April 1980: President Carter between Mariel and the failed Iran rescue mission

If you remember April 1980, then you recall two huge front page stories that rocked the Carter presidency.

First, it was Mariel and the arrival of 100,000 Cubans to the US. It was a boat-lift like no other and became very controversial, specially with then Governor Clinton of Arkansas who faced very hostile voters.

Second, it was Iran and the US diplomats held hostage when the US Embassy was attacked the previous November.

On this day in 1980, President Carter approved a mission to go into Iran and rescue the diplomats held hostage. Unfortunately, he had to address the nation hours later to tell us what went wrong.   

It was a terrible morning to say the least. The operation was called off due to technical problems but 8 US servicemen were killed when one of the departing helicopters collided with a AC-130 transport airplane on the ground.

It was horrible.

The hostages were eventually released a few minutes after President Reagan was sworn in on January 1981.

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