Jimmy Carter – Timeline and Major Facts
Bagging the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2002, it is perhaps safe to say that America’s 39th President, Jimmy Carter, attained more recognition in his post presidency than he did during his four-year stay in the White House. About a couple of years into his presidential term, the Georgian-born politician struggled to grapple with the myriad of problems the nation faced – many of them centering around the slow economic growth, rising inflation, and high unemployment. Carter also performed poorly in dealing with the Iran Hostage crisis.
After he was beaten at the 1980 polls by rising star Ronald Reagan, President Carter committed himself to charitable causes in both the U.S. and around the globe.
In this timeline, Worldhistoryedu.com looks at the life and career of Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter: Fast Facts
Born: James Earl Carter, Jr.
Date of Birth: October 1, 1924
Place of birth: Plains, Georgia, U.S.
Parents: Earl Carter and Lillian Gordy Carter
Siblings: including Billy Carter
Education: Georgia Southwestern College; Georgia Institute of Technology; U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland (graduated in 1946)
Wife: Rosalynn Carter (married in 1946)
Children: Jack, Donnel, Amy, James III
Political Party: Democratic Party
Offices held prior to his presidency: 76th Governor of Georgia (1971-1975); Georgia State Senator (1963-1967)
US Presidency: 39th President of the United States (1977-1981)
Predecessor: Gerald Ford
Successor: Ronald Reagan
Most known for: Winning the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize; Camp David Accord
Timeline: Jimmy Carter
1924 – At the Wise Sanitarium in Plains, Georgia, Carter is born on October 1 to James Earl Carter Sr. and Bessie Lillian
1937-1941 – Studies at Plains High School
1941 – Enrolls at Georgia Southewestern College to pursue an engineering program
1942 – Transfers to the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1943 – Gets admitted to the Naval Academy
July 7, 1946 – Ties the know with Rosalynn Smith at the Plains Methodist Church
1946 – Graduates from the Naval Academy
1948 – Trains on board the USS Pomfret
1952 – Joins the Navy’s nuclear submarine program
December, 1952 – Forms part of the maintenance crew that heroically handled the meltdown at Atomic Energy of Canada
1953 – But for the tragic passing of his father, Carter would have gone on to complete a nuclear course at Union College in Schenectady. That same year, he leaves active duty, but is still kept in the Navy Reserve until 1961
1954 – Begins working on the family’s farm, which was peanut business; slowly, he grows the business into a very prosperous one.
1961 – Following the tensions from the Brown v. Board of Education case at the U.S. Supreme Court, Carter voices out his support for greater tolerance and racial integration in his community. Using his position as the chairman of the Sumter County school board, he reiterates his support for school integration
1962 – Declares his intention to contest for a seat in Georgia’s Senate; after an initial mishaps in the voting was corrected, Carter strolled to victory
1964 – Gets reelected for a second term in Georgia Senate
1966: Loses the Democratic primary for governor of Georgia
1970: Defeats Republican Hal Suit to clinch the governor of Georgia position
January 12, 1971 – Sworn in as the 76th Governor of Georgia
May 1971 – Appears in Time magazine as one of the most progressive governors in the South
July 8, 1971 – Initiates a cost-cutting initiative across the various departments in the state
April 1972 – Takes an official trip to Brazil, where he has meeting with Emílio Garrastazu Médici, the President of Brazil
1972 – Is a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention
1973 – Gets a seat at the Trilateral Commission
1974 – Becomes chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s congressional
December 12, 1974 – Makes an announcement of his candidacy for the 1976 presidential race
1976 – Uses his book Why Not the Best? – to promote government reorganization for greater public trust
1976 – Wins the Democratic Party nomination for president; his running mate is Walter F. Mondale, a Minnesota Senator
November, 1976 – Defeats incumbent President Gerald Ford by 50.1% to 48%; he garnered 290 electoral votes, as against Ford’s 240
January 20, 1977 – Sworn into office as the 39th President of the United States
April, 1977 – Comes out with the mandatory health care cost proposal
April 18, 1977 – Gives a speech about the worsening energy situation in the United States; he called on everyone to be judicious in the usage of energy
August 4, 1977 – Signs the Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977; the act creates the Department of Energy
October 4, 1977 – Makes an address at the United Nations calling for a “vigorous, free, and prosperous Africa”.
December 31, 1977 – Visits Iran and has meeting with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
1978 – Makes an official visit to the West African nation of Nigeria
October 15, 1978 – Carter’s energy legislation gets passed by Congress
October 24, 1978 – Signs the Airline Deregulation Act, which lifts a number of government controls in the industry
December, 1978 – Carter is shocked to hear of the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan, which results in the execution of dictator, Hafizullah Amin
Carter responds by placing economic sanctions on the Soviet Union; he also places a grain embargo on the Soviets
President Carter also calls on U.S. Olympic team to boycott the Olympics held in Moscow
March 16, 1979 – Senate removes the economic sanctions on Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe)
June 18, 1979 – Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II in Vienna
July 1, 1979 – Has meeting with Park Chung-hee of South Korea; the meeting focuses on security in the Korean Peninsula and Carter’s plan to reduce American forces in Korea.
October 17, 1979 – The Department of Education Organization Act comes into law; the act creates the Department of Education
November 4, 1979 – The U.S. Embassy in Tehran is under siege by an irate group of Iranian students as part of their support of the Iranian Revolution; a total of 52 Americans in the embassy are taken hostage
1980 – Beats off competition from Ted Kennedy to win the Democratic Party nomination for the 1980 presidential election
January 7, 1980 – Signs the Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979, which bails out Chrysler Corporation to the tune of $3.5 billion
April 7, 1980 – Piles up the pressure on the new regime in Iran by imposing sanctions (Executive Order 12205) on them
April 24, 1980 – A rescue operation – dubbed Operation Eagle Claw – to free the American hostages ends in a fiasco, as their aircraft crash – claiming the lives of eight servicemen
October 28, 1980 – Goes up against Ronald Reagan in a presidential debate
November, 1980 – Loses the 1980 presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan
1982 – Establishes the Carter Center – a charity organization whose goal is to promote human rights across the globe
1983 – His sister, Ruth Stapleton, dies
October, 1984 – The South American country of Peru gives Carter an honorary citizenship
1984 – Awarded the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievements
1986 – Involved in securing the freedom of journalist Luis Mora and Jose Altamirano in Nicaragua
October 1, 1998 – The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum opens
1988 – His younger brother Billy Carter passes away
1990 – Loses his sister, Gloria Spann
1994 – President Clinton picks him to aid with negotiation with North Korea’s Kim II-sung
May, 2002 – Meets with Fidel Castro during his tour of Cuba
2002 – Wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades of advancing democracy and human rights; he was also commended for his strong opposition to the war against Iraq during George W. Bush’s presidency
July, 2007 – Becomes a member of The Elders – a Nelson Mandela-inspired group that includes a number of former world leaders, including William Hague, former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, etc.
2008 – Lays a wreath at the burial place of Yasser Arafat in Syria
August, 2010 – Helped in securing the release of Aijalon Gomes who was held in North Korea
August 3, 2015 – Undergoes a minor surgery in his liver
December 20, 2015 – One of his grandchildren – Jeremy Carter – dies
July 2016 – Carter and his wife celebrate 70 years of being married
2017 – Offers his services to President Donald Trump in negotiating a peace deal with North Korea
May, 2019 – Undergoes a hip surgery
November 11, 2019 – Hospitalized at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta
October 1, 2020 – Jimmy Carter celebrates his 96th birthday with his wife Rosalynn Carter.
- Jimmy Carter is the oldest-living president; in terms of age, he is the first U.S. president to cross the 95-year mark.
- He was the oldest among his siblings of three – Gloria, Billy, and Ruth. At high school, his teacher, Julia Coleman, had a long-lasting influence on him.
- A look into his family history, Carter has been shown to be the distant relative of Richard Nixon and Bill Gates
- His father made quite an amount success in his various business ventures in Plains, Georgia. His father was a reserve second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. His father had at some point in time supported segregation laws in Georgia. In spite of that, Carter was still allowed to make friends with African American children in the neighborhood.
- The Great Depression did immense damage to farmers in the Plains, including the Carter family. Had it not been for FDR’s New Deal, most of their businesses would have gone bust.
- Jimmy Carter is credited with authoring more than 30 books, including hits such as Why Not the Best? (1975, 1996); The Blood of Abraham: Insights into the Middle East (1985, 1993, 2007); A Government as Good as Its People (1977, 1996); Always a Reckoning, and other Poems (1995); and Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President (1982, 1995).
- Since its formation in the 1980s, the Carter Center has served as election observer in over 100 elections in more than 30 countries.