Early Days of the Crisis

Cover of Time from Nov. 26, 1979

Cover of Time on November 26, 1979


Twenty-two days into the 444 day Iran Hostage Crisis, Time’s cover featured a resolute Jimmy Carter superimposed over a menacing Ayatollah Khomeini. The article is relatively kind to President Carter - he was “ trying every weapon and maneuver he could imagine” to free the hostages. The public’s reaction to Carter’s decision to cut off Iranian oil as a show of strength was “quick and strongly favorable.” Unfortunately for Carter, this marks a high point in public opinion for him during the hostage crisis. As the crisis progressed, Carter’s inability to free the hostages made him less popular and bolstered Reagan’s campaign.