January 20 - 1981 - The Iran Hostages are Released
The Iran Hostage Crisis became the defining feature of 1980, both in terms of world events and the domestic political scene of the United States of America. The Presidency of Jimmy Carter got bogged down in attempting to free the 52 hostages taken in the US Embassy in Tehran after they were taken on November 4, 1979. A rescue mission failed and negotians stalled by summer, which meant that Carter had a political problem in the midst of his reelection campaign. His opponent, Ronald Reagan, used this to his advantage, and rumors were that his campaign even looked to have Iran hold onto the hostages past the election. Whether that happened or not, and no one will probably ever be able to definitively say, the Islamic Republic of Iran under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini waited until just after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States to actually release the hostages, despite having negotiated the deal with the Carter Administration.