Presidents: Jimmy Carter

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Jimmy Carter has lived the longest post presidency.

Jimmy Carter

He is highly regarded for his post-presidency work.

James Earl “Jimmy” Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924 in Plains, Georgia. He is the son of James Earl and Bessie Lillian Gordy Carter, Sr. Jimmy as he was known from a young age, was the oldest of four children.

Carter had long dreamed of attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. After beginning his undergraduate studies elsewhere, he achieved admission to the Naval Academy in 1943.

While at the academy, Carter fell in love with his sister Ruth’s friend Rosalynn Smith, whom he would marry shortly after his graduation in 1946.

The couple lived in various bases around the country and he served in deployments in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. While they were in the military, the couple had three sons.

In March 1953 he began nuclear power school, a six-month non-credit course covering nuclear power plant operation at Union College in Schenectady, preparing to become an engineering officer for a nuclear power plant. But in July his father died and the family business became his. Deciding to leave Schenectady proved difficult. Settling after moving so much Rosalynn had grown comfortable with their life. Returning to small-town life in Plains seemed “a monumental step backward,” she said later. On the other hand, Carter felt restricted by the rigidity of the military and yearned to assume a path more like his father’s. Carter was honorably discharged from the Navy on October 9, 1953. He served in the Navy

Jimmy Carter

Reserve until 1961, and left the service with the rank of lieutenant.

While his father died a wealthy man, Jimmy Carter inherited little due to his father’s debts. The family lived in public housing for a year upon their return to Plains, Georgia. Carter is the only U.S. president to have lived in housing subsidized for the poor.

Carter set out to expand the family’s peanut growing business. The transition from Navy to agriculture was not easy and the start into the peanut business took a lot of work and false starts.

In 1963, he was elected as a Georgia State Senator.
In 1971, he was sworn in as Governor of Georgia. By this time he was also engaging in national politics.

In 1976, he ran for president and won the Democratic nomination. He faced off in televised with debates against President Gerald Ford and eventually won the election.

His presidency, which began on January 20, 1977, was a time of continuing inflation and recession.

Jimmy Carter

He visited over twenty five countries during his presidency.

His time in office also dealt with the Iran hostage crisis. An attempt to reprieve the hostages failed in April 1980. This helped lead to him losing re-election, losing to Ronald Reagan.

In 1981, Carter returned to Georgia to his peanut farm, which he had placed into a blind trust during his presidency to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. He found that the trustees had mismanaged the trust, leaving him more than one million dollars in debt. In the years that followed, he has led an active life, establishing the Carter Center, building his presidential library, teaching at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and writing numerous books. He has also contributed to the expansion of Habitat for Humanity, to build affordable housing. Since early September 2012, Carter has been alive longer after leaving the White House than any other U.S. President.

Jimmy Carter

Carter has become a prolific author, publishing twenty-three books.

In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center.

In 2015, Carter announced he had cancer. The following year he announced he was in remission.

On January 20, 2017, at age 92, Carter became the oldest president to attend a presidential inauguration.[

Although his presidency received mixed reception, his peace keeping and humanitarian efforts since he left office have made Carter renowned as one of the most successful ex-Presidents in American history.

 

 

 

39th President of the United States
(January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981)Nickname: “Jimmy”

Born: October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia

Father: James Earl Carter
Mother: Lillian Gordy Carter
Married: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith (1928- ), on July 7, 1946
Children: John William “Jack” Carter (1947- ); James Earl “Chip” Carter III (1950- ); Donnel Jeffrey “Jeff” Carter (1952- ); Amy Lynn Carter (1967- )

Religion: Baptist
Education: Graduated from U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. (1946)
Occupation: Farmer, public official
Political Party: Democrat


  • Georgia State Senator, 1963-66
  • Governor of Georgia, 1971-75

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account

The Three Mile Island Incident
The Iran Hostage Crisis
The Iran-Iraq War started

 

1924 — Jimmy Carter was born on October 1, 1924 to the parents of Earl and Lillian Carter in the small town of Plains.
1930 — Jimmy Carter began first grade at Plains High School.

1941 — Graduating from Plains High School, he enrolled at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus.

1942 — He transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

1943 — Jimmy Carter’s boyhood dream of being in the navy becomes a reality as he is appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis
1946 — He received his naval commission and on July 7, 1946 married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. They moved to Norfolk, Virginia.

1946-1952 — As a naval officer, Jimmy Carter moved his family to several locations including: Virginia, Hawaii, Connecticut, California, and New York. During this time three sons are born, Jack in 1947, Chip in 1950, and Jeff in 1952.

1953 — Earl Carter, Jimmy’s father, died of cancer. Lt. Jimmy Carter resigned from the navy returning with his family to Plains to run Carter’s Warehouse.

1953 — Due to a limited income, Jimmy, Rosalynn, and their three sons moved into Public Housing Apartment 9A in Plains.

1954-1962 — As a young man returning to Plains, Jimmy Carter realized the important role his father played in the community. He began to get involved serving as a member on several local boards. Education was important to him, so he accepted an appointment to the Sumter County Board of Education.

1962-66 — Jimmy Carter is elected to the Georgia State Senate and serves two terms.
1966 — He ran for governor, but lost to Lester Maddox.

1967 — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s fourth child, Amy, is born.

1971 — He ran for governor again and won the election, becoming Georgia’s 6th Governor on January 12, 1971.
1974 — Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for president. Thousands of people visit Plains in hopes of meeting him. The town changes from agriculture based businesses to tourist shops selling souvenirs.

1976 — November 2, 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected 39th President of the United States, narrowly defeating incumbent Gerald Ford.
1977 — Jimmy Carter was inaugurated President of the United States of America on January 20, 1977 in Washington, D.C. President Carter addresses the country on energy needs. The Panama Canal treaty is signed.
1978 — U.S. and the Peoples’ Republic of China establish full diplomatic relations. President Carter negotiates and mediates an accord between Egypt and Israel at Camp David.
1979 — The Department of Education is formed. Iranian radicals over run the U.S. Embassy and seize American hostages. The Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT II) is signed.

1980 — The Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act is signed. A rescue attempt to get American hostages out of Iran is unsuccessful. Jimmy Carter was defeated in his bid for a second term as President by Ronald Reagan in November.

1981 — President Carter continues to negotiate the release of the American hostages in Iran. Minutes before his term as President is over, the hostages are released. Former President Carter leaves Washington, DC and heads to Germany to greet the hostages. President and Mrs. Carter return to their home in Plains, Georgia.

1982 — Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter after much planning and fundraising etablished The Carter Center in Atlanta. Click here for The Carter Center.

1986 — The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum and The Carter Center in Atlanta opens.
Click here for The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.
1987 – Present — President and Mrs. Carter live in Plains, Georgia and travel all over the world helping others through their work with the Carter Center and the Rosalynn Carter Institute. The Carters continue to work to resolve conflict, foster democracy and development, and fight hunger, disease and human right abuses in Asia, Africa, Central America, South America and the United States. In addition, they volunteer one week each year to work for Habitat for Humanity. In Plains, Georgia, the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site was established in 1987. The National Historic Site includes the Depot Museum, Plains High School Museum, and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm.