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September 20, 1984
Awakened at 5:40 A.M. by Bud. A suicide bombing of our embassy annex in East Beirut. A van crossed street barricades but did not enter embassy compound. It exploded in the street but the explosion wrecked the bldg. So far we know 2 of our service men, 1 Navy 1 Army were killed as were a number of civilian employees both Am. & Lebanese. Our Ambas. was injured but walked on his own to the hospital. I called him from Marine 1 on my way to A.F.1. He’s quite a guy. This was my day to go to Iowa & Mich. so we made the trip. First was an airport rally at Cedar Rapids. Then we went to a farm (a wonderful family). I did Q&A with about 75 farmers. Jack Block was with me. From there we went to Fairfax for a picnic lunch. Every place we met with the warmest reception. The Des Moines Register poll has me 58 to 35 over Mondale. Then we flew out to Mich.—Grand Rapids. Jerry Ford joined us. First we went to the new Westinghouse furniture bldg. The high tech was fascinating but even more so was the new approach to labor, management relations. I’ve never seen union workers so much in love with their bosses. From there to a giant rally at the Ford museum. Possibly 20,000 wildly enthusiastic people. Then home & mother.