Yesterday: Reagan's Rowan whistle stop

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2011

Republican Ronald Reagan brought his first presidential campaign to Salisbury March 19, 1976, when he appeared in the parking lot of the old Rowan Mall, drawing a crowd of about 2,500. Behind Reagan in this photograph from the Post files are Salisbury Mayor Jim Summers, left, and State Sen. Bob Somers. Salisbury Police Chief John Faircloth gave the crowd estimate of 2,500, but he noted ‘quite a few’ people left when Reagan announced that actor Jimmy Stewart would not be appearing as planned. Reagan would not win the GOP nomination that year, losing out to President Gerald Ford, who lost the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Reagan won the presidency four years later and went on to serve two terms, though he never came back to Salisbury. He died in 2004.