Timeline: Key Moments from the Life of Rosalynn Carter

Plains, Georgia. (AP) — ___

Notable stations and events in the life of former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter:

— August 18, 1927: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith was born at her family’s home in Plains, Georgia. She was the daughter of Wilburn Edgar Smith, a mechanic, and Allie Murray Smith, a seamstress and postal worker.

– Late August 1927: “Miss Lillian” Carter, the neighbor and nurse who delivered Rosalynn, brings her son Jimmy, almost 3 years old, to meet the new baby.

— 1940: Rosalyn’s father died, leaving her to help her mother raise her younger siblings.

— 1945: She begins dating Jimmy Carter, now a midshipman at the Naval Academy and the brother of her best friend Ruth Carter.

— Spring 1946: Graduated from Georgia Southwestern College.

– July 7, 1946: Married Jimmy at Plains Methodist Church, her childhood church. They would have four children: John William (“Jack”), born 1947; James Earl III (“Chip”), 1950; Donnell Jeffrey, 1952; and Amy Lynn, 1967.

— 1946-1953: Rosalynn runs the Carter family while Jimmy serves in the Navy’s nuclear submarine program, reaching the rank of first lieutenant.

— 1955: Started helping Jimmy at the farm warehouse; Before their 75th wedding anniversary, she recalled, she soon “knew more about the business on paper than he did.”

— 1962: She helped Jimmy campaign for state Senate, an office he won in a disputed election that was eventually settled in court.

— 1966: Rosalynn campaigned alone for the first time during Jimmy’s first run for governor of Georgia, a race he lost. But their model of separate election campaigns would be essential to victory four years later and the presidency in 1976.

– 1975 – 1976: Led a “Peanut Squad” made up of Carter’s family, friends and supporters from Georgia who fanned out across Iowa and other key candidate states to expand the campaign person-to-person. The same model they used in Georgia revolutionized presidential campaigns, with Rosalynn becoming Jimmy’s top surrogate.

– January 20, 1977: Rosalynn, the newly sworn-in 39th president, and her family attracted special attention on Inauguration Day by walking down Pennsylvania Avenue instead of riding in an armored limousine. The Carter family enrolls their daughter, Amy, in a predominantly black Washington, D.C., public school. In Atlanta, when Carter was governor, Amy had attended a private school.

– Summer 1977: Rosalyn made a 13-day diplomatic trip to seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean islands. She also urges Jimmy to delay action on treaties that lead to control of the Panama Canal, arguing that they are too politically costly for a first term. He proceeds with treaties.

— September 1978: Rosalynn was with Jimmy at Camp David for the most intense negotiations with Israeli President Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. She listens to the president and advises him daily before the three leaders reach the Camp David Accords. Both Begin and Sadat were friendly toward the First Lady, and Sadat became particularly close to the Carter family.

— November 1979: Rosalyn leads a delegation to Cambodian refugee camps, drawing international media attention to the humanitarian crisis. She convinces the president to accept more refugees into the United States

– Summer and fall of 1980: She campaigned almost daily on behalf of Jimmy, while he was staying in the White House to work on the release of American hostages in Iran.

— 1980: Helped win Congressional approval for the Mental Health Systems Act, allocating more federal funds to local mental health treatment centers. Later, Republican Ronald Reagan reversed course as president.

– November 1980: Reagan refused to grant Jimmy Carter a second term, and received 51.6% of the popular vote, compared to 41.7% for Carter and 6.7% for independent John Anderson.

– 1982: Carter co-founded the Carter Center in Atlanta with the goal of resolving conflicts, protecting human rights, advocating for democracy, and preventing disease around the world.

– 1984: Rosalyn releases her memoir, “The First Lady of the Plains,” in which she admits she misses Washington. It is the first of her five books.

— September 1984: Traveled to New York City, where Carter volunteers built homes for Habitat for Humanity; This would become Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter’s annual work project.

— 1987: She founded the Rosalynn Carter Caregiver Institute, based at her alma mater, to advocate for Americans who provide unpaid care.

– Summer 1989: Rosalynn travels with Jimmy on a week-long African tour that includes an international conference on Guinea worm eradication, perhaps the Carter Center’s most ambitious public health initiative.

– 1996: Founded the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, based at the Carter Center, to help working journalists produce better reporting on this topic.

– 1999: Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton.

– July 10, 2007: Testified before a US House of Representatives subcommittee, urging Congress to require health insurance policies to cover mental health treatment on an equal basis with treatment for other illnesses.

– November 2016: Hosted the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy for the 32nd time.

– October 2019: In Nashville, the Carters participated in person for the last time with the Habitat for Humanity Action Project; The program will continue.

– April 30, 2021: The Carter family welcomed President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to their home in Plains. The pair have been friends since the 1976 campaign, when Biden, then a young lawmaker from Delaware, became the first U.S. senator to endorse Carter for president.

– July 7, 2021: The Carters celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary. She offers advice for a successful marriage, saying: “Every person should have some space. This is really important.

– February 18, 2023: The Carter family announces that Jimmy is entering hospice care at home. They later said they thought he would only live days, but they rebounded to celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary and his 99th birthday later in the year.

– May 30, 2023: The family announces that Rosalyn has dementia.

-September. November 23, 2023: The Carter family makes a surprise appearance in the Plains Peanut Festival parade, riding in a Secret Service vehicle with the windows down in what will be their last public appearance.

– May 17, 2023: The Carter family announced that she had entered in-home nursing care.

– November 19, 2023. Rosalynn Carter died at her home in Plains in the same house where Carter lived when Jimmy was elected to the state Senate in 1962.

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