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The Journal Gazette

  • Toni Finch Kelllar | The Journal Gazette: Actress Margot Kidder makes a plea for support or Jesse Jackson on April 29, 1988, at True Love Baptist Church, 715 E. Wallace St.

Monday, May 14, 2018 2:26 pm

From 1988: Margot Kidder campaigns for Jesse Jackson in Fort Wayne

MICHELE F. MIHALJEVICH | The Journal Gazette

This story originally appeared in The Journal Gazette on April 30, 1988:

Jesse Jackson's "Jackson Action Express," led by actress Margot Kidder and former Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, made a plea for support Friday night in Fort Wayne.

"We need your help; we need your passion," said Kidder, co-star of the "Superman" movies. "Rev. Jackson is going to change the course of this nation and make this nation what it should be."

Kidder and Hatcher spoke to about 60 people at True Love Baptist Church, 715 E. Wallace St., to get support and money for Jackson's presidential campaign.

The campaign has launched caravans in the northern and southern parts of the state to get voter support for Tuesday's primary. Earlier in the day, the caravan made stops in Gary, Michigan City, South Bend and Elkhart.

Kidder said the history made during this election will affect the future for her 12-year-old daughter, Maggie, and other young Americans.

There are several battles in which the country will be involved, including nuclear war, drugs and fighting in Central America, Kidder said.

Parents must see that children can't do anything about these issues and do something themselves.

"We've got to fight these battles for them," she said. "Rev. Jackson is the first person running for president in my adult life who I could vote for and not be voting to vote against someone else."

Kidder challenged the audience to hold firm to its belief in Jackson despite the delegate numbers, which show Jackson trailing Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis 1,276 to 852.

"We have a right to have our voices heard in Washington," she said. "Our message, our beliefs, belong to us."

Hatcher, who served five terms as mayor of Gary, is vice chairman of Jackson's national campaign.

"Jesse Jackson is an unusual individual who comes around once in every 20 years," he said. "The last person like him was John Kennedy. Jesse Jackson has the ability to inspire people to reach higher than they would have thought about reaching."

Jackson has three traits -- charisma, courage and competence -- that make him a good choice to be president, Hatcher said.

Individually, groups such as farmers, steelworkers and union members are weak; but united, they are very powerful, he said.

"Jesse Jackson is running for president and will be running for president right through...the convention. He's not backing away, giving up or giving in."