Home Muhammad Newcastle in 1977: From an American President to Muhammad Ali in 10 photos

Newcastle in 1977: From an American President to Muhammad Ali in 10 photos


Our 10 striking photographs from the ChronicleLive archive recall some of what was happening around Newcastle 45 years ago

There were high profile visitors to Newcastle in 1977.

In July, Her Majesty the Queen and boxing legend Muhammad Ali only missed each other for a few days.

The Queen was in the middle of her Silver Jubilee tour of the UK, while world heavyweight champion Ali remarkably accepted an invitation to come to Tyneside to help raise money for a local boxing club.

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Thousands turned out to give both an enthusiastic reception.

And two months earlier, in May, newly installed US President Jimmy Carter handed him the red carpet when he stepped off his plane, Air Force One, at Newcastle International Airport.

Carter’s wife, Rosalynn, had started the Friendship Force to build bridges between the United States and the rest of the world.

One of the first cities to get involved was Newcastle, and exchanges involving 762 travelers were to take place with Atlanta.

Those involved would stay in each other’s homes, experience each other’s work, and learn about life in a foreign country.

The Carters were eager to see the North East of England for themselves.

The Chronicle reports: “They filled the airport. They filled the streets. They filled the area outside the Civic Center and opened their arms to him. And he loved it. A big smile spread across his face at the airport as he was greeted by crowds waving both the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes.

Our photograph of the President stepping out of his plane at Newcastle Airport is one of 10 we have chosen from the archives that recalls some of what was happening in the city in 1977.

Meanwhile, in the news 45 years ago, the first Apple computer went on sale in the United States; British firefighters went on strike to pay; and at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee, Elvis Presley died at the premature age of 42.

Ironically, the death of “The King” led to a surge in record sales, which provided plenty of work for RCA’s Washington, Tyne and Wear factory.

In cinemas, in 1977, blockbuster films included The Spy Who Loved Me, Star Wars, The Deep, Smokey And The Bandit and Capricorn One.

On the UK pop charts, number one singles included Mull of Kintyre by Wings, I Feel Love by Donna Summer and Knowing Me Knowing You by Abba.

And on TV there were debuts for Citizen Smith, Robin’s Nest and The Paper Lads, which was set in Tyneside and featured the adventures of a group of youngsters on their daily rounds.

Discover our 10 photographs taken in Newcastle in 1977.

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