Friday, January 20, 2006

25 Years Ago Today

Not only was Ronald Reagan sworn in on this date 25 years ago, but miraculously, 52 Americans were released from their captivity in Iran. They had spent 444 days as hostages of the Ayatollah Khomeini. For all that time, we never knew if they would be killed as Iran was in chaos. Khomeini had seized power, the Shah took exile in Egypt and Iraq had invaded. Wanting the Shah returned, the students had originally planned only on protesting at the American embassy, but somehow it all got out of hand and suddenly, the diplomats and embassy staff became hostages. There were 90 hostages in the beginning, though many were released immediately (mostly women, blacks and non-Americans). The situation became a blur of yellow ribbons, televised messages to their families, a tragically failed rescue attempt, so much happened while their lives became a tense waiting game. After much negotiating and wrangling, they were finally released on Ronald Reagan's inauguration day. It was joyous time for so many families. Sadly, these 52 would not be the last hostages taken and some tragically, would not see home again.

CBS News

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