Video Vault: Presidential debate brings back memories of 1980 debate in Cleveland

Music Hall hosted 1980 debate

CLEVELAND - As we enter the 2012 presidential debate season, we look back at the presidential debate of 1980 held in Cleveland.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1980, President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan came to Cleveland to have their only face-to-face presidential campaign debate.

A debate earlier in the year was not attended by Carter because of the inclusion of Independent candidate John Anderson.

The Cleveland debate was held at Music Hall at East 6th and St. Clair Avenue and was moderated by Howard K. Smith of ABC News. The adjoining Public Hall was transformed into a massive press room.

Rosalynn Carter arrives at Hopkins Airport greeted by, among others, former Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar.

Nancy and Ronald Reagan arrive at Hopkins aboard Leadership 80 and head off by limo to downtown Cleveland.

Ted Henry and Jeff Maynor anchor the WEWS coverage from Public Hall. Ted tosses to reporter Eric Braun, who is at East 6th and St. Clair.

Braun talks about Jimmy Carter’s day and Carter’s walk to Music Hall from the former Bond Court Hotel. The throng of media following the President and the First Lady makes it hard to pick them out, but look closely to see them.

Jeff Maynor throws to reporter Roger Morris. Roger is elsewhere inside Public Hall where ABC News has their anchor desk. This was pre-Peter Jennings when Frank Reynolds anchored World News Tonight.

Ronald Reagan arrives at Stouffer’s Inn On The Square, today the hotel is the Renaissance Cleveland. We see two views of Reagan entering the hotel. The inside view has good look of Reagan waving to the crowd.

To me, that wave inside the hotel is eerily reminiscent of his wave to the crowd outside a Washington D.C. hotel when, as President, he was shot in 1981.

The League of Women Voters’ debate panel has a photo-op on stage at Music Hall. Howard K. Smith is in the center and Barbara Walters is seated far left.

Allen Davis describes the technical aspects of the television debate. The production truck was the same truck that was used by NBC Sports to cover the 1980 World Series.

Finally, Alan DePetro does a stand-up overlooking the media room at Public Hall.

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