Home News Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Celebrate 77th Wedding Anniversary at Home

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Celebrate 77th Wedding Anniversary at Home

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Atlanta (AP) – Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, are celebrating their remarkable 77th wedding anniversary in the comfort of their south Georgia home. The Carter couple, who hold the title of the longest-married first couple in history, both face health challenges as nonagenarians.

Jimmy Carter, who served as the 39th president, is currently 98 years old and has been in home hospice care since February. Meanwhile, the former first lady, Rosalynn Carter, now 95, battles with dementia. While the Carter family has not disclosed specific details about their conditions, it’s been mentioned that they have been able to spend quality time together with their loved ones. The couple has also received occasional visits from close friends.

Reflecting on the Carters’ legacy, their grandson Jason Carter expressed his gratitude for the immense support, respect, and love they have received. “That word, love, is really the one that defines certainly their personal relationship, but also the way they approach this world,” he said.

For over 50 years, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have been a united force in American and international affairs. Their journey as a “full partnership” began long before Jimmy’s political career when they worked together on the Carter family farm business. After leaving the White House in 1981, they established the Carter Center the following year.

Through the Carter Center, Jimmy Carter engaged in numerous diplomatic missions, even collaborating with his Oval Office successors, despite occasional disagreements. Since 1989, the former president and dedicated center employees have monitored at least 114 elections across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Notably, they have expanded their efforts to include U.S. elections in recent times.

The Carter legacy is a testament to their unwavering commitment to each other and their shared vision of making a positive impact on the world. While their health may pose challenges, their enduring love and dedication continue to inspire.

The Legacy of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

Public Health Outreach

Among the numerous achievements of the Carter Center, their efforts to eradicate the water-borne parasite known as Guinea worm disease stand out. In the 1980s, when Jimmy Carter set his goal of eradicating this disease, there were millions of reported cases in the developing world. However, thanks to the center’s dedicated Guinea worm eradication program, the number of cases has significantly decreased over the years. In fact, as of earlier this spring, there have been no documented cases in 2023, compared to less than two dozen cases in 2022.

Mental Health Advocacy

Rosalynn Carter has taken her commitment to mental health treatment and advocacy beyond her time in the White House. She established an annual fellowship for journalists, allowing them to focus on mental health reporting and bring awareness to this important issue. Furthermore, she has been a strong advocate for better services for caregivers. This cause has gained even more prominence recently, with the announcement that Rosalynn Carter herself has been diagnosed with dementia.

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

In addition to their work with the Carter Center, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have become widely recognized for their involvement with Habitat for Humanity. This international organization focuses on building, repairing, and renovating homes for low-income individuals and families. The Carters first volunteered for Habitat in 1984, traveling from Georgia to a worksite in New York City alongside other volunteers. Over time, they have continued to support this cause by hosting annual builds named after the former president himself. Even in their late 80s and early 90s, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have donned hardhats and worked side by side with volunteers.

A Lasting Impact

The influence of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter extends far beyond their time in the White House. Their dedication to public health, mental health advocacy, and serving others has left a lasting legacy. As Donna Brazile, a former Democratic Party chairwoman, aptly stated, “Everything they’ve done is really just an extension of what they started and who they were in the White House.” Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are not only admired for their achievements but also recognized as good-hearted and genuinely decent people.

President Carter’s Solar Panels at the White House

President Carter made history by being the first to install solar panels on the White House. However, his efforts were short-lived as President Reagan removed them just seven years later. Despite this setback, Carter’s commitment to renewable energy left a lasting impact on the conversation surrounding solar power.

A Lifelong Connection

The bond between President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, goes back to their childhood. Their parents were friends, and it was President Carter’s mother who delivered Rosalynn at home in 1927. As young children, they attended the same school in Plains and would often see each other.

Love and Marriage

Ruth, Jimmy’s sister, played a significant role in bringing Jimmy and Rosalynn together. During one of his visits home from the Naval Academy, Ruth acted as a matchmaker, leading to their quick marriage after Jimmy’s graduation. At that time, they had no plans of returning to Plains permanently. However, a family tragedy changed their course.

Returning to Georgia

Following the passing of James Earl Carter Sr., Jimmy’s father, the couple faced a choice. Despite not consulting Rosalynn, Jimmy decided to leave the Navy and move his young family back to Georgia to take care of the family’s farming and warehouse business. This decision marked a turning point in their lives.

An Unexpected Partnership

Rosalynn Carter’s role in the family business grew over the years. President Carter admits that he relied on her expertise and valued her advice. Her knowledge of the business surpassed his own understanding, making her an essential partner in their endeavors. Together, they navigated both personal and professional challenges.

President Carter’s advocacy for women’s rights and his commitment to diversity in federal appointments further exemplify his partnership with Rosalynn. Their bond beyond their marriage has shaped their journey together.

As they celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2021, both President and Mrs. Carter reflected on their journey and the milestones they have achieved.

The Enduring Love and Shared Hobbies of the Carters

A Bond Forged in Politics and Faith

Rosalynn Carter, a skilled campaigner and forceful policy advocate in her own right, emerged from her former president husband’s shadow to become a prominent figure in politics. Overcoming her youthful shyness, she demonstrated her political prowess. Former President Carter recognized this, stating, “My wife is much more political.”

Their enduring marriage can be attributed, in part, to their commitment to open communication and their shared Christian faith. According to the former president, reconciliation is key, as they make it a point not to go to bed with any remaining differences between them.

United by Shared Hobbies and a Competitive Spirit

Beyond their strong bond, the Carters have spent many years indulging in hobbies together, often in friendly competition. Prior to their frailty, they enjoyed playing tennis, hiking, and cycling. As prolific writers, they even engaged in friendly races to finish drafts of their books. Fishing was another competitive activity that brought joy to their lives. Remarkably, they continued to fish well into their 90s on their property in Plains. In more recent years, they developed an interest in bird watching as they slowed down physically.

The Importance of Personal Space

Rosalynn Carter believes that maintaining personal space is crucial for a successful marriage. She emphasizes the need for each individual to have their own space, stating its importance in fostering a healthy relationship.

Looking Ahead

In recent news, Jimmy Carter met with President Biden, who revealed that he had been asked to deliver the former president’s eulogy. Additionally, the Carter Center has been actively monitoring the midterm vote in the Atlanta area. Meanwhile, Georgia Republicans are pushing for the installation of a Clarence Thomas statue on the grounds of the state capitol in Atlanta.

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