This day in history, the Iran Hostage Crisis ended. For 444 days, 52 U.S. captives were held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. On the same day as Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as Carter’s successor, the Americans were freed.
Click on your choice of subjects related to the Iran Hostage Crisis below, or browse the mini-catalog that contains all of the titles from each of the following topics. Since the items change as our catalog changes, you might see different selections from one visit to the next.
- Iran — The hostage crisis took place from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, in Teheran, Iran.
- James Carter — James “Jimmy” Carter was the President when the hostages were taken. Upon their release, he met the hostages in West Germany on their way home.
- Ronald Reagan — He was feared enough that on the day he was sworn in as President, the hostages were released.
- Shah of Iran — The Hostage Crisis was started by militant Iranian students who were outraged that the United States government had allowed the ousted Shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment.
- Ayatollah Khomeini — He was Iran’s political and religious leader who took over the hostage situation. He let all non-U.S. captives, all female hostages, and minority Americans go early on, citing that these groups were also oppressed by the U.S. government, but held the remaining 52 hostages for the duration of the crisis.
Mini-Catalog for the Iran Hostage Crisis
Titles related to the Iran Hostage Crisis, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, the Shah of Iran, and Ayatollah Khomeini
"I looked down on all the noise and anti-American anger, and I wondered to myself what it would be like to die." — Moorhead Kennedy, Jr., one of the American hostages in Iran
"I absolutely loved reading this original and fascinating approach to the American presidency." — Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer prize-winning historian
"Week by week, every single week since March 1923, TIME magazine has captured history in its flight. The result, after seven decades, is an unsurpassed chronicle of the sweeping forces and great events of the 20th century. ... Now the editors of TIME have collected their reporting on the most memorable individuals of our era in this volume." — The Editors of Time
"We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them this morning as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.'" — President Ronald Reagan
"There is not enough money in all America to relieve the misery of the underdeveloped world. ... But there is enough know-how and knowledgeable people to help those nations help themselves. I therefore propose...a Peace Corps of talented young men and women, willing and able to serve their country..." — John F. Kennedy
"Words That Built a Nation is unique. It collects and explains documents that have established, reinforced, and sometimes refocused the democratic dream. It should be part of every family's library." — Back Cover
"From 550 B.C. until 465 B.C., four kings built the Persian Empire and defended it against rebellions by those they had conquered. But the last two kings reached too far and failed to accomplish their goals." — from "Empire Builders" (page 4)