Jimmy Carter's father, James Earl Carter, is born in Arlington, Georgia. His family had emigrated to America from England in 1635, then settled in Georgia in 1780.
Jimmy Carter's mother, Lillian Gordy, is born in Richland, Georgia.
Lillian Gordy is accepted into the nursing program at the Wise Clinic in Plains, Georgia, where she meets Earl Carter.
Earl and Lillian marry.
James Earl Carter Jr. is born in Plains, Georgia, the first American president born in a hospital.
Rosalynn Smith is born in Plains, Georgia.
The Carters move from a house in Plains to a farm in Archery, a couple of miles away.
In the middle of World War II, Carter receives an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He will leave for Annapolis the following June.
Carter graduates from Annapolis. He is assigned to the U.S.S. Wyoming out of Norfolk, Virginia.
Jimmy Carter marries Rosalynn Smith.
The Carters' first child, John William ("Jack"), is born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The Carters move to New London, Connecticut, when Carter is accepted into a six-month submarine officer training school.
Jimmy is assigned to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Rosalynn and son Jack join him a week later.
The Carters' second child, James Earl III ("Chip"), is born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Carters move to San Diego, California.
Carter arrives in New London, Connecticut, as the senior officer of the pre-commissioning detail on the K-1, the Navy's first new ship since the end of World War II.
Carter is accepted into Admiral Hyman Rickover's elite nuclear submarine program.
The Carters' third child, Donnel Jeffrey ("Jeff"), is born in New London, Connecticut.
Carter is sent to the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C. Rosalynn moves with the kids to Schenectady, New York, where Jimmy will work on the U.S.S. Seawolf, one of the first two U.S. nuclear submarines.
A nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Canada, suffers a meltdown. Carter is a member of the team dispatched to the site.
Jimmy's father, Earl Carter, dies of pancreatic cancer.
Carter is honorably discharged from the Navy. The Carters move back to Plains, Georgia, to take over his father's business.
The Supreme Court rules against segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivers the landmark opinion.
The Carters find themselves near the front lines of the civil rights movement when Martin Luther King Jr. comes to nearby Albany, Georgia, prompting resistance from segregationists.
In ruling on Baker vs. Carr, the Supreme Court establishes what becomes known as the "one man, one vote" rule. It will have a major impact on Georgia politics, which up to this time had been largely under the control of local political bosses.
Carter tells Rosalynn he plans to run for the state senate.
Carter loses the primary by 139 votes to Homer Moore, and decides to ask for a recount.
A recount committee rules in Carter's favor and orders a new election, which Carter will win by 831 votes four days later.
The General Assembly session opens in Atlanta. Jimmy Carter is sworn in as state senator.
Carter's mother, 68-year-old Lillian Carter, announces she is joining the Peace Corps.
Carter announces he is running for governor.
Carter loses the Democratic primary for governor. Though severely disappointed, he immediately tells supporters he will run again -- and win -- in 1970.
Several weeks later, he takes a long walk with his sister Ruth, an evangelical Christian. The walk marks the beginning of his "born again" experience.
The Carters' fourth child, Amy Lynn, is born in Plains, Georgia.
Carter and several friends drive to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, to "witness" for Christ. Carter will make a subsequent trip to Springfield, Massachusetts for the same purpose.
Carter formally announces he is running for governor of Georgia, challenging frontrunner and former governor Carl Sanders.
Carter wins 48.6% of the vote in the Democratic primary, beating Sanders. Two weeks later, he wins a runoff with 60% of the vote.
Carter wins 60% of the vote to defeat his Republican opponent, businessman Hal Suit. Arch-segregationist Lestor Maddox is elected lieutenant governor.
Carter is sworn in as governor of Georgia. In his inaugural address, he shocks the audience and gains national attention by unequivocally declaring that "the time for racial discrimination is over."
Carter signs a bill into law that gives the governor authority to propose government reorganization.
At midnight, after a long and bitter political battle, the Georgia Assembly passes Carter's government reorganization plan.
Governor Carter appears on the cover of Time magazine, as a representative of the "New South." His politics contrast with those of Southern segregationists like George Wallace.
Carter arrives at the Democratic National Convention in Miami. Though he had been identified with the movement to stop the nomination of George McGovern, behind the scenes Carter lobbies -- unsuccessfully -- to be McGovern's running mate.
Carter discusses running for president in 1976 with his advisers, including Hamilton Jordan, Peter Bourne, and Gerald Rafshoon.
President Richard Nixon wins re-election handily over Democrat George McGovern.
Governor Carter appears on the television show What's My Line? The panel is unable to guess his job.
Democratic Party chairman Robert Strauss appoints Carter national campaign chairman for the Democratic National Committee. It is the opening Carter needs to forge national connections.
The Carters travel to Europe and Israel. Jimmy meets New York governor Nelson Rockefeller and impresses him so much that Rockefeller recommends Carter for the newly-founded Trilateral Commission, an organization that seeks to bring together North American, Western European, and Japanese opinion leaders.
Senator Ted Kennedy is the featured speaker at the unveiling of a portrait of former secretary of state and Georgia native Dean Rusk at the University of Georgia. Carter upstages Kennedy -- and impresses Rolling Stone journalist Hunter S. Thompson -- with an impassioned speech about the importance of politics as a vehicle for social justice.
Senator Kennedy announces he will not run for president.
A Harris poll lists 35 potential presidential candidates. Jimmy Carter is not one of them.
My American Experience
Who was your favorite 20th-century American president? Was it FDR? Kennedy? Reagan? Or one of the other 14 men who helped usher the United Sates through the 1900s? Who do you think was the most influential?