Happy 90th Birthday Jimmy Carter!

James Earl Carter, Jr., thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia.  His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.

Jimmy was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.

In the Navy, Jimmy became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Jimmy was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and took graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics. He served as a senior officer of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.

Jimmy Carter served as president from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world. 

On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, four great-grandsons and five great-granddaughters.


Jimmy at the age of one month with mother, Lillian Carter. November, 1924. 

Jimmy in his Annapolis Naval Academy uniform. 1943.

Jimmy Carter, campaigning for the presidency. 1974.

The Carters walk to the White House from the Capitol building.  Inauguration Day, 1/20/77.

Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menahem Begin at the signing of the Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel.  3/29/79.

Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 12/10/02.

-from the Carter Library

Very Funny, JFK

In 1961, New York Post columnist Leonard Lyons contacted John F. Kennedy after seeing Presidential autographs for sale in a store and informed him of the prices. At the time, George Washington’s was priced at $175, Ulysses S. Grant’s at $55, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s at $75, Teddy Roosevelt’s at $67.50, and JFK’s at $75. Below is the response mailed to Lyons.


August 19, 1946:  Bill Clinton’s Birthday

Former president Bill Clinton turns 68 today. The Georgetown, Oxford, and Yale alumnus served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at 46, Clinton was the third-youngest president and the first democrat since FDR to win a second term in the presidential office.

Bill Clinton first ran for office at only 28 years old and has lived much of his life in the public eye. To get a more more candid look at the life and times of America’s 42nd president, check out American Experience’s Bill  Clinton photo gallery.  

Photo:  Bill and Hillary Clinton post together at Yale Law in 1973, where they met at the library (Courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library).