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Part IV, Session 5
Interviewee: John B. Oakes
Interviewer: Mary Marshall Clark
Location: Fifth Avenue, NYC
Date: April 7, 1998


It's April 7, 1998 and this is the tenth session of an interview with John B. Oakes of the New York Times at his home in Manhattan. We are doing this interview for Columbia University. The last time we talked about Jack Kennedy and the environment. Today I'd like to ask you some questions about James [James Earl, Jr.] Carter -- your impressions of him, your meetings with him and your views about him and your views about him and the environment.


Sure. I'll be glad to. The first time I met Jimmy Carter was under odd circumstances. I was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and, of course, I was still, at this point we're talking about -- which would have been 1975, probably -- I was still editor of the editorial page of the Times. I went to Atlanta to the annual meeting and, frankly, got a little tired of hearing various assembled editors praise themselves and how wonderful their work was at these sessions. I remember I went out to a phone booth in the hotel. It was the big hotel on Peachtree Street, I guess, in the middle of Atlanta. I dropped a nickel in the slot, I guess, and called the governor's office, Governor Carter's office, because I had read something about Carter as the coming, new type of progressive governor in Atlanta. I think, if I remember correctly, Time magazine had a big story about him a few weeks or months before. And I thought it would be interesting to have a chat with the Governor, if he could see me. So I called his office on the telephone,

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