January 23rd in 1991 marked one week since Operation Desert Storm began. The move was on to oust the Iraqi Army from Kuwait, with ground action expected to start anytime soon. Amid reports of Scud attacks on Israel, U.S. planes attacking a supposed Baby Milk Factory and reports of Iraqi troops setting fire to oil fields, the Coalition Operation was moving along smoothly.
Here is a morning report on the events of the previous night via The CBS World News Roundup, along with sporadic Special Reports via CBS Radio throughout the morning on January 23, 1991.
Seventeen days into the start of the War in Europe, news of the day was filled with reports of attacks, advances, retreats, threats, addresses, assertions, denials, and casualties.
Since the German-Russian alliance, Poland was being assaulted on two fronts. Hitler had earlier addressed the people of Germany (and relayed throughout the world) on the Polish situation. Ironically, clandestine radio stations in Germany were calling for the overthrow of the Hitler regime.
Naval action was being reported, with the sinking of British Aircraft Carrier HMS Courageous by German U-Boat, with the U-Boat in turn attacked and sunk by British Destroyers. At the time of this broadcast, it was unclear just how many survivors there were from The Courageous. With a crew of 1260 and a relic of World War 1, the odds weren’t good. And London was issuing daily casualty lists.
Continuing from the BBC World Service broadcast with a report to the U.S. by correspondent John Steele who recorded on reaction to the Nazi-Soviet assault on Poland as well as news of labor strikes in Czechoslovakia bringing swift and brutal reprisals from the occupying Germans, with striking workers summarily executed by the Gestapo. Further reprisals also came in the form of the banning of radios capable of picking up Shortwave broadcasts, with radios smashed and owners arrested.
All in all, it wasn’t looking like a hopeful month, according to the news of this September 19, 1939 as reported by the BBC World Service and American Correspondent John Steele.
With a state of war literally hours away, and all diplomatic attempts failed, the world waited for the shooting to start.
Here are three newscasts, in English via shortwave. The first is from Radio Warsaw, the second is from Radio Berlin and the third from EIAR in Rome, all broadcast late on August 29th and early August 30th 1939. The sound on the Polish broadcast is rough and not complete, but its significant and probably hasn’t been heard since it was first broadcast.
History from the perspective of not knowing the outcome.
Seventy-five years ago today most people in the U.S. were listening to reports of the invasion of China by Japan and hearing first-hand accounts of the fighting by rescued American nationals, caught in the middle of the turmoil.
Here is a program of interviews with rescued tourists and workers, having landed in Honolulu on August 27, 1937.
Little did we realize at the time it would be the harbinger of things to come a few short years later.
Even though news during this August in 1968 was primarily about the upcoming Democratic Convention in Chicago, the just finished Republican Convention in Miami and the ongoing protests to the Vietnam War, news for this August 20th was all about the swift and sudden invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army and Eastern bloc allies. In what had been an experiment in democratic reforms, the government of Alexander Dubceck ran afoul of Moscow and a quick end to Prague Spring ensued.
As tanks crossed the Czech border on the night of August 20th and the airport in Prague was overrun with Soviet planes, word of the crisis quickly flashed across just about every news outlet teletype and broadcast facility throughout the world.
Here is a CBS Radio Netalert Bulletin, taking up the better part of an hour, as originally broadcast on the evening of August 20th, 1968. News as it was happening.
The sound of sabers rattling and reports of atrocities, chaos and quickly organized summits dominated the news for this August 10th in 1990.
With the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait only a few days old, Egypt opened an emergency Arab Summit in Cairo as a last ditch effort to prevent an escalated war in the Persian Gulf against Iraq. But at the time of this broadcast, very little was accomplished, except when to break for lunch. Iraq sealed its borders to all but diplomats, and reports came flooding in of foreign nationals escaping in the droves, while some were being held in Bagdhad, perhaps as hostages. The ones who escaped gave harrowing accounts of what was going on in Kuwait and it fueled the already growing outrage against Iraq.
Meanwhile, NATO leaders were stopping short of taking collective military action, but they did endorse the growing multi-national Naval presence shaping up in the Persian Gulf. And the U.S. began a rapid deployment of U.S. combat troops to the region, denying reports it would eventually deploy as many as 250,000 personnel to Saudi Arabia.
Back in the States – wild fires were continuing to cause major destruction in Oregon and Northern California, charring some 100,000 acres as of this morning. Yosemite National Park was closed and all roads leading into the site were blocked, leaving many campers stranded. As of this August 10th, there were some 1,000 fires burning out of control in the region.
And that’s some of what went on, this chaotic August 10th in 1990, as reported on The CBS World News Roundup.
This June 27th in 1950 was a nervous one. With the words World War Three peppering most newscasts and newspapers, the notion that America got itself knee-deep in a shooting war in Korea felt ominous, to say the least.
On June 25th, North Korea declared a state of war with South Korea and invaded. The move took the UN and the U.S. by surprise. President Truman hastily called in military support to halt the invasion, and on the 27th we got involved.
Here is a special broadcast from CBS Radio, broadcast on June 27, 1950 outlining the crisis and giving the details that were available at that time.
Less than five years after the end of World War 2, another war gets started.