Listen: Jimmy Carter in Southern Minnesota

MPR’s John Gaddo reports on President Jimmy Carter’s visit to Wabasha, Minnesota. Segment includes clip of an energy speech by President Carter, followed by a group birthday celebration for Rosalynn Carter and comments from people in the crowd about the visit.


text | pdf |

JOHN GADDO: What started out as a dream for the 2,500 residents of Wabasha, Minnesota, turned into reality when Mayor John Meisch announced--

JOHN MEISCH: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.


JOHN GADDO: Townspeople had only hoped for a glimpse of the president aboard the Delta Queen, but planned a full scale celebration, complete with bands and ecumenical pray in for unity, and a birthday cake commemorating Rosalynn Carter's 52nd birthday just in case the first family decided to come ashore. That, in fact, is what the family did to the surprise of almost everyone there.

Carter delivered a short campaign-style speech on the freedom, strength, and vitality of the country. He said, America is able and eager to meet the challenges of inflation and energy. And with the united efforts of all Americans, he says it's possible to overcome the energy crisis.

JIMMY CARTER: There is no doubt in my mind that we can resolve our energy problem and give our nation security so that no matter what happens in the Middle East, our nation will not suffer-- so that we can be reliant on ourselves. We have the means in our hands to solve our national problem. But the most single important thing is for us to have confidence in one another, faith in ourselves, and to be unified in facing the future. And I think what you've done here this morning in Wabasha, Mayor Meisch and all of you, is a tremendous testimony to what our country can be in the future if we are, indeed, united.


And I think all Americans who will see this on television and read about this in the newspaper and hear this on the radio, to know that the people in Wabasha have come here, a lot more people than live in Wabasha-- I don't know where you all came from.


To show-- to show that you believe in the strength of our country.

JOHN GADDO: The president concluded his remarks by saying, again, that he was pleased with the support expressed by the community and said that the gathering was the best birthday party his wife had ever had. That prompted the crowd to join together in wishing Mrs. Carter a happy birthday.

CROWD (SINGING): Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear [INAUDIBLE].



Thank you. I want to thank you, too, for this wonderful welcome for all your birthday wishes and for your prayers. And I want to thank you for the birthday cake, too, with the energy pledges because, as Jimmy has said, every effort helps. And when you save energy, you help not only yourselves and your community, but you help our whole country. I'm very proud of you and proud to be here today. Thank you very much.


JOHN GADDO: The president then spent about 45 minutes shaking hands and talking with the townspeople.


SPEAKER: Hello, Mr. President.

SPEAKER: Another little Amy.

SPEAKER: OK, have a good trip then.

JIMMY CARTER: Is this goodbye? I'll shake hands with you if this is the last time, OK? You got a deal?


JIMMY CARTER: OK, last time now.


JIMMY CARTER: Eight time I have shaken hands with my good friend. Good luck to you.

SPEAKER: I'll see you.

JIMMY CARTER: OK. How do you feel?

SPEAKER: Weak in the knees.

SPEAKER: Fantastic.

JIMMY CARTER: You're crying.


SPEAKER: Well, it isn't every day that--

SPEAKER: We get to do this.


SPEAKER: We're here to greet President Carter in a nice, friendly way. But we're also want him to know that we're against decontrol of oil prices. I would suggest government controls on the price of oil-- continuation of government controls on the price of oil.

SPEAKER: I can't believe he came through the crowd like that.

SPEAKER: I shook both his hands, both of them.

SPEAKER: It's a great day for Wabasha. We're so proud that the president is sharing this time with us that you can't believe it. This program was for him. His opting to join us has simply completed a dream.

JOHN GADDO: Wabasha Mayor John Meisch and others greeting President Carter and his family in Wabasha. I'm John Gaddo.

This Story Appears in the Following Collections

Views and opinions expressed in the content do not represent the opinions of APMG. APMG is not responsible for objectionable content and language represented on the site. Please use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report a piece of content. Thank you.

Transcriptions provided are machine generated, and while APMG makes the best effort for accuracy, mistakes will happen. Please excuse these errors and use the "Contact Us" button if you'd like to report an error. Thank you.

< path d="M23.5-64c0 0.1 0 0.1 0 0.2 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1 -0.1 0.1-0.1 0.3-0.1 0.4 -0.2 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.1 0 0.2 0 0.1 0 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.2 0 0.4-0.1 0.5-0.1 0.2 0 0.4 0 0.6-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.1-0.3 0.3-0.5 0.1-0.1 0.3 0 0.4-0.1 0.2-0.1 0.3-0.3 0.4-0.5 0-0.1 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.1 0.1-0.2 0.1-0.3 0-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.1-0.2 0-0.1 0-0.2 0-0.3 0-0.2 0-0.4-0.1-0.5 -0.4-0.7-1.2-0.9-2-0.8 -0.2 0-0.3 0.1-0.4 0.2 -0.2 0.1-0.1 0.2-0.3 0.2 -0.1 0-0.2 0.1-0.2 0.2C23.5-64 23.5-64.1 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64 23.5-64"/>