Forty years ago tonight, President-elect Jimmy Carter put the finishing touches on his inaugural speech. He was quiet and reflective as he sat at a desk at Blair House looking across to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
At his side was Zbigniew Brzezinski, his Polish-born National Security Advisor, who assisted Carter in drafting the speech.
Brzezinski suggested and added phrasing that was aimed at bolstering the cause of Soviet dissidents with language that stressed that the new administration would anchor on human rights, the observance of international law and arms limitations.
The lights burned late into the Washington night as Carter and Brzezinski worked, their efforts punctuated by taking calls of congratulations and support from world leaders.
I feel privileged to have witnessed the moment.