July 5, 1980 and it was knee-deep in the Presidential Campaign season. Jimmy Carter headed back to Plains Georgia for a respite after staging a whirlwind tour of the U.S. that took him from Los Angeles (where he got an enthusiastic endorsement from the NEA Convention) to Miami (where he got tepid applause from the NAACP convention). Ronald Reagan was still raising eyebrows for his by-pass of the NAACP Convention. Realizing the faux pas, Reagan promptly fell over himself to accept an invitation to speak to the Urban League. And the hoopla sprinted on.
News on the Shah of Iran, then residing in a Cairo hospital, wasn't good. Meanwhile, Thailand received the first installment of their $400Million purchase of military ordinance from the U.S. - we paid for the shipping.
Cuban Boat People were steaming to Florida's shores with a rumored 500 Marines forming a greeting line when they arrived. Fears were rampant this was the first of Fidel Castro's proposed Convict Dump, as suddenly prisons in Cuba were surprisingly empty this July 5th. And on the subject of dodging bullets, U.S. Embassy officials in Jamaica were taking extra precautions as a rash of shootings in and around Kingston were directed at U.S. government personnel purported to be CIA agents.
Detroit was getting so ready for the upcoming Republican Convention they headed into marathon talks with Sanitation workers over the Garbage Strike responsible for odorizing Woodward Avenue. And a record heatwave scorched the Southwest, even though temperatures dipped to a balmy 104 in Dallas the previous night - they were promised to go upwardly mobile for at least the next month.
425,000 people (according to the Park Service) jammed the Washington Mall to celebrate the 4th and pray for surf with The Beach Boys. And in Boston, John "Mr. Star Wars" Williams celebrated his very first 4th with the Boston Pops. The 1812 Overture and Darth Vader found a new home.
And no doubt, if you were around to hear this CBS World News Broadcast on the morning of July 5th 1980 you were either hung-over or massively relieved you weren't.