Heard Any Good Rumors?

Air Force One had just lifted off around 9 a.m., winging President Reagan and his entourage from Washington to Houston to attend the Challenger crew's memorial service, when Larry Speakes hurried to the press compartment at the rear of the aircraft. "The White House was informed shortly before 7:30 a.m.," Speakes said, "that the government of Haiti had collapsed and that the leadership, including Duvalier, had fled."

The startled press corps quickly swung into action. At 9:10 a.m. the first wire service bulletins were transmitted reporting the collapse of the government of President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier. If the announcement caused a stir...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!