Famous Sons: Georgia

Jimmy Carter

The Spanish arrived in Georgia in the middle of the 16th century. They were greeted by the Creek and Cherokee and founded the Santa Catalina Mission on Saint Catherine's Island.

In 1733, James Oglethorpe arrived with a Royal Charter from King George II, a unique plan and a boat load of "worthy poor" from the debtor prisons of England.

In 1730, Oglethorpe was a member of Parliament. He and some of his philanthropic friends secured a Royal Charter from the king to create a colony in Georgia.

The colony was to be made up of a select number of the "worthy poor" as an alternative to debtor's prison.

The number of acres owned by one person was limited in an attempt to maintain "agrarian equality." The number of indentured servants a person could import was regulated. At the end of the indentured person's term, the person would receive a land grant.

On Feb. 12, 1733, the first shipment of settlers arrived at what is now Savannah.

From 1735 to 1750, the trustees of Georgia prohibited African slavery. In 1749, the prohibition on African slavery was lifted.

Georgia was the fourth of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution.

Georgia's favorite son, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, our 39th president of the United States was born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains. He was the first president to be born in a hospital and the first president to live in public housing prior to the White House.

Jimmy Carter's father, Earl Carter, was a successful businessman and invested in farmland. As a youth, Jimmy attended Georgia Southwest College and the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1943, he was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1946, he graduated from Annapolis 60th in a class of 820. He married Rosalynn immediately after graduation.

From 1946 until 1953, Carter was deployed to both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets causing him and Rosalynn to move from duty station to duty station.

In 1948, Carter began his training in the submarine service. In 1952 he began working in the Navy's nuclear submarine program. The next year Carter began Nuclear Power School. Six months into the program, Carter's father died.

Carter was released from active service in October of 1953 and returned to Plains to settle his father's affairs and take over the family peanut farm. After the estate was sorted out Jimmy was left with very little with which to run the farm. The first peanut crop failed due to drought. Rosalynn learned accounting to keep things afloat. During their first years in Plains, the Carter family lived in public subsidized housing.

Through study and hard work, Rosalynn and Jimmy made a success of the peanut farm. Jimmy Carter's political career began in state politics, first in the state Senate and then the governorship of Georgia.

In 1977, Carter became the 39th president of the United States. Some of the accomplishments and events of Carter's four years in office were: The pardoning of the Vietnam War draft evaders, the creation of the departments of energy and education, the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties and the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.

The Panama Canal Zone was returned to Panama and the Iran Hostage Crisis occurred, during his presidency.

In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work after he left office. In 2017 he was the first president to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his inauguration and this year, 2019, he became the longest-lived president of the United States.

Written using online sources.

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