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Iran hostage rescue fails, USSR nuclear disaster: News Journal archives, week of April 23

“Pages of history” features excerpts from The News Journal archives including The Morning News and the Evening Journal.

April 24, 1975, The Morning News

Senate OKs aid, troops to help evacuation from Vietnam

The Senate yesterday overwhelmingly approved $250 million in humanitarian aid and funds to evacuate endangered Americans and Vietnamese from South Vietnam, with authority for the president to use the armed forces if necessary to take people out….

In the House, a corresponding $327 million measure was in fierce dispute and was debated late into the night. Both bills reached the floor exactly 13 days after President Ford’s urgent request for $250 million in humanitarian aid and $722 million in emergency military aid to shore up the crumbling South Vietnamese army….

Front page of The Morning News from April 24, 1975.
Front page of The Morning News from April 24, 1975.

The Senate bill…also permits the president to use U.S. armed forces if necessary to take the people out, but they can only be used for evacuation of endangered south Vietnamese incidentally to rescue operations for Americans….

President Ford declared last night that the Indochina war was over for the United States, and he called on Americans to “write a new agenda for the future.”

The president told an audience of Tulane University students that he was saddened by the events in Indochina, but “they do not portend the end of the world nor the end of America’s leadership in the world.”

In a prepared speech that a White House spokesman billed as the first of the post-Vietnam era, the president said that “America can again regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam.”

“But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished – as far as America is concerned,”

he said….

April 25, 1980, Evening Journal

Hostage rescue bid fails; 8 dead in Iran

U.S. military forces undertook a desperate raid to rescue American hostages in Tehran, Iran, but the mission collapsed in “equipment failures” on a remote desert airstrip far from its target, President Jimmy Carter said today.

Eight U.S. servicemen died in a collision of retreating aircraft.

Front page of the Evening Journal from April 25, 1980.
Front page of the Evening Journal from April 25, 1980.

Carter, on television, somberly told an awakening nation that there was no clash with Iranian forces and no evidence Iran knew of the mission until after it was over and U.S. forces were withdrawn.

Defense Secretary Harold Brown said the mission was called off when three of the eight rescue helicopters had difficulties….

Recent world news involving Delawareans: With bombs dropping nearby, these Delaware parents faced a choice: Stay or leave Ukraine?

The secretary said that, in the withdrawal, a helicopter and a transport plane collided, killing the eight servicemen and burning four others….

Iranian radio said the militants holding 50 Americans hostage in Tehran were meeting to discuss their response to the rescue mission….

State Department officer Mark Johnson said nothing had been heard from the militants occupying the U.S. Embassy who have repeatedly threatened to kill the American hostages if “even the smallest military action were taken.”

In his remarks, Carter emphasized that “the rescue effort was a humanitarian mission. It was not directed against Iran.”

Catch up on history: The News Journal archives, week of March 13

April 27, 1973, The Morning News

FBI chief linked to burning of files in Watergate probe

L. Patrick Gray III, acting director of the FBI, has told friends that he destroyed documents taken from a central figure in the Watergate case after it was suggested at a White House meeting that the papers “should never see the light of day.”

The front page of The Morning News from April 27, 1973.
The front page of The Morning News from April 27, 1973.

Gray, who has been notified that he can expect to appear before a federal grand jury, has said he placed in his FBI “burn bag” files handed to him at a session June 23 with John D. Ehrlichman, assistant to the President for domestic affairs, and John W. Dean III, counsel to the President.

The files had been obtained from E. Howard Hunt Jr., a former consultant to the White House who was indicted for and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to spy on the Democratic opposition during last year’s campaign….

Five men had been arrested in the Watergate Hotel complex 11 days before the White House meeting. Their arrests led to the later implication of Hunt….

Gray, under close questioning by friends, has insisted that neither Dean nor Erhlichman informed him of what was in the Hunt files and that he destroyed them without examining their contents….

April 29, 1986, The Morning News

Soviet nuclear reactor leaks; radiation spreads

The Soviet Union said Monday that a nuclear accident damaged an atomic reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukraine. Radiation reported up to 10 times above normal swept across Finland, Denmark and Sweden, more than 750 miles away.

Front page of The Morning News from April 29, 1986.
Front page of The Morning News from April 29, 1986.

Budapest Radio in Hungary reported early today that there were injuries form the accident, and noted that the power plant was at the conjunction of two rivers, near the reservoir that supplies Kiev, a city of 2.4 million people and the capital of the Ukraine.

The official Soviet new agency, Tass, said only that people “affected” were being aided, but did not say whether there were injuries or deaths, when the accident happened, nor the exact location of the plant….

Reach reporter Ben Mace at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Iran hostage rescue fails, nuclear disaster: News Journal archives

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