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September 20, 1983
An N.S.C. briefing on Caps trip to China. I believe relations have definitely improved even though they still feel like they have to make a little noise now & then about Taiwan. Off to Columbia S.C. Announced to the press 1st that we had reached an agreement with a bi-partisan group in Cong. on Lebanon & the War Powers Act. If passed we’ll all stand together for an 18 month extension of the Marines stay in Lebanon. I will—in signing—voice my reservations about the constitutionality of the War Powers Act. The day in S.C. was fine, including the fact that the rain stopped as I was donning the academic gown for the outdoor ceremony at U. So. Carolina where I recv’d. an Honorary Degree. There were 10,000 students there and I was very well received. Later I did a reception (1000 P.) for Strom Thurmond & a dinner (3000 P). Sen. Howard Baker & 3 S.C. Cong. were on hand—both affairs went well. Prior to the dinner got word our Ambassadors residence in Beirut had been shelled—between 10 & 60 rounds. Damage but no casualties. Naval gun fire quieted the guns doing the shelling. Back at the W.H. by 10 P.M.