Historic Documents of 1977


Edited by: CQ Press

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    Publication of Historic Documents of 1977 carries through a sixth year the project launched by Congressional Quarterly with Historic Documents 1972. The purpose of this continuing series of volumes is to give students, scholars, librarians, journalists and citizens convenient access to documents of basic importance in the broad range of public affairs.

    To place the documents in perspective, each entry is preceded by a brief introduction containing background materials, in some cases a short summary of the document itself and, where necessary, relevant subsequent developments. We believe these introductions will prove increasingly useful in future years when the events and questions now covered are less fresh in one's memory and the documents may be hard to find or unobtainable.

    The year 1977 saw a spectacular journey to Jerusalem by Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat. Sadat's dramatic peace initiative did not resolve the deep-rooted disagreements between Israel and the Arab states, but it did set in motion forces that brightened somewhat the outlook for an overall settlement in the Middle East.

    Many of the top news stories of the year reported on the first months in office of the new President, Jimmy Carter. Hoping to redeem the promises of his campaign, Carter sent Congress a large package of far-reaching proposals. An assertive legislative branch, however, was not easily persuaded. Even the President's plan for energy conservation, which he made the centerpiece of all his domestic programs, was not enacted in his first year in office.

    Carter faced a difficult challenge in the wake of disclosures of the freewheeling banking practices of Bert Lance before Lance had become director of the Office of Management and Budget. The President stood loyally by his friend as Lance, during Senate hearings, denied all allegations of wrongdoing. The controversy subsided when Lance resigned. As the year ended, Carter left Washington on the first leg of a trip that would take him to three continents and seven countries in nine days.

    These developments added substantially to the usual outpouring of presidential statements, court decisions, commission reports, special studies and speeches of national or international importance. We have selected for inclusion in this book as many as possible of the documents that in our judgment will be of more than transitory interest. Where space limitations prevented reproduction of the full texts, the excerpts used were chosen to set forth the essentials and, at the same time, preserve the flavor of the materials.

    Patricia AnnO'Connor Editor Washington, D.C. January 1978

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