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James Earl Carter, Jr. was born October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia, into a family of fifth-generation Georgians. He grew up in the nearby small town of Archery. A fervent Baptist, He is a product of the Plains public school system. After he graduated from high school he attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program, he was assigned to Schenectady, N.Y., where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics, and served as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine. He would serve under Rickover for the final two years of his career in the Navy, working as engineering officer on the nuclear sub.
He married Rosalynn Smith on July 7, 1946. He met her while he was growing up in Plains. With the death of his father in 1953, Carter returned to Georgia to run the family business. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter's Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company in Plains. In ten years Jimmy Carter proved to be a very capable manager as he grew his family's agricultural business. In addition to his father's peanut business, he expanded by starting a fertilizer business, adding a cotton gin, and increasing the number of acres he owned and leased. Also, when a White Business Council was formed in Plains, Jimmy refused to join. The council tried to force Carter to join by boycotting his many businesses, but he persevered and the members of the council eventually gave up the boycott. This is where he began his career in politics.
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In 1962 a new district was added to the Georgia Senate and Jimmy Carter saw his opportunity to move his ideas forward at a state level. After losing the primary, Carter challenged the results in court. Major mismanagement of the election returns was proven and a recount, after eliminating dead and imprisoned voters proved Jimmy Carter to be the nominee of the Democratic Party three days before the general election. Carter defeated his Republican opponent by less than 1,000 votes. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election, becoming Georgia's 76th governor on Jan. 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and trying to push forward with his agenda of a racially integrated South without completely alienating the existing power structure was a difficult proposition.
Before Carter, became governor, Georgia's politicians had become increasingly weird not only with the people of the state, but with the nation as well. As America became integrated, politicians who supported segregation reflected the position of fewer and fewer of the people they were supposedly representing. Carter's election represented a radical change from the previous governor(s). By the end of his term in 1975 he had shaped the state government into a modern machine, tearing down the barriers of almost 100 years of segregation.
From the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta, Carter watched as George McGovern's campaign for president failed. He felt that just as his predecessors' campaigns had been weird with Georgians, McGovern's liberalism was weird with America. On election night, 1972, Carter began to plan a run for president. On Dec. 12, 1974, at the age of 52, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States. He also announced Walter F. Mondale as his Vice-President. He won his party's nomination on the first ballot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. He defeated Gerald Ford, becoming the 39th President of the United States and ending the old era of politics in America.
Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaty. The Panama Canal Treaties of 1977-1978 were meant to rectify a long-term, serious issue in United States-Latin American relations. In 1903, U.S. military force supported Panamanian revolutionaries in their quest for independence from Colombia, and ensured U.S. control, for a century, of a piece of land in the center of Panama for the Canal. By the 1960s, Panama's calls for control over the Canal Zone had reached high pitch, and United States relations with the country were over.
Since the 1950s, the USA had provided political support and military assistance to the government of the Shah of Iran, hoping to make Iran a bulwark against the expansion of the Soviet Union. However, the Iranian people did not want to be westernized and the Shah fled the country. The Ayatollah Khomeini took over and made Iranians protest against the USA. This protest became reality when the Iranians took Americans hostage. They demanded their Shah should be extradited to Iran before they let the hostages go. It took 444 days before this was carried out and all in all. This was the biggest blow to the Carter administration.
Jimmy Carter is often ridiculed for his story of a UFO sighting. For 10 minutes on January 6, 1969, Jimmy Carter witnessed an unidentified flying object in the skies near Leary, in southwestern Georgia. On a starry night just after dusk, a single, self-luminous object about 30 degrees above the horizon that Carter estimated to be about 300-1000 yards away hovered, changed course and direction, then disappeared. And I quote, "" I don't laugh at people anymore when they say they've seen UFOs. I've seen one myself. It was the darndest thing I have ever seen. It was big, it was bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon."
Well, now we both have a very good idea of who Jimmy Carter was. Devoted Baptist, firm in his beliefs and let his beliefs before he was in politics guide his decisions in politics. All in all, from what I learned about him in this report he seemed to be a very good President and the only reason he wasn't reelected was because of bad timing. He was fervent with his stand on segregation since he was a mere senator. I think that took serious guts, for a public official in that time not to be a middle-grounder, but actually clearly show your side on the issue. Also whenever there was an issue that the people were concerned about he made it an issue for the American people to understand his position on it, no matter how big or small. It is just very endearing. And that's all folks!