WHICH WAY IS CUBA? In the days before our country became cognizant of our homeland security, airplane hijacks were fairly common events, especially in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A Delta Airlines Super DC-9, carrying a crew of five and seventy-seven paying passengers, was headed to Savannah.
The flight, which originated out of Chicago, was about halfway from the Atlanta airport and its destination when an armed male passenger in the rear seat informed a stewardess that he was armed and wanted to go to Havana, Cuba.
At the time the plane was flying in a southeasterly direction directly above Laurens County. The pilot of Flight 435 radioed F.A.A. officials and reported that the plane was being hijacked. He yielded to the hijacker, who was carrying a bomb, and turned the plane in a southerly direction toward Havana, where the aircraft landed at 10:34 p.m., some seven hours after it took off from Chicago. The hijacking, which occurred on August 20, 1970, was the first of four hijacking of American planes in a five-day period.