President Jimmy Carter on Pope John Paul II's visit to the White House
Crowds flocked to see Pope John Paul II as he toured six American cities in the fall of 1979 as a "messenger of brotherhood and peace." On Oct. 6, President Jimmy Carter became the first president to welcome a pope to the White House.
The two agreed not to speak as diplomats, but as Christian brothers. During the meeting, Carter scribbled down a few notes that indicate their discussion topics ranged from Middle Eastern affairs in Jerusalem to the rapidly expanding Protestantism occurring in South Korea. Later that day, the White House issued a statement declaring, "The Pope and the President agreed that efforts to advance human rights constitute the compelling idea of our times."