Art McAloon: For more than a generation, the Government of South Africa has defied international criticism of its racial policies. Over the last two years, that policy of white minority rule, known as apartheid, has sparked growing domestic unrest among South Africa's majority blacks. The Tory government of Johannes Vorster has answered that unrest with periodic crackdowns, one of which resulted in a mysterious prison death of black leader Steve Biko. Later arrests and newspaper closings led the UN Security Council to impose a total arms embargo on South Africa.
U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young was hopeful the embargo would have beneficial results …
Ambassador Andrew Young: "It is our fervent hope that the Government of South Africa will finally begin to talk and listen to its own people, black and white, Asian and colored, English and Afrikaans-speaking, and work with them in moving away from the disaster which threatens that country."
Art McAloon: But given South Africa's ability to make most of its own weapons, the Tory government continued its defiance of international opinion as the year was drawing to a close.
This is Art McAloon for Recap '77.
Pye Chamberlayne: President Carter's right-hand man and best friend in the government, Bert Lance is on the witness stand for the third day in a row, fighting to keep his reputation and his job. He looked great the first day out, threw the Senate Committee into disarray and was the very picture of a wronged man.
By now, though, his story sounds a little hollow. What was he doing using a bank-owned airplane, flying around to pleasure resorts, the Mardi Gras and even football games? Did he do business in the halftime or what?
Bert Lance: "I don't remember whether I made any loans during that game or not, Senator; but I saw an awful lot of Georgia people that in the creation of a statewide holding company, which we were talking about and which we were trying to bring about, I thought it was important for my presence to be at that sort of event. As I said in response to Senator Nunn yesterday, that was the sort of circumstance."
Pye Chamberlayne: The Senators didn’t think much of that explanation. Lance quit the next week. He's making big money on the lecture circuit, but a variety of Federal officials are still pursuing investigations of his career. Lance is not out of hot water yet.
This is Pye Chamberlayne for Recap '77.
Bob Futz: Two unmanned spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral two weeks apart. Their name is Voyager, and they make up the most ambitious effort to date to explore the outer reaches of our solar system. They will transmit pictures and scientific data as they fly close by Jupiter, the biggest planet, and Saturn with its rings.
Scientist Ron Draper says the craft will then leave our solar system, perhaps sending back signals for as long as 30 years …
Ron Draper: "We have the communications capability if it were working to communicate with the spacecraft, hear it and communicate to it to a distance that's equivalent to 100 times the distance between Earth and the sun."
Bob Futz: Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California will track the two ships. The first will fly by Jupiter in 1979; it's a long trip. Each has a gold-plated phonograph record on the front containing greetings from Earth in many languages. No one knows, explains NASA, where Voyager might end up. There's always the chance it could find life in another world.
This is Bob Futz for Recap '77.