Historic Photo Gallery: 1969 to 1982



1976

On September 23, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford (right) and his Democratic challenger, Jimmy Carter, came to the Walnut Street Theatre for the first of their three debates that fall. That encounter marked the first time in United States history that a president had agreed to debate and only the second time (after 1960) that any televised debates had been held. During the debate the sound system failed leaving Ford and Carter standing at their lecterns in uncomfortable silence for nearly half an hour. (Photograph courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.)