January 20, 2012

Ronald Reagan's Lucky Day

CBS News, CBS News

On Inauguration Day 20 years ago, the first movie actor to become president shared the billing with the release of the American hostages held in Iran.


After more than a year of captivity under the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the 52 Americans taken hostage in the seizing of the U.S. embassy in Tehran were finally freed on January 20, 1981, the same day that Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the nation's 40th president.


That was joyous news for the country and for Mr. Reagan who - unlike Lincoln and FDR - was spared the ordeal of having to begin his presidency with the nation in a state of crisis.


The hostage crisis loomed large in the landslide win by Mr. Reagan, a Republican, over Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter in the...

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TAGGED: Iran, Ronald Reagan


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