With the fast-breaking news this week of continued and intensified demonstrations against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo and throughout Egypt, I'm reminded of how Mubarak rose to power -- as the result of Sadat's assassination on October 7, 1981.
Virtually unknown, even in Egypt at the time, Hosni Mubarak was a General in the Egyptian Air Force when he was chosen by then-President Anwar Sadat to become vice-President. With Sadat's assassination by a group of military conspirators, Mubarak quickly assumed the role of President -- one which he's maintained the past 31 years, establishing a virtual monarchy in the process.
So as a refresher of where these dynasties get started and how, here is a Special Edition of All Things Considered, which aired on the evening of October 7,1981, a few hours after the assassination and the official announcement of Sadat's death. In the broadcast are several news reports, reactions and speculations on what the future had in store for Egypt. Whether or not it offers any insights as to goings on in the streets of Cairo today isn't quite clear. Although, a recent item citing support of the Mubarak regime by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce might produce a clue, at least in some circles and the recent release of Wikileaks cables on Egypt in recent years might be another.
Still, a story quickly unfolding. And like all stories, it has a history to go along with it.