Playing With History in One Act

40 years ago today something shocking happened.

On July 4, 1979, President Carter suddenly cancelled an important energy policy speech and disappeared to Camp David. The press was confused and outraged. Ten days later, the President emerged from his impromptu domestic summit and gave a new speech, the Crisis of Confidence speech, which later became known as the “malaise” speech. The speech garnered overwhelmingly positive responses at first and many now view the speech as unprecedented, farsighted and insightful. Others think that speech — and the aftermath — ultimately cost him the White House.

“This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.” — President Jimmy Carter, Crisis of Confidence Speech

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