March 16, 1978 - Aldo Moro kidnapped. Israeli Army in Lebanon. Panama Canal Treaty. 101 Day old Coal Strike. Cosmonauts return to earth from 96 days in Space.
March 16, 2012

The number 13 had ominous significance this day.

The world got another dose of reality on this March 16th when Italy learned it's five time Prime Minister Aldo Moro had been kidnapped by members of the Red Brigade. This brought the number to 13 who had been kidnapped since the beginning of 1978, and especially potent since a trial had already begun for 15 suspected Red Brigade members and this high-profile kidnapping was a not-so-subtle message of retaliation by the terrorist group.

While Italy was mobilizing and preparing for what would eventually become the worst, a little further east the sound of tanks and aerial sorties echoed around Southern Lebanon and Beirut as the Israeli Army entered its second day of invasion in the region. The move was a diplomatic headache for the U.S. who was knee-deep in trying to iron out a Middle East Peace accord and this juggling act was threatening to be too much for the already tenuous atmosphere.

Meanwhile, in this Hemisphere - The Panama Canal Treaty was inching ever-closer to becoming reality, even though ruffled Panamanian feathers needed to be smoothed over from various amendments being discussed in the treaty.

After 101 days (and counting), a new contract offer had been given to the striking Coal Miners with optimistic hopes, not necessarily universal among the rank-and-file, but optimistic hopes nonetheless, that the contact would finally be approved.

And after 96 days in Space, Soviet Cosmonauts were finally returning to Earth.

Something it was hoped the rest of the world would also wind up doing.

And so it went, this March 16th in 1978 as reported by Dallas Townsend and a team of reporters on The CBS World News Roundup.

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