October 6, 1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated
Over his 11 years as Egypt’s third president, Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat charted a new course for the country. He expelled Soviet advisors from Egypt and began to reform the economy. On October 6, 1973, he launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces in the Sinai in order to reclaim this Egyptian peninsula captured during the 1967 Six Day War.
In spite of new western investment and U.S. aid, the economy continued to decline, resulting in work strikes and riots over food shortages. Sadat, convinced that war was too costly for his people, took an unprecedented step onto the world stage. He traveled to Jerusalem at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and addressed the Israeli Knesset (parliament) on November 20, 1977, calling for peace in the Middle East.
The following year, the Camp David meetings began between Prime Minister Begin, President Sadat, and President Jimmy Carter. Three scheduled days turned into thirteen intensely frustrating ones. However, on September 17, 1978 the Camp David Accords were signed and the groundwork laid out for the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. Both Sadat and Begin were awarded the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize for their negotiations.
Three years later, in 1981, President Sadat was killed by fundamentalists dissatisfied with the concessions that had been made in the peace process.