Scramblin' thru... the U.S. Presidents
"The Peanut Farmer"
"The Alien President"
Election of 1976
Election of 1980
A Presidency in Review
As the 39th U.S. President from 1977 to 1981, Jimmy Carter struggled to respond to formidable challenges, including an energy crisis, high inflation, and unemployment. In the foreign affairs arena, he reopened U.S. relations with China and made headway with efforts to broker peace in the historic Arab-Israeli conflict, but he was heavily damaged by a hostage crisis in Iran. Carter's diagnosis of the nation's "Crisis of Confidence" did little to boost his sagging popularity, and he was crushed in the Election of 1980 by Ronald Reagan. Over the next decades, Carter built a distinguished career as a diplomat, humanitarian, and author, pursuing conflict resolution in countries around the globe. Source: The History Channel
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Jimmy Carter Fun Facts
Carter was the first U.S. President to be born in a hospital. Today, that hospital bears his mother's name... and is a mental institution.
Carter owned a peanut farm and fostered this image in his early campaigns, as a contrast to elite Washington insiders. The farm had been owned by his father.
In 1973, while Governor of Georgia, Carter filed a report with the International UFO Bureau, reporting a UFO sighting in 1969 that was also witnessed by several other people.
During his Presidential campaign in 1976, Carter gave a controversial interview to Robert Sheer for Playboy magazine [pictured right]. After admitting that he had "committed adultery in my heart many times", the Georgia Governor encountered serious political fallout that threatened to derail his underdog campaign. His comments were as follows:
Christ said, "I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery." I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do—and I have done it—and God forgives me for it. But that doesn't mean that I condemn someone who not only looks on a woman with lust but who leaves his wife and shacks up with somebody out of wedlock. Christ says, don't consider yourself better than someone else because one guy screws a whole bunch of women while the other guy is loyal to his wife. The guy who's loyal to his wife ought not to be condescending or proud because of the relative degree of sinfulness.
While he said his comments were "just part of being a human being", and that Playboy Magazine was "just another forum", voters across the country were aghast and negative reactions flowed into the mailboxes of newsrooms across the country.
On April 20, 1979, Carter was attacked by a "killer" rabbit. Carter had gone on a solo fishing expedition in his hometown of Plains, Georgia when the rabbit approached his boat, "hissing menacingly, its teeth flashing and nostrils flared and making straight for the President", trying desperately to enter the boat, causing Carter to flail at the swimming creature with the oars from his boat. Upon returning to his office, Carter found that none of his staff believed his story, insisting that rabbits couldn't swim, or that they would never threateningly approach a person. However, it was later confirmed that a White House photographer had, in fact, captured the plight on camera.
On October 17, 1979, Carter signed into law a bill that created the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education went into operation on May 4, 1980.
Carter is the only President to serve a full term as President and never get to nominate a judge for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Carter's Presidency was characterized by rising energy costs, trouble in the Middle East, and the Iran Hostage Crisis, which played a significant role in Carter's re-election bid in 1980. While Carter was able to broker peace between Israel and Egypt, the economy was largely flat during his Presidency, and the public very quickly lost confidence in his leadership. Accused of being too moderate by the Democratic base, and too liberal by the Republicans, Carter lost in landslide, winning only six states, in the Election if 1980 to Ronald Reagan.
As a young man, Carter shot his sister with a BB gun in retaliation for her throwing a wrench at him. (Oh to be a fly on the wall during THAT exchange!)
Joining the Naval Academy in 1943, Carter served on ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, saw service during the Korean War, and later served in nuclear submarines. Following a meltdown at a reactor in Canada, Carter was part of an elite team that entered the reactor and sealed it off.
For a short period of time, Carter and his wife, Eleanor, lived in public housing. (Public housing provides decent and safe rental housing for low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.) This made Carter the only President in history to have done so.
Carter's brother, Billy, was a walking media circus, which made life for Carter difficult as President. In 1977, Billy Carter endorsed Billy Beer, capitalizing upon his "beer-drinking Southern boy" image which had been developed in the press during the Election of 1976. Introduced in 1977, the beer saw dismal sales figures while in production, but at least two billion cans were produced. Written on each can were these words of endorsement: "I had this beer brewed just for me. I think it's the best I've ever tasted. And I've tasted a lot. I think you'll like it, too" … or… Brewed expressly for and with the personal approval of one of America's all-time great beer drinkers – Billy Carter.
Carter has become one of the most publically active ex-Presidents in U.S. history. In 2002, he became the only former President to earn a Nobel Peace Prize for work performed outside the office of the Presidency. In fact, his post-Presidential career is widely viewed as being far more successful than his Presidential career.