To mark the 40th anniversary of the Jimmy Carter visit to Newcastle a programme of events is being put in place in the first week of May with the following aims:

  1. To mark a historic visit that many local people still remember clearly and with affection (and subsequent visit to the city and region by Jimmy Carter in 1987 and visits to the region via the Friendship Force of many members of his family)
  2. To highlight our sister city relationship with Atlanta through the programme.
  3. To test the water for the possibility of re-establishing the Newcastle Friendship Force, having been the one that was involved in the very first of the programme of international home-stay exchanges under Friendship Force International.
  4.  To celebrate the principle and practice of international collaboration to/by/from our city and city-region


Main event – 6th May, 10.30am Civic Centre, Newcastle

The main event is at the Civic Centre on the morning of Saturday 6th May and will recall the occasion with film footage, photos and personal reminiscences. The Lord Mayor will preside, as her predecessor Hugh White did 40 years ago.  There will be a number of short speeches including from Lord Jeremy Beecham, Tony Coates (who was a global trustee of Friendship Force International, was on the first trip and subsequently both stayed with, and hosted, the Carters), Cynthia Scott who runs the Friendship Force club in Durham, and hopefully Baroness Hilary Armstrong whose late father Ernest (MP for North West Durham and a junior minister in the Callaghan Government) played an important role in setting up the President’s visit to the North East.

Download the event flyer

How to book

The organisers would like to invite you to join them –  in the Council Chamber on Saturday 6th May, 10.30 am coffee for an 11am start, to finish by about 12.15. If you can be with us, please email your acceptance for management of the numbers, coffees etc. to 

Please use the same email address if you have any memories to share of the Carter visit(s).


Newcastle Libraries is also marking this important anniversary through Local History Week with a talk at the City Library on Thursday May 4th, 2.30pm and an exhibition to bring the visit alive again. You can book for the talk.

Find out more about the 1977 visit and about The Friendship Force.