Jimmy Carter

Locals relive 1976 presidential debate

Locals relive 1976 presidential debate

Forty years ago, excitement buzzed around Williamsburg during the run-up to the 1976 presidential debate between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford at William & Mary's Phi Beta Kappa Hall.

"Everybody was just beside themselves," said Sarah Houghland, then president of the League of Women Voters, Williamsburg branch.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political advocacy group founded in 1920 that hosted the 1976, 1980 and 1984 presidential debates.

Houghland's main duty in preparation for the debate was disseminating tickets. She said her main concern was not messing up.

"It puts so many demands on the community when you have something this big...