Yom Kippur 1973

I was in the band at Hinds Junior College (now Hinds Community College) in the fall of 1973. On Oct. 6 we had an away football, I think at Northeast Junior College – anyway, it was a long bus ride away. Since we had a game, I had stayed on campus that weekend, and with no access to TV or radio, didn’t know anything about the onset of the Arab attacks on Israel. The news first began getting to us shortly before we got on the bus mid-afternoon, but I don’t recall hearing much in the way of details. In fact, I don’t think we realized there was much going on beyond some border attacks. By the time we got off the bus at Northeast, it was obvious from reports that there were serious battles going on, but we all remembered the Six Day’s War and assumed the Israelis would rout the Arab forces. But by the time the game was over, and we were preparing to board the buses for the trip home, things were looking very different. Someone had a portable radio, and the reports were sounding grim. One of the band members had a brother in the army – maybe in the 101st Airborne – and he had called him right after the game – his brother told him the Soviets were mobilizing some forces, that his unit was being told to get ready, and that President Nixon had told the Soviets we would not allow them to intervene. I don’t think any of that was really happening, but at the time we didn’t know, and all during that 3 hour bus ride back we expected to get off the bus and find out that World War III had just started. By the next day we all knew better, but in the middle of the night on October 6, things seemed really on the brink. In these days of 24-hour news cycles and social networking, where you can know anything in a matter of minutes, it can be hard to realize just how difficult it could be to find out what was happening before CNN and the internet came along. This is maybe my most vivid experience of that.

3 thoughts on “Yom Kippur 1973

  1. These days, I’d almost say you’re better off without CNN if you want a real news story. Last couple of times I’ve watched them has just been terrible to watch. Hell, I HATE Fox News but I think even they do a better job during actual emergencies and ‘surprise’ type stories.

  2. But there was a time, long after 1973, when CNN was far and away the best source for breaking news. They’ve made some bad choices the past few years.

  3. Baby boy was born in the middle of all of this. His dad worked nights and I remember watching TV with my newborn and trying to keep my overzealous religious upbringing from convincing me that this was really Armageddon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *