Monday, August 29, 2011

James E. Carter

James E. (Jimmy) Carter 39th President of the United States (1977-1981)
Jimmy Carter sites I have seen:

Birthplace, Boyhood homes, High School, church and many other sites in his hometown of Plains, GA

Carter Center, Library and Museum Atlanta, GA

Until recently The Jimmy Carter page on this blog of mine has been the only page that I didn't have any sites to post to it. But going down to Disney, and coming back in June 2013 changed that in a big way. So here we go...

Me at the Main Street sign in Plains, GA. Birthplace and hometown of Jimmy Carter

Historical marker at the former Wise Sanitarium, birthplace of Jimmy Carter in Plains, GA. It is now the Lillian Carter Nursing home, named for Jimmy's mother

Birthplace of Jimmy Carter, He's the first President born in a Hospital

Me at Jimmy Carters birthplace. I had just gotten some peanut butter ice cream from the Main St. area that was melting fast.

Jimmy Carters parents were renting a room in this house when Jimmy was born. So this is where they brought the infant Jimmy home after he was born. Making this his first house. Jimmy's mother Miss Lillian lived here in here final years. It slipped my mind to look this house up while in Plains, However I did walk right past it, not realizing the Carter connection to the house until I got home. So I found this picture of the house on Google.

Boyhood farmhouse of Jimmy Carter in Plains, GA

Me at the boyhood home of Jimmy Carter

Living room of Jimmy Carters boyhood home

Jimmy's room

Plains High School. Where both Jimmy and First Lady Rosalyn Carter attended school. Now it's the headquarters of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. With a small museum inside.

Picture of the Carters on there wedding day. In the former High School

My kids and I see things from the Presidents point of view.

Keeping the kids in line

Plains Baptist Church. Jimmy Carter was baptized here and tought Sunday School here until he left for Washington to be President. He changed churches when the pastor here refused to allow a black guest speaker.

Jimmy, Roslyn and their 3 sons lived in this house at one point. It has been dubbed the Haunted House over the years.

Carter family gravesite. Jimmys parents and brother Billy are buried here

Me at the Carter gravesite. James Sr. Miss Lillian and Billy in the front

Carter historic marker in downtown Plains

This old train station was converted into the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign Headquarters in 1976. It is now part of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

Inside the old train station

Monument to Carter

Jimmys brother Billy ran this gas station while Jimmy was President
The famous smiling peanut

The Carter Center. It's on the same property as the Carter Library and Museum. But it is privately funded. They work as mediators between feuding nations, and try to help fight certain diseases wherever they can. My cousin from Atlanta set up a private tour of the center, So the next few pictures are sort of behind the scenes.

All around the center are various hand paintings that President Carter himself painted. These are paintings he made of his parents.

Rosalyn Carters private office when she is at the center.

Behind these doors is a living area set aside for the Carters when there are here.

I thought this was interesting

Jimmy Carters office when he is here. With a replica of the resolute desk.

A painting that Carter made of himself painting

A painting this Jimmy Carter made of a young Rosalyn

A waiting area in the Carter Center

Picture of Jimmy and his brother Billy. This is the last of the 'behind the scenes' pictures. It was really cool to see the area of the Center that most don't get access to. Now on to the Library - Museum area.

Entrance to the Carter Library and Museum area of the facility.

The cloths that Jimmy and Rosalyn wore on their wedding day.

Replica of Carters Oval Office

Nicky and I in the Museum

The sweater that Carter wore in his famous televised "fireside chat" to the nation

Khloe points out the Mickey Mouse ears in the display

The Camp David Accord was Carters proudest moment as President. It was a peace treaty that he negotiated between Egypt and Isreal.

This next part is probably the coolest thing to happen in this hobby since I shook hands with President George H. W. Bush in 1992 at age 11. When you travel far and wide to visit a Presidents hometown, house, birthplace ect... It is usually a President long ago dead and buried. So when you see their sites you try to imagine what things were like when they were here. But when you visit Plains it is different. Because the President is still there. And is accessible if you really want to see him.

President Carter teaches Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church several times a year. I was very lucky that on the weekend I was traveling down to Disney he was teaching. So I adjusted my schedule to make sure that I would be able to attend.

A friend of mine who had attended before advised me to be there at 7am. So I did and we were the first there. But it didn't take long for others to start strolling in. The first few carloads of us hovered around our cars. When this same friend advised me to jump up to the door, via facebook, I did and became the first in line. The others quickly left there cars and got behind me. This was all very good since about 5 minutes later a large tour bus showed up. I was very glad to be ahead of them.

Doors to the church opened around 830 am. I was first in line but I had more personal affects on me. So one other guy got through before me. I then decided to take the end seat on the second row, since the first guy took the end seat on the first row. This was a great seat. Now this whole time my wife and 3 young kids were hanging out in the van watching movies. We figured that it would be rough on them trying to behave and stay still from 7 am until church was over at noon. But I started to wonder how the photo op would work out after church. I wanted them to be in the picture, but they would have to go through security at some point if they wanted to get close to a former President. So as I sat there I asked Miss Jan what I should do. She is the lady who explains the proper ways to conduct yourself around President Carter. She said to bring them on in and that there was a nursery room that they could play in during the service.

So it was all set. 10am rolled around and President Carter came up to the front to teach Sunday School. The lesson was on Hebrews and how Christians should return to the basic principles of our faith. Throughout the service I was mostly within 5 to 10 ft from President Carter as he taught. It was a good lesson and a great all around experience.

After the sermon I went in the back and round up my family and they ushered us to the front of the line with the rest of the families. As we approached President and Mrs. Carter I was holding me 5 month old son Grant, Jimmy got a big smile on his face and asks how old he was and what his name was. I answered and quickly prepared for the picture. After the picture I thanked him as my wife thanked Rosalyn. As my wife passed President Carter he extended his hand out to shake her hand. Which was kind of funny because Miss Jan instructed all of us not to extend a hand out to them. It was an amazing experience!

Now we are back to Plains. This is Maranatha Baptist Church, current church of the Carters

President Carter just before Sunday School

My family with President and Mrs. Carter in June 2013

In 1976 Jimmy Carter was an outsider who had nothing to do with the chaos of the 1960's and 70's up to that point. The one term Governor of Georgia campaigned hard and pulled off an impressive victory, considering few people outside of  Georgia knew who he was before the campaign.

Today Carter is better known for his charitable post Presidency than his actual Presidency. Carter is now living out the longest post Presidency in American history and is also the 2nd Longest lived President in history behind George HW Bush.


  1. My father and I were at the Carters' church on June 9th, so we must have just missed each other by a week or so.

  2. That's awesome! I hope you guys enjoyed the experience as much as I did. I was their on June 2. Did you get your picture taken with him?

  3. I see you did, just checked out your website. Very cool! And congrats on getting all the VP's as well. I've visited all the Presidents grave sites but still have 9 VPs left

  4. Yes, it was really not a good photo of us, but we got it! I hope you enjoyed reading the story! The website is going through some aesthetic renovations right now so please pardon its appearance. I hope to tackle a lot with it this week though, since I am out of school for break.

    And thank you for the congratulations! I finished up two months ago today, as hard as it is for me to believe. All 41! I'm very glad to have gotten it done while still a teenager too. Which VPs do you have left (apart from the obvious one)?

  5. Your welcome. The one I have left are Tompkins, Calhoun, King, Colfax, Dawes, Garner, Humphrey, Agnew and Rockefeller. I hope to get Calhoun in June. Colfax and Dawes should be pretty easy, I can get them over a weekend. I gotta ask, how did you manage to see Rockefeller?

  6. Three of those, Calhoun, King, and Humphrey were among my last five. That's what happens at the end is you end up with a lot of spread out ones. I went to Charleston early last June to get Calhoun, it was really nice there. Be sure to visit the Heyward-Washington house. It has beautiful gardens, and some Washington artifacts. It's the house of a Declaration signer, and Washington stayed there. I think some of the best pictures I've ever taken were of the garden. So again, Heyward-Washington House in Charleston. Also, since it seems you like to get presidential relatives too, in the same Indiana cemetery as Schuyler Colfax are McKinley's grandparents.

    As for Rockefeller, I've been sworn to secrecy, but all I will say is guards and guard dogs are not fun.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, I have heard of people having trouble getting into the cemetery where Calhoun is buried, do you happen to remember their hours?

      I've heard that the Rockefeller cemetery is on the other side of the fence behind Walter Chryslers tomb in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. My plan is to visit that spot and call it close enough.

    2. I do not recall St Phillip's Cemetery's hours exactly, but for some reason I believe it is open in the morning, closed around lunchtime, then reopened for a few more hours. I had the hours down somewhere and had no problems, but that was nine months ago and I don't have that info anymore. I can't seem to find it on the internet either, but definitely call the office before you go to make sure. Phone: (843) 722-7734