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June 14, 1985
Awakened before 7 A.M. with word that a TWA 727 with a full load of mainly Am. tourists took off from Athens Greece & was hi-jacked to Beirut. As morning went on it took off for Algiers. In Beirut the hi-jackers—2 armed with handguns & grenades released 19 women & children. In Algiers the H.J.’s demanded release of Shiites held in Israeli jails or they would execute the passengers. Again they released another 21—mostly women & children. In early afternoon (here) they were in the air & headed back to Beirut.
Between bulletins & meetings on this situation I participated in a C. Flag ceremony in the Rose Garden handing out awards to half a hundred or so companies & corp’s. for volunteerism. Had a report from Dick Wirthlin—things looking up poll-wise. Then a meeting with Geo. Shultz re a meeting with Gorbachev. I gave in on the U.S. as a site & agreed to Geneva. Then Nancy & I departed for Ft. McHenry & a flag day ceremony. It was a good event. At last minute my actors instinct told me to skip the part of an otherwise patriotic speech that dealt with tax reform. I was right. From there it was on to Camp David—where I received several calls on into the night on the problem in Beirut.