40 Years Ago Tonight…

President-elect Jimmy Carter works on his inaugural speech at Blair House in Washington D.C., the night before his inauguration. ©1977 Ken Hawkins/KenHawkinsPictures.com

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.

President -elect Jimmy Carter takes calls from world leaders and works on his inaugural speech late into the night of January 19, 1977 with National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski at his side. ©1977 Ken Hawkins/Ken HawkinsPictures.com

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