When Carter stumped Rochester in ’76 and Howard the Duck.

When Carter stumped Rochester in ’76 and Howard the Duck.

In keeping with our Presidential visits to Rochester series, on October 14th, 1976, Georgia Governor and Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter campaigned in Rochester.

On November 19th, 1975, Carter made his first visit to Rochester where he spoke at the University of Rochester and attended a fundraiser with Rochester Vice Major Midge Costanza on East Avenue.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 20 Nov 1975.  Rochester Vice Mayor Margaret Costanza and former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter at party 1150 East Ave … a fund-raising buffet at home of Walter Holloran. D&C photo by Steve Groer 


from Ford Library archives


Fri Oct 15, 1976 page 16

On October 14th, 1976, Carter spoke at the airport and on Main Street with crowds exceeding 20,000.


15 Oct 1976 Fri Metro


1976 election. Red = Ford; Blue = Carter

A few weeks later, Carter would win a close victory over President Gerald Ford. While losing Monroe County, Carter won New York, and won nationwide 50 – 48% (297 – 240 Electoral College).


Sat Mar 27 1976 page 7

As seen in When the P.A. announcer told us Nixon had resigned., many still disapproved that Ford had pardoned Nixon.


Thur Mar 25 1976 page 24

During the primaries, Carter campaigned in Rochester twice, on March 27th and April 3rd. On March 25th, Rosalyn Carter visited the Al Sigl Center.


3 Apr 1976, Sat, regional


1976 Democratic primaries. red = Carter; dark brown = Jackson; pink = Wallace; blue = Church; yellow = Udall; green = Brown


Sat Mar 27 1976 page 9

Carter would lose the New York primary to Henry “Scoop” Jackson, also in Rochester on April 3rd.

Almost forgotten 40 years later, there was a dark horse candidate in the presidential race: Howard the Duck.

As seen in Howard the Duck is not for the birds!, during the 1976 presidential campaign, Howard the Duck mania — the avant garde and experimental comic book series — was at its peak.

Howard would run for president as a political outsider. In many ways, Howard himself represented the average voter, alienated and disillusioned in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

As the series progressed, Howard built a lead over Carter and Ford.


But then Howard had an “October surprise” when he was caught in an interspecies love nest. The Duck’s campaign never recovered.scandalEven as late as summer 1977, my father — a diehard Duckther — believed the vote was “rigged” against Howard and the mainstream comic media conspired against The Duck. Eugene never considered Carter’s presidency to be legitimate.   summer-1977-photo-carol


The Presidential Visits Series in its entirety: James Monroe to Joseph Biden

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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