“COMING HOME”: The historic Dayton Daily News front page that celebrated a hostage of 444 days leaving captivity

The Dayton Daily News front page of Jan. 21, 1981.

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The Dayton Daily News front page of Jan. 21, 1981.

The Dayton Daily News is noting its 120th anniversary with a weekly series of stories about some of the most historic front pages in its history. Today’s story: The 1981 release of Steve Lauterbach of Dayton, one of dozens of hostages held in Iran for 444 days.


When it was announced that Dayton native and Iran hostage Steve Lauterbach would be returning home, it took over the front page of the Dayton Daily News.

Under the patriotic-designed “COMING HOME” banner, the front page of Jan. 21, 1981 included four stories about Lauterbach and his fellow hostages, who were held for 444 days in the U.S. Embassy.

ExploreCelebrating 120 years: Find archive photos, front pages and stories about the history of the Dayton Daily News

Lauterbach, 29, was an employee of the U.S. Foreign Service. He called his parents from West Germany after he and other former hostages landed there.

“We gave him a lot of phone numbers of people he wanted to call,” his father, Eugene, told reporters.

A Dayton Daily News reporter who was in West Germany to write about the release of the hostages noted that Lauterbach, “wearing a green Air Force jacket over the heavy white turtleneck sweater he has been photographed in several times during his captivity, walked with the other Americans to buses which whisked them the 20 miles to Air Force hospital here in Wiesbaden.”

Lauterbach and his fellow hostages were taken by a group of Iranians who entered the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979. They were set free on Jan. 21, 1981.

THE STORIES BEHIND MORE HISTORIC FRONT PAGES

• Sept. 20, 1975: The arrest of serial killed Neal Bradley Long

• Sept. 1966: The famous west Dayton riots

• Aug. 22, 1898: The first edition of the newspaper called the Dayton Daily News

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January 21, 1981: The front page of the Dayton Daily News covering the return of Steve Lauterbach of Dayton and other Iran hostages. VIEW THE FULL-SIZE PAGE: https://www.daytondailynews.com/rw/Pub/p9/DaytonDailyNews/2018/08/14/Images/1981_01_21.jpg

January 21, 1981:  The front page of the Dayton Daily News covering the return of Steve Lauterbach of Dayton and other Iran hostages. VIEW THE FULL-SIZE PAGE: https://www.daytondailynews.com/rw/Pub/p9/DaytonDailyNews/2018/08/14/Images/1981_01_21.jpg

Combined ShapeCaption
January 21, 1981: The front page of the Dayton Daily News covering the return of Steve Lauterbach of Dayton and other Iran hostages. VIEW THE FULL-SIZE PAGE: https://www.daytondailynews.com/rw/Pub/p9/DaytonDailyNews/2018/08/14/Images/1981_01_21.jpg

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