Jan. 20, 1981: The Iranian hostage crisis ends

As the presidential torch is passed, the U.S. hostages in Iran are released in 1981.
2:46 | 04/14/17

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Transcript for Jan. 20, 1981: The Iranian hostage crisis ends
It wasn't the first time that top Carter administration officials have spent sleepless nights in the Oval Office over Iran. But no matter what it would be their lives. This woman had a different ending. And that's great that's right. The next test at him. Genetic. So maybe that is an evolution in an apparent manifest. Later this morning after word was received that Iran had taken all the necessary steps to make the transfer of its assets possible. Mr. Carter Clifford lacks even more Opel there was always that nagging doubt. It wasn't until the more located on their way to the capital but the president was able to tell the president elect. At the hostages were aboard planes and we'll be airborne in fifty north forty minutes but it would be longer. Finally just before mr. Carter got to Andrews Air Force Base for his trip home to plains hostages departure was officially confirm. They had taken off about a half an hour after he was no longer president. The timing could hardly have an accidental. Once the plane had left Iran's airspace members of the Iran working with the State Department. Protect their first sigh of relief. Begin formally informing hostage families that everyone was out and so. Relief exhaustion and disbelieving world record clearly most. Also with the State Department this is always a Kennedy who would become a hostage family spokesman said she was number. She also described the running last minute Hoya has our whole thing. Sex mrs. Katherine Kim Il who's talking that would schoolteacher who just happen to remember when I was I can say spoke eloquently of the emotion of the laws and. I think what you are looking at is about fifteen months of holding one's emotions in check. And to shed all of that magically with a snap of the finger and say it's over. Is very difficult to do. We are experiencing. A deep compassion. As almost exactly the kind of deep compassion. That the hostages must be going. Outgoing secretary of state mosque he also had some thoughts on what a hostage crisis had meant to him well I suppose this sense. We've known in the footnotes of State Department history is the hostage secretary. I came in because this problem. And because of it I. I destined to continue. And they've come home at the end I think it's perfect.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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