Amidst a flurry of pardons from Governor Ray Blanton's office on the eve of his departure, and the ushering in of Lamar Alexander to the post, a sudden and abrupt halt came when it was learned Blanton was no longer Governor, as Alexander had been sworn in three days early. The decision for the preemptive strike was based on the fact that Blanton had paroled a vast number of convicts, many who were murderers serving life sentences. Much of it had to do with a cash-for-clemency scandal that had been uncovered in the Governor's office with Blanton delighted to issue "get out of jail" cards. In other news, tensions were continuing in Iran over the departure of The Shah and the interim government set up in his place. The U.S. was in the somewhat uncomfortable position of having to walk on eggshells, since it gave tacit acknowledgment of the Bhaktiar government, while aware it was only a matter of time before Ayatollah Khomeni would return from exile in Paris to establish a fundamentalist regime with himself as leader. Khomeni made it clearly known he was no fan of the U.S.
So January 18th in 1979 began as an iffy day with more questions than answers and a growing hornet's nest as the days and weeks dragged on. Here is the CBS World News Roundup for January 18th.