Southerners had much riding on Carter’s presidency

“As a lifelong Southerner, I was pleased and proud… to see Jimmy Carter in the White House….But all the while I kept remembering a conversation I had in New York while Carter was accepting the nomination….An old friend whose roots were in in North Carolina had invited me for a drink to celebrate….As we talked, he gradually began to articulate a nagging worry that lay dark and unexpressed in my own breast. I think of his words now as prophetic….

” ‘If Carter pulls this off,’ he said, ‘he’ll go down in history as one of our greatest presidents, and the South will be back in the national fold at last, and on equal terms. But if he fails, Southerners up here won’t be able to find a rock big enough to hide behind, and the South will still be seen as a separate and unequal backwater region, a stepchild of the superior North.’ ”

– FromShades of Gray: Dispatches from the Modern South” by John Egerton (1991)


Charlie Daniels went up to Washington


On this day in 1977: Wilmington-born Charlie Daniels joins the more traditional Guy Lombardo at Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball.

Two years later the Charlie Daniels Band will hit No. 1 on both country and rock charts with the fiddle tour de force “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

Pictured: A CDB crew member’s security tag from the Lew Powell Memorabilia Collection (CK.1287.3099).

And this just in… According to his Web site, the 73-year-old Daniels suffered “a mild stroke” Friday while snowmobiling in Colorado and was released from a Denver hospital Sunday. No plans to cancel his next tour, which begins Feb. 27.