We occasionally see Barry Rosen around the neighborhood and remember back to his early days at Teachers College, when he worked out of a small office way in back of the fifth floor — past the library’s K-12 curriculum collections and microcomputer lab. Barry came to Teachers College to head up the Department of External Affairs, following his service as Press Attache to the United States Embassy in Tehran. When he was taken hostage on November 4, 1979, he was tied up, blindfolded, and ushered into the U.S. Embassy library, where he was questioned, in front of his staff, about his role. He describes how he was later taken downstairs “in a theatrical manner” by six or seven armed, masked guards who coerced a confession. By the count of ten, Barry would be shot if he failed to admit to spying …. so, in the last couple of seconds, he signed the paper that saved his life …
Militant Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy on a rainy, gray November 4, 1979 — an act protesting the U.S. government’s decision allowing the deposed shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, suffering from cancer, to receive medical treatment in New York City. Iran’s political and religious leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, refused massive appeals and numerous diplomatic efforts by President Jimmy Carter, who ordered a rescue mission that proved disastrous in causing the deaths of eight members of the American military.
On January 20, 1981, shortly after the inauguration speech of President Ronald Regan, 52 U.S. captives held at the American Embassy in Teheran were released. The United States freed closed to eight billion dollars in Iranian assets that were frozen — thus ending the 444 day Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Barry Rosen not only met one of his captors, but ventured to work on the TC Afghan Education Project – a project in the early millennium that developed curriculum emphasizing peace and conflict resolution. He consulted the library and remained a friend, frequently seeking our help in research and information pertaining to the history and activities of our institution, as well as archiving his educational initiative. Read more about the Afghan project and earlier efforts by Teachers College (1954-1978) to help Afghanistan build a modern educational system.
The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- McManus, D. (1980, Jan 02). Iran Hostage Crisis Settling into a Frustrating Pattern: Dealing with Iran Hostage Crisis Settling Down into Frustration. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File)
- Panel in Iran Expects to See Hostages Soon. (1980, Mar 01). Boston Globe (1960-1985)
- Randal, Jonathan C. (1980, Mar 20). Hostage Seizure Hones Militants’ Political Acumen: U.S.- Iran Hostage Crisis Teaches Captors Political Lessons. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- The U.S.-Iran Crisis: A Chronology. (1981, Jan 19). The Hartford Courant (1923-1991)
- Klurfeld, J. (1981, Jan 20). The Hostage Crisis Damaged Image of the U.S. Newsday (1940-1988)
- Toth, R. C., & Skelton, G. (1981, Jan 26). Reagan Seeking New Doctrine on Terrorism. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File)
- Wormier, S. (1981, Jun 25). Accord to End Iran Hostage Crisis Draws Rough Questioning in the Supreme Court. Wall Street Journal (1923 – Current File)
- Weinraub, B. (1985, Jun 30). Reagan’s Struggle to Avoid Becoming a Hostage. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Precht, H. (1999, Nov 02). Lessons from Iran Hostage Crisis. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Some You Win: The Career of Jimmy Carter Highs. (2002, Oct 12). The Guardian (1959-2003)
Looking ahead to the presidential inauguration:
Check out this feature article by Robin Wright, “Trump and Iran: Yet Another Hostage Crisis” (The New Yorker, January 6, 2017).
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