ATLANTA, GA -- Right in the heart of Atlanta lies an oasis of green, Freedom Park, which houses the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.
Carter was the first and only president to be a native of Georgia. Though we know the story of the peanut farmer who rose to national heights, there’s much more to learn about the early life of James Earl Carter, Jr. here, including his early career in the Navy and his courtship of his wife, Rosalynn.
The library also chronicles his rise in politics, from Georgia State Senator to serving as Governor of Georgia in the early 70s, during which he made Civil Rights a cornerstone of his administration, which was still not without controversy at that time in the South. His campaign for President includes many buttons and posters of the time, including a benefit concert headlined by the Allman Brothers.
His many notable accomplishments as president are chronicled, including his belief in Human Rights as a part of foreign policy and the Camp David Accord. Visitors are able to walk through a cabin setting to celebrate this famous peace agreement. The Iran Hostage Crisis is also recounted, with an emphasis on Carter’s peaceful negotiations for the hostages’ release.
You can also walk through a life size replica of the Oval Office at the time of Carter, and view a cultural timeline of his years in office, which includes a look back at disco, Star Wars, the victories of Muhammad Ali and the death of John Lennon.
Other exhibits include a range of beautiful gifts from world leaders, including a stunning reproduction of the Crown of St. Stephen, which Carter had returned to Hungary after it was taken by the U.S. following World War 2.
Since Carter only served as president for four years, the library also spends quite a bit of time on his activities after being in office. Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 2002, is housed at the library. Visitors also witness how Carter and his wife Rosalynn helped monitor elections, contributed to fighting the spread of disease and worked to advance human rights around the world.
The grounds of the library are beautiful, and well worth a walk through. In the early 70s, while Carter was still Governor of Georgia, he signed legislation to protect Freedom Park from destruction, and so it’s fitting that it is now the location of his library. Don’t miss the peaceful Japanese garden and the stunning Rose Garden from which you can see a view of the Atlanta skyline.
To learn more about visiting the Carter Library, go to www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov
Produced by East Main Media