the middle. Just lettin' ya know.

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