News of this day in 1981. August 1st. The Reagan Tax bill was passed. Hunger strikers in Belfast's Maze prison dying and close to death. Pope John Paul II is virus free, and PATCO is about to go on strike.
August 1, 2011

In 48 hours we'd all learn a new word - PATCO.

On the one hand, this day was like most other August days. Congress held a 17 hour session and finally passed Tax legislation which included a huge tax reduction in oil profits helped with the participation of defecting Southern Democrats (we call them Blue Dogs now). And on the other hand, we were about to witness the first grand scale Union Busting in the form of PATCO and the now-famous Air-Traffic Controllers Strike. On this particular August 1st it was a Saturday, and all members were slated to hit the picket lines come Monday morning, unless some 11th hour negotiation proved successful.

In other news, the ongoing Hunger Strike of IRA members in Belfast's Maze Prison was taking an ominous toll, with one death reported and several other hunger strikers perilously close. Pope John Paul II, still recovering from wounds associated with his assassination attempt, had cleared another hurdle by successfully beating back a viral infection as the result of surgery.

Just another August 1st in history. Remarkably the same while strangely different.

August 1, 1981 as told by the CBS World News Roundup with Neil Strawser.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.