Historic Documents of 1982


Edited by: CQ Press

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    Publication of Historic Documents of 1982 carries through an eleventh year the project launched by Congressional Quarterly with Historic Documents 1972. The purpose of this continuing series of volumes is to give students, scholars, librarians, journalists and citizens convenient access to documents of basic importance in the broad range of public affairs.

    To place the documents in perspective, each entry is preceded by a brief introduction containing background materials, in some cases a short summary of the document itself and, where necessary, relevant subsequent developments. We believe these introductions will prove increasingly useful in future years when the events and questions now covered are less fresh in one's memory and the documents may be difficult to find or unobtainable.

    Chronicled in 1982 was the growing concern about the danger of the arms race between the superpowers. The year was marked by increasing tension between the Reagan administration and those in favor of a nuclear freeze. The president, seeking to strengthen the U.S. military, asked for huge budget increases for weapons. At the same time, the administration proposed several arms reduction schemes to the Soviets, while assuring the nation that the Soviet way of life was doomed to failure.

    In the area of health, one report dealing with cancer found links between nutrition and the disease; another reiterated the connection between smoking and cancer. The health consequences of marijuana use were examined, and the Supreme Court decided that regulation of shops selling drug-related paraphernalia was constitutional.

    The year saw at least two wars break out — the conflict between Britain and Argentina for control of the Falkland Islands and the invasion by Israel of Lebanon, resulting in the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization's army from Lebanon. In ongoing struggles, the State Department found new evidence of the use of toxic chemicals in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. Some martial law restrictions were lifted in Poland, but the Solidarity labor union was banned.

    These and other developments, added substantially to the usual outpouring of presidential statements, court decisions, committee reports, special studies and speeches of national or international importance. We have selected for inclusion in this book as many as possible of the documents that in our judgment will be of more than transitory interest. Where space limitations prevented reproduction of the full texts, the excerpts used were chosen to set forth the essentials and, at the same time, to preserve the flavor of the materials.

    CarolynGoldinger Editor Washington, D.C. April 1983

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