President Carter Visited Columbus often, we tell you why he always made the trip

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 10:53 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Former President Jimmy Carter, a humanitarian, a leader, father and husband. From peanuts in Plains, Georgia to the White House in Washington D.C. While Carter has traveled the world, how often did this president visit Columbus? One of his most notable times in the fountain city was in January of 1975 while he was Georgia governor and running for the White House.

He stopped in Columbus to give recognition to Curtis McClung, the Police Chief at the time. The reason for the visit? To congratulate him on making the Columbus Police Department the best in the state.

His wife Rosalyn, always nearby, also made plenty of campaign stops for her husband in Georgia and Columbus. Our own Dee Armstrong worked with the first lady often. “She had come to Columbus for a fundraiser she had the Rosalyn carter institute for caregivers, and I was told then that we were the station that they watched,” says Armstrong.

WTVM also covered the president when he campaigned with other political giants like john Lewis when his grandson Jason carter ran for governor back in 2014. “He said Papa I want to be the man who went to prison before he was in office,” says The President at the time was responding to political fallout over Nelson Mandela at the time.

But later in life, former president carter would visit Columbus often to get what most southerners love, a chicken sandwich. “He got in line the secret service just kind of spread out, and he just waited in the line and ordered his food, as if he was just anybody else in the world. He would get his Chick-Fil-A sandwich and sat down, and anyone who came up to him he was very gracious and would speak to them and take pictures,” says Alex Van Owner/Operator of Chick-Fil-A on Wynnton Road. Giving the crew who worked one night a picture that will last a lifetime.