FLASHBACK 1977: President Carter comes to Jackson, Yazoo City
July 21, 1977: President Jimmy Carter, after being on the job for less than seven months, visits Mississippi.
Carter arrived at the Jackson Municipal Airport during a rain storm, but that didn't keep him from greeting the crowd of supporters who had gathered at Thompson Field to witness his arrival.
Carter greeted more supporters at the Coliseum Ramada Inn, where Governor Cliff Finch introduced him to the crowd. He indicated he felt right at home, since he himself was a southerner.
Carter spent the night in Yazoo City at the home of Owen Cooper, a longtime civic leader and businessman who most recently had served as head of Mississippi Chemical Corporation. Cooper had casually invited Carter to visit Yazoo City while in Washington earlier that year, and the president decided to take him up on his offer.
While in Yazoo City, President Carter participated in a "town meeting" where residents were able to ask him questions. It was televised live by Mississippi ETV (now MPB). The meeting was held in a brand-new high-school auditorium, but the air conditioning had broken just 24 hours before the president's visit. As a result, those in attendance waved fans to keep cool, and Carter removed his sportcoat.
NBC and other media outlets spent days in Yazoo City before the president's visit, filing reports about the town and its people.
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