Video Vault: Cleveland Hopkins Airport, hijackings and the new DC-10

Airport 'security' in the early 1970s

CLEVELAND - I remember as youngster riding the CTS Rapid out to the airport from the West Park station to play pinball in the airport’s game room. My friends and I would wander the concourses looking at the planes before heading out to the observation deck.

It was easy to meander around airports in those days.

That all changed as hijacking planes to Cuba became an epidemic in the late 1960s into the early 1970s.

Given the state of security back then, it was not that difficult to take a weapon onto a plane or just tell a flight attendant you had a weapon and wanted the plane to go to Cuba.

“Skyjacking,” as it became known, virtually ended in the early 1970s with screening of passengers as well as same international pacts making it a crime worldwide, including in Cuba.

Our video player contains some film of the Hopkins Airport before those stricter measures were put in place.

With the security we have today, it seems like a naive period back then. Security officers search trash cans and use metal detectors in a suitcase and handheld scanners to check passengers.

Some of the film segments are silent.

There is an interview with a man describing how they’ll check the usual suspects, in essence profiling people who may be trouble.

Archie Bunker had a novel approach to solving the hijacking problem in an episode of "All in the Family."

"Arm all the passengers," was Archie's solution on the popular TV show.

In happier aviation news, I’ve included some clips of United Airlines showing off their new DC-10 aircraft at Hopkins – those engines put out much more smoke back then.

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