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Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 16: Becoming Free
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5

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The Middle East Peace Accords
Segment 2
Jimmy Carter wins the 1976 election Troubles Abroad

Gerald Ford See It Now - Gerald Ford did help heal this country's wounds—among other things he offered amnesty to those who had fled to Canada to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War. Check The Source - The Fall of Saigon But his pardon of Richard Nixon cost him popular support, and he was unable to get elected in his own right. Check The Source - Ford's Pardon of Nixon His successor was James Earl Carter See It Now - "Carter Wins" , a peanut farmer who had risen to become Georgia's governor, and who was passionate about freedom and human rights around the world. Check The Source - "Human Rights and Foreign Policy" In his inaugural address he spoke eloquently of these concerns: Hear It Now - Jimmy Carter "The passion for freedom is on the rise. Tapping this new spirit there can be no nobler nor more ambitious task for America to undertake, than to help shape a just and peaceful world that is truly humane."

Carter worked hard to bring peace to the Middle East, one of the most tumultuous and war-torn areas on earth. The Middle East "peace talks"—as the negotiations between Israel and Egypt were called—resulted in an agreement called the Camp David Accords (after the presidential retreat where they were held). This agreement would be the finest achievement of Carter's presidency and was instrumental in his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. See It Now - The Middle East Peace Accords

But many in the Muslim world were unhappy with the peace treaty, and angered by America's influence in the region. And in 1979 one of America's strongest Middle East supporters, the Shah of Iran, was driven from power. He was succeeded by Ayatollah Khomeini—a Shiite religious leader who preached hatred of the United States. In November, a group of militant Irani students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran, and took fifty-two American hostages. State Department employee Robert Ode was among them, and he recorded his experience in a diary:

Hear It Now - Robert Ode "We were surrounded by a group of the students who were armed ... and then [we were] marched to the Embassy residence. I was taken upstairs and put alone in a rear bedroom and blindfolded. I strongly protested the violation of my diplomatic immunity, but these protests were ignored." Check The Source - "We Were Surrounded by a Group of Students"


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Did You Know?
In April, 1979 President Carter ordered a rescue attempt and commandos were sent to free the Americans held captive in Iran. Tragically, the mission failed: a rescue helicopter crashed and killed eight soldiers while other helicopters suffered technical faults. Following the botched rescue attempt, the hostages were relocated to scattered hideouts, making further attempts virtually impossible.


Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?



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