January 20

This Day in History

General Interest

Jan 20, 1987:

Terry Waite disappears

On this day, British negotiator Terry Waite disappears while attempting to win freedom for Western hostages held in Lebanon. Waite, special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury, secured the release of missionaries detained in Iran after the Islamic revolution. He also extracted British hostages from Libya and even succeeded in releasing American hostages from Lebanon in 1986. A total of 10 captives had been released through Waite's efforts before Shiite Muslims seized him during a return mission to Beirut on January 20, 1987. He was not released for more than four years.

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