More Highlights for News Specials
Charlie Gaddy chats with WRAL GM Jim Hefner before reunion newscast in 2006
Legendary anchors Bob DeBardelaben and Charlie Gaddy share a moment following the WRAL 50th anniversary newscast in 2006
Bob DeBardelaben, Bobbie Battista, Charlie Gaddy and Tom Suiter are joined by successors at reunion in 2006
The USSR ceased to exist on December 26, 1991. A few weeks later, WRAL News anchor Donna Gregory and WRAL photographer Jay Jennings accompanied the NC Friendship Force on a trip to Russia, now formerly the USSR, in mid-January 1992.
People in Moscow had to stand in long lines to shop for food they often could not afford. Those who had a summer home in the country were able to plant food on the farm that enabled them to store enough food to get them through the bleak winter months.
This is the eighth of 11 reports that aired on WRAL News.
In November, 1982 WRAL News sent reporter Shelley Kofler and photographer Bruce Wittman to accompany 100 members of the NC Friendship Force, led by the Carolyn Hunt, wife of NC Governor Jim Hunt, to visit Moscow and Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).
At that time, the relationship between the governments of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and America was in a deep freeze. The Berlin Wall remained as a visual reminder that an “Iron Curtain” divided Europe into two separate ideological and geographical areas. Glasnost and perestroika, openness and political reconstruction, were still a few years away for the Soviets.
The NC Friendship Force did not let these barriers keep them from attempting to thaw relations between the two mighty nations. This grass roots approach proved that common, everyday people can be ambassadors by travelling to countries meeting people on a personal level. They typically stay in the homes of families in the host country so they can experience the everyday life of the culture.
In this eighth and final report, WRAL reporter Shelly Kofler and photographer Bruce Wittman discover the surprising wages for workers in the Soviet Union.