Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Plains, GA, Birthplace of President Jimmy Carter

On the occasion of President Jimmy Carter's birthday, I'm excited to share some photos from my visit last year to his boyhood home, Plains, Georgia. President Carter is the first former U.S. President to celebrate a 95th birthday!


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Created for a presidential campaign visit to Indiana, this 13' tall Jimmy Carter Peanut was transported to Plains, Georgia, following that 1976 visit...and it's still there! 


Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Carter's moved to this farm in 1924—Jimmy was born in 1928—which did not have running water or electricity until 1938! A wind-powered mill like this one powered a water pump, easing the burden of having to pump water by hand for the family and farm animals.


Carter Family Store | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Store| Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This is the Carter Family Store where they sold a variety of clothing, foods, medicine, and gasoline, among other items. 

Here are a few prices from that era:

  • Fatback - 5 cents per pound
  • Sugar - 25 cents per 5lb. bag
  • Overalls - $1.00 to $1.75
  • Castor Oil - 10 cents per 1.5 oz bottle
  • Gasoline - 17 to 20 cents per gallon
  • Octagon Soap - 5 and 10 cent sizes; 3 for 25 cents



Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There are numerous barns and sheds on the Cater Family Farm, including a milking barn, a harness shed, a pump shed, and a large barn, which served as a gathering point. Certainly, President Carter spent a considerably amount of time in this barn. 


Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Carter family lived here until 1949. Jimmy became an officer in the U.S. Navy and planned a career as a Naval officer. When his father passed away, Jimmy returned to Plains, Georgia, but not to this farm. Today, he and Rosalynn again live in Plains.


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Plains' antiquity is apparent throughout the town. Nearby, and subtly marked, is the childhood home of Rosalynn Smith, the then future First Lady of the United States. Rosalynn Carter was, and is, a strong advocate for mental health research.


Campaign Headquarters | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Campaign Headquarters | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This 1888 train depot, in Plains, Georgia, served as Governor Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign headquarters for two years. Its modesty bought Plains onto an international stage. Today, it houses campaign memorabilia, including a television of the period 'broadcasting' campaign footage.


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Practically everywhere you go in Plains you'll see Jimmy Carter presidential campaign memorabilia. When Carter began his campaign in 1975 he was called "Jimmy Who?", then won the Democratic nomination over 17 others, and proceeded to become the 39th President of the United States of America.


President's Desk | Plains, Georgia
President's Desk | Plains, Georgia

Built in 1921, Plains High School, where Jimmy and Rosalynn both attended, is today the site of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Visitors Center and Museum. Enjoy making a photo at the President's desk here!

Nobel Peace Prize | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Nobel Peace Prize | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Twenty-one years after leaving Capitol Hill, Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, one of only two Georgians to earn this distinction. Most will agree that the humanitarian work Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have done since leaving office is remarkable and, by far, more than any former president has done for humanity. Regardless of political affiliation, Jimmy Carter is one of the greatest humanitarians in modern times.

I encourage you to visit Plains, Georgia. There's considerably more to see and do than what I've mentioned here, which I discovered thanks to my travel friend Wayne. Put it on your calendar and also go with a friend or family to see this piece of Georgian and presidential history!

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