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Tuesday December 25, 1979
. . . where the 1970s live forever!

News stories from Tuesday December 25, 1979

Summaries of the stories the major media outlets considered to be of particular importance on this date:

  • A variance in the number of hostages in Teheran was apparent when the clergymen visited them on Christmas. The United States insists that 50 Americans are held in the American Embassy. The four visiting clergymen said that after being told that they would be allowed to see "all the hostages" they had visited a total of 43, including two women, who were presented in groups of three to five, but mostly four. "We want to assure their wives and parents and other loved ones in America that, as far as we can tell, they do look well," said one of the clergymen, the Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin of New York.

    The administration expressed concern over the apparent discrepancy in the number of hostages held in Teheran, and officials were irritated by the hostages' captors to take political advantage of the Christmas visit by the clergymen. So, what could have been an uplifting day for the administration was setback by what one official called "the missing seven" and the polemical battle with the Iranians. [New York Times]

  • A letter from a hostage in Teheran reached his family in Krakow, Mo., in time for Christmas, but provided little news of events inside the United States Embassy. The two-page letter from Rodney Sickmann, a 22-year-old Marine sergeant, to his parents, brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews was filled with family matters. In the only direct reference to the hostage situation, he wrote: "Express my thanks to the people who are praying and thinking of us. Hopefully some way we'll see through this mess!" [New York Times]
  • American television networks refused the offer of a film of the meeting between the hostages and the clergymen in Teheran made and edited by the Iranian television and the hostages' captors. Network officials would have had no editorial control over the film, and they were not permitted to see it before making their decision. [New York Times]
  • Public support of nuclear reactors is being sought in a national public relations campaign sponsored by the nuclear power industry -- utilities, reactor manufacturers and engineering concerns. In addition to using conventional advertising channels, the industry's public relations arm, the Committee on Energy Awareness, has distributed a detailed manual instructing corporations on how to generate support among citizen action groups for a "pro-energy environment." [New York Times]
  • Plans for a federal telephone system linking the 240,000 phones of 140 agencies are being made by the General Services Administration over the criticism of members of Congress and other agencies who say that the multimillion dollar venture is unnecessary and violates federal procurement rules. The G.S.A. wants to put the project through without competitive bidding, another issue for its critics. [New York Times]
  • Black leaders are standing apart from Senator Edward Kennedy's presidential campaign so far. The swing to his side that many political observers expected, in view of some black criticism of President Carter, has not occurred. Some black leaders believe neither side will be supported by blacks as a group. [New York Times]
  • A search for the Titanic's remains on the floor of the North Atlantic will be started next spring by a Texas oilman. Jack Grimm is confident that he and his crew can reach the ship, which is under 12,000 feet of water 380 miles off Newfoundland. Submersible robots will photograph the ship if the expedition is successful. [New York Times]
  • Joan Blondell died of leukemia in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 70 years old and had been in movies nearly 50 years. She had appeared in 80 movies, starting in 1930 with the melodrama, Sinners' Holiday. This year's remake of "The Champ" was her last movie. [New York Times]
  • A record for homicides was set in 1979 in New York City. The 1972 record was broken Friday night by the killing of John Salvia, 19 years old, who was shot while resisting a robbery at a hamburger restaurant in Queens. The murder was No. 1,692, a figure increased by at least 10 since then. [New York Times]
  • The Commonwealth monitoring force is now in Rhodesia, ready to take up positions in time for the cease-fire. Under the cease-fire members of the Patriotic Front guerrilla organization will be required to report with their weapons and equipment to 16 designated assembly areas around the country beginning in the early hours of Saturday. [New York Times]
  • A cruise ship chartered for a movie about the end of the world ran aground on an uncharted reef in Antarctica. More than 100 passengers and crew members were evacuated, the ship's radio operator reported. The Lindblad Explorer, owned by Lindblad Travel Inc., was damaged, but was said to be in no danger of sinking. [New York Times]

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