News of January 20, 1980 and the week past. Carter White House inching closer to calling Boycott of Summer Olympic games in Moscow, getting sporadic support from allies. Soviet Afghanistan incursion now going through Public Relations phase, starting with kicking out US reporters, following in the steps of Iran's expulsion of foreign journalists. Final dispatches filed say growing unrest with Khomeni regime. United Nations votes unanimously to condemn Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Justice William O. Douglas dies.
January 20, 2012

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William O. Douglas - on top of everything else, the passing of a much loved and admired Supreme Court Justice.


January 20th in 1980 came on a Sunday and most of the news this day had to do with events of the past week, with one notable exception.

News from the White House made it clear that Jimmy Carter would indeed impose a boycott on the Moscow Summer Olympics if the Soviet Union didn't withdraw from Afghanistan within the month. A scramble was on to suggest alternative sites, including a suggestion the Olympics have a permanent site in Athens. Aside from tacit support from the UK and a few other allies, the majority opinion was dead-against a move on such short notice.

Meanwhile, the UN unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the Soviet incursion. The Soviets in turn went on a Public Relations campaign, beginning with ejecting all foreign press from Afghanistan. This hot on the heels of expulsion of American press from Iran, based on "unkind portrayals" of the new regime. Last dispatches from Tehran did indicate growing dissatisfaction with the Khomeni government and news of rioting breaking out in various towns around Iran.

From Yugoslavia, word that Tito had to have his leg amputated and the operation was moderately successful. Still, it was a waiting game in Belgrade as there were no happy endings in the foreseeable future.

And to end the week, on a sad note. It was learned former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas had passed away at age 81. A much admired and respected member of the Court, Douglas had been appointed by FDR when Justice Brandeis retired and was the longest serving member of the Supreme Court, from 1939-1975 and was, as Time Magazine said "the most doctrinaire and committed civil libertarian ever to sit on the court".

Some week. And it was reported on CBS Radio's The World This Week for Sunday January 20, 1980.

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