On the first anniversary of his inauguration as President, Jimmy Carter came home to Georgia tonight for a reunion with his friend, Bert Lance, at what one Democratic Party official called "a gathering of the Carter clan."
The President, joined by at least half the member of his Cabinet and several staff aides, was to attend a $1,000-a-couple Democratic Party fund-raising dinner here tonight.
Lance, who resigned as Carter's budget director last September because of his past practices as a Georgia banker, was to be the master of ceremonies at the dinner.
The President arrived at Dobbins Air Force base in nearby Marietta, Ga., this afternoon, and went immediately to a downtown Atlanta hotel for a private meeting with seven Southern Democratic governors.
Among those who accompanied him from Washington were Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger Jr. and special trade representative Robert S. Strauss. They and other members of the Cabinet and White House staff were to be at tonight's dinner to mix and mingle with the wealthy contributors from throughout the South.
Tonight's dinner was the third sponsored by the Democratic National Committee since Carter's inauguration a year ago today, and, like the earlier two in New York and Los Angeles, was aimed to clearing the party's lingering debt from past campaigns and raising funds for this year's congressional elections.
Earlier this week, Democratic Party official Joel McCleary estimated that the dinner sponsors had already taken in more than $800,000 in contributions. The DNC hopes to net between $650,000 and $850,000 from the event.
Noting the President's roots in Georgia and his sweep of the region of the region in the 1976 election, McCleary said, "This is a gathering of the Carter clan. It's the first time people that I feel elected the guy will be all together."
Following the dinner tonight, Carter was to fly to St. Simons Island off the Georgia coast to begin a three-day vacation. On Saturday he will fly by helicopter to his home in Plains, Ga., to attend funeral services for his uncle, Alton Carter, 89, who died Wednesday.
The President is scheduled to return to Washington from St. Simons Island Monday night.