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Four presidents come together after assassination of Anwar Sadat

Four presidents come together after assassination of Anwar Sadat

Oct. 8, 1981: As former presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter listen, President Ronald Reagan reads a statement outside the White House on the death of Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat.

In 1979, President Carter helped broker a peace treaty between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. On Oct. 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated in Cairo.

The three former presidents represented the United States at Sadat’s funeral in Egypt.

This front-page image by staff photographer Bernie Boston appeared in the Oct. 9, 1981, edition of the Los Angeles Times. Staff writer George Skelton reported:

WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented gathering, President Reagan met at the White House on Thursday night with three living former American Presidents and saw them off as members of the official U.S. delegation to the funeral of slain Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat.

According to the White House and the National Archives, it was the first time — in modern history, at least, and perhaps ever — that an incumbent president and three former presidents have been together under one roof.

With Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon standing at his side on the brightly lighted South Lawn of the White House, Reagan delivered a stern message to Sadat’s enemies.

“To those who rejoice in the death Anwar Sadat, to those who seek to set class against class, nation against nation, people against people,” Reagan said, “ let us stand in defiance and let our words of warning to them be clear:

“In life, you feared Anwar Sadat. But in death, you must fear him more. For the memory of this good and brave man will vanquish you.”

Check out this previous From the Archives post, Five Presidents, which reported on the Nov. 4, 1991, gathering of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and President George H. W. Bush for the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Ventura County.

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