On August 31st, 1983, mid-afternoon Washington time, a Korean Airlines 747, Flight 007, en route from New York to Seoul, disappeared from air traffic control radar screens in the Far East. It took air traffic controllers and American intelligence agencies several hours to piece together what had happened. By 10:30 pm Eastern time, the unthinkable had occurred; the Soviets had shot the civilian airplane out of the sky. 60 Americans, including an American Congressman, were among the 269 passengers. Over the next few weeks, the President had plenty to say.

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