IRAN, IRAN SO FAR AWAY

November 4 in history:

U.S. Presidents elected on November 4th include Barack Obama in 2008, Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The ’80 election may have been decided partly because of two things that happened November 4th, 1979.  On that day, radicals in Iran took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and kept 52 people hostage for the next 444 days.  The hostage incident was a protest of America’s decision to allow the former Shah of Iran into the U.S. for medical treatment, a move which some believed was part of an American plot to return him to power.

The other event was a TV interview with Senator Ted Kennedy aired on November 4th of ’79 on CBS, shortly before Kennedy announced he would challenge President Carter for the Democratic nomination.  Roger Mudd of CBS asked Kennedy why he wanted to be president.  Media pundits repeatedly criticized Kennedy after he was unable to give a straight answer to the question.

Roger Mudd was a frequent substitute anchor on the “CBS Evening News” for long-time anchor Walter Cronkite, who was born on this date in 1916.  Like Cronkite, another person known for announcing election results on TV was born on November 4th…Jeff Probst (1962), famous for saying “The tribe has spoken” in declaring who was voted off the island on the reality show “Survivor.”

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