Flashback to 1980: Upper Moreland students graffiti Willow Grove overpass

In 1980, a group of Upper Moreland students graffitied the words “Free the hostages” in red, white, and blue on the Terwood Road Overpass in Willow Grove.

The image above was published in The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on January 18, 1980, during the throes of the Iranian Hostage Crisis in which 52 human beings were imprisoned in Iran for 444 days.

According to WhiteHouseHistory.gov, the crisis contributed greatly to Jimmy Carter’s loss of the presidency in the 1980 election.

“Americans had lost confidence in their leader. It wasn’t difficult. Each night television newscasts relayed images of angry anti-American mobs outside the embassy in Tehran, shouting ‘Death to America,’ ‘Death to Carter.'”

For more on the crisis’ history, you can click here.

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Photo: Temple University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center, Jimmy Carter Library