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.
In the wake of Nixon's Watergate scandal, Democrats score huge gains in the midterm elections, giving them comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress.
Carter announces his candidacy for president.
Carter spends his last day as governor. Georgia laws prevent a governor from succeeding himself. George Busbee is inaugurated.
At a Washington press conference, Carter announces that he has qualified for federal matching funds.
The New York Times runs a front-page story stating, "Carter Holds Strong Lead Going Into Iowa Caucuses," leading to a big increase in media coverage of his campaign.
Carter wins the Iowa Democratic caucuses with 29.1% of the vote.
Newsweek describes Carter's "Peanut Brigade" of campaign volunteers, quoting an Exeter, New Hampshire Democrat: "If that many people thought that much about him to come all the way up here... then he must be a good man."
Carter wins the New Hampshire primary with 29.4% of the vote over Mo Udall (23.9%), Birch Bayh (16.2%), Fred Harris (11.4%), and Sargent Shriver (8.7%).
Carter wins the Florida primary, dealing a blow to former Governor of Alabama George Wallace.
Carter wins the Illinois primary, his first victory in a northern, industrial state.
Carter loses the Massachusetts primary to Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson.
Answering a question about public housing, Carter says that people should be allowed to maintain the "ethnic purity" of their neighborhoods. Despite the controversy which ensues and the anger of many in the black community, Carter sticks by his wording over the next few days before apologizing for his remarks on April 8.
Carter wins the Wisconsin primary.
Carter wins the Pennsylvania primary.
Carter loses primaries in California and New Jersey while winning in Ohio.
Delegates attend the Democratic Convention in New York City. Carter asks Walter Mondale to be his running mate.
Carter begins a series of three day-long meetings in Plains with policy experts.
Playboy editor Barry Golson and writer Robert Scheer talk about Carter's interview in the upcoming issue. Carter's remarks, including the admission that had "lusted after women in his heart many times," cause a major controversy in the coming weeks and hurt him in the polls.
The first debate between Carter and President Gerald Ford, focusing on domestic issues, takes place in Philadelphia.
Carter and Ford meet for a second time in San Francisco, to debate foreign policy. Ford's assertion that there is "no Soviet domination" in Eastern Europe spurs incredulous headlines in the coming days and causes many to question his fitness for office.
Jimmy Carter is elected president of the United States, though the margin is so slight the results aren't known until 3:30 am. Carter beats Ford in the popular vote 50.06% to 48.00%, and in the electoral college 297 to 240.
Inauguration Day. To everyone's surprise, the Carters get out of their limousine and walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
Carter issues a pardon to most of those who evaded the draft in order to avoid going to Vietnam.
Wearing a cardigan sweater, Carter delivers his first national television address on energy policy.
"Ask President Carter," the first presidential phone-in radio broadcast, attracts over nine million callers.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visits Washington. Questions about the Middle East will dominate Carter's news conference on March 9. Meetings with leaders from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia follow in the coming weeks.
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance presents an ambitious SALT II arms reduction proposal to Soviet leadership in Moscow, and is strongly rejected.
Carter pressures NATO allies to re-arm and demands a commitment of a 3% annual increase in their defense budgets.
Carter and President Anwar el Sadat of Egypt meet for the first time.
In her role as the president's emissary to Latin America, Rosalynn travels to Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela.
In a commencement address at Notre Dame, Carter signals the direction he plans to take in foreign policy, rejecting America's "inordinate fear of communism" and calling for a serious commitment to human rights.
President Carter stops the B-1 bomber program, angering defense conservatives.
Carter and newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meet for the first time, in Washington.
A new, cabinet-level Department of Energy is established, headed by James Schlesinger.
Allan Bakke, a 37-year-old white man and former Marine, is denied admission to the medical school at University of California-Davis. He sues, charging that less qualified black students have been accepted. The first major challenge to affirmative action policies, the case goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
Carter and Panamanian president Omar Torrijos Herrera sign the Panama Canal treaties. They provide for control of the canal to be handed over to Panama in 1999, and guarantee the canal's neutrality.
Carter's budget director, friend and adviser Bert Lance appears before a Senate committee to defend himself against charges that he has improperly used his position for personal gain. Since July, the Lance scandal has grown into a major headache for Carter, as it calls into question the high moral integrity he campaigned on. Lance will resign six days later.
National security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski convinces Carter to reconvene the Geneva talks on the Middle East as a way to improve U.S.-Soviet relations. The move alarms the leaders of Egypt and Jordan and angers many in the American Jewish community.
Carter signs the International Covenant on Human Rights.
In a press conference Carter attacks oil companies for perpetrating "the biggest rip-off in history."
The Shah of Iran visits the White House, prompting demonstrations by anti-Shah forces.
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat makes an historic visit to Israel, where he addresses the Israeli parliament, creating a major opportunity for peace in the Middle East.
Carter signs a Social Security measure that would keep the system solvent until 2030, resulting in a huge increase in payroll taxes.
Begin visits Cairo, laying the groundwork for further progress toward peace between Egypt and Israel.
Carter visits Tehran on New Years' Eve. He toasts the Shah, reiterating American support and calling him "an island of stability" in the troubled region.
A nationwide NBC/AP poll reveals that only 34% of Americans think Carter is doing an excellent or good job -- a 21% decline in six months.
The Senate ratifies the first Panama Canal treaty, after an intensive lobbying effort by the Carter White House.
Carter defers production of the neutron bomb.
The Senate ratifies the second Panama Canal treaty.
Gerald Rafshoon, architect of the Carter campaign's media effort, joins the White House communications team.
Senator Kennedy visits Carter at the White House in a last-ditch effort to resolve their differences over national health insurance. Carter wants to phase the program in and make it contingent on the budget. The meeting goes badly and Kennedy accuses the president of a "failure of leadership."
Carter sends Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to the Middle East with invitations to Sadat and Begin to meet with Carter at Camp David. They immediately accept.
The Camp David summit begins.
Begin and Sadat sign the historic Camp David accords.
Congress passes a version of Carter's energy package.
The Democratic Party holds a mid-term conference in Memphis, Tennessee. The Carter administration comes under fire from the liberal wing of the party for its effort to balance the budget at the expense of domestic social programs.
The Carter administration announces that it will normalize relations with the People's Republic of China, completing a process begun by the Nixon administration.
The Shah flees Iran after a year of growing public unrest. Conservative Muslim cleric Ayatollah Khomeini, who had led the popular movement against the Shah, will return triumphantly from exile two weeks later.
Chinese premier Deng Xiaoping arrives in the U.S., where he is warmly received. President Carter warns him against a move into Vietnam, but the Chinese will invade less than a month later.
President Carter journeys to the Middle East in a last-ditch attempt to save the unraveling Camp David agreement. He succeeds after it appears all hope is lost.
Sadat and Begin sign the historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty on the White House lawn.
A nuclear reactor accident at the Three Mile Island power plant in Pennsylvania causes widespread alarm. Within days, former nuclear submarine officer Carter visits the damaged reactor to assess the situation and calm fears. The next month, 65,000 demonstrators march on Washington and demand a shutdown of America's nuclear plants. Carter issues a statement saying that it is "out of the question."
President Carter and Soviet Premier Brezhnev sign the SALT II arms control agreement in Vienna.
Carter holds a "domestic summit" at Camp David to address the energy crisis and figure out how to rescue his presidency from record low approval ratings.
In a dramatic, nationally televised address, Carter addresses what he calls a "crisis of confidence" in America. Though initially well-received, many object to the tone of what is soon dubbed the "malaise speech."
President Carter asks his entire cabinet to resign, eventually accepting five.
Truckers blockade expressways and set off the nation's first energy riot in Levittown, Pennsylvania, resulting in two nights of violence. One hundred people are injured and more than 170 arrested.
U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young resigns after a private meeting with a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the latest in a series of controversies.
Carter welcomes Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega and other Sandinista leaders, who have just toppled dictator Anastasio Somoza, to the White House. He provides them with $118 million in aid.
Carter collapses during a road race near Camp David, contributing to a growing public perception that he is weak.
Carter allows the ailing Shah of Iran to enter the U.S. for medical treatment.
Outraged by the Shah's welcome in America, militant students overrun the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seizing 66 hostages. The 444-day Iranian hostage crisis begins.
Surrounded by his family at Massachusetts' historic Faneuil Hall, Senator Ted Kennedy formally announces he is running for president.
President Carter issues an executive order freezing all Iranian assets in the U.S.
The Iranians release 13 black and female hostages, keeping 53 captive.
Carter officially announces his candidacy for re-election.
The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
In response to the Soviets' Afghanistan invasion, Carter asks the Senate to table the SALT II Treaty and recalls Ambassador Thomas Watson from Moscow.
Carter crushes Kennedy in the Iowa caucuses, carrying 98 of 99 counties.
The president announces the "Carter Doctrine" in his State of the Union message. Any Soviet military intervention in the Middle East will be treated as a direct threat to U.S. national security.
Carter beats Kennedy in the New Hampshire primary.
The president urges a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.
Carter loses the New York primary to Kennedy by 16%.
A hostage rescue mission, called "Desert One," ends in disaster when two helicopters fail, and a third crashes into a plane during takeoff. Several days earlier, Secretary of State Vance had resigned over the decision to proceed with the mission.
The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington State erupts, killing 57. It is the most destructive eruption in U.S. history.
Republicans nominate former California Governor Ronald Reagan for president. Moderate Illinois congressman John Anderson has already dropped out of the Republican race and entered the presidential contest as a third-party independent.
Carter holds a news conference on "Billygate," the controversy over his brother Billy Carter's dealings with the Libyan government.
The Iranian government indicates they are willing to discuss the release of the hostages.
Ronald Reagan and independent candidate John Anderson debate in Baltimore. Carter refuses to participate because of Anderson's presence.
Iraq invades Iran.
The one and only debate between Carter and Reagan takes place in Cleveland. Reagan effectively brushes aside Carter's attacks by saying, "There you go again," and seals his dominance of the evening with his closing question to voters: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
The Iranian parliament issues a statement making it clear the hostages will not be released before the election.
Reagan defeats Carter 51% to 41% in the popular vote, and in a landslide of 489 electoral votes to 49.
The hostages are released moments after Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office.
Carter meets the released hostages in Germany.
Egyptian president Sadat visits the Carters in Plains.
Israeli Prime Minister Begin visits Plains.
President Sadat is assassinated. Former president Carter will travel to Cairo with former president Gerald Ford to attend his friend's funeral.
Carter meets with advisers at Sapelo Island to plan the Carter Center.
Carter starts teaching at Emory University in Atlanta.
Carter's presidential memoir, Keeping Faith, appears in bookstores.
Carter's sister Ruth Carter Stapleton dies at age 54 of pancreatic cancer. Several weeks later, his mother Lillian Carter also dies.
Terrorists drive a truck loaded with TNT into the U.S. Marine headquarters in Beirut, killing 241 Americans.
Former presidents Carter and Ford co-chair a conference at the Carter Center, "Five Years after Camp David." Though Israel boycotts the conference, the media reports favorably on the attempt.
Carter joins a Habitat for Humanity construction crew in Americus, Georgia for morning devotions and a day of house building. The New York Times reports, "Mr. Carter has been toiling in a callous-raising enterprise that may be unheard of for a former Commander in Chief."
Carter, his wife Rosalynn and 36 others leave Georgia on a Trailways bus headed to New York, where they work on a tenement house for Habitat for Humanity.
Construction of the Carter Center begins.
Ronald Reagan wins re-election with a decisive victory over Democrat Walter Mondale.
The Carter Center sponsors an arms control consultation with eight high-level Soviet officials. Cable news channel CNN airs the final, 11-hour consultation live.
Carter publishes a book, The Blood of Abraham, about the Middle East peace process.
A volcano erupts in Colombia. Carter continues with his previously scheduled trip there and administers the Sabin polio vaccine to two infant boys on national television.
The Carter Center's Global 2000/Sasakawa Africa Association opens its first office in Accra, Ghana. By 1991, the project's end date, Ghana will become a self-sufficient food-producing nation.
President Reagan attends the dedication of the Carter Center. After a gracious speech by Reagan, Carter replies, "I think I understand more clearly than I ever had before why you won in November 1980 and I lost."
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, next to the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, opens to researchers.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter's book, Everything to Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, is published and stays on The New York Times bestseller list for 10 weeks.
The Carter Center convinces Merck, a Fortune 500 pharmaceuticals giant, to donate the drug Mectizan for as long as might be needed to control river blindness in Africa.
Brother Billy Carter dies at the age of 51 from pancreatic cancer.
Jimmy Carter publishes An Outdoor Journal, recounting a lifetime of experiences as a fisherman and hunter.
Former presidents Carter and Ford jointly lead a team of Panamanian election monitors.
Preliminary peace negotiations between the Ethiopian government and the Eritrean People's Liberation Front begin at The Carter Center.
Carter travels to Nicaragua to observe presidential elections. Carter convinces incumbent Daniel Ortega to accept the surprising election of Violeta Chamorro.
Sister Gloria Carter Spann dies at the age of 64.
Carter and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat meet for the first time in a Paris hotel.
Carter monitors elections in the Dominican Republic.
Carter leads a mission to monitor Haiti's first democratic national elections.
Carter attends the inauguration of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Rosalynn Carter announces the formation of "Every Child By Two," a nationwide campaign for early childhood immunization.
Haitian president Aristide is ousted by a military junta lead by General Raoul Cedras.
The Carter Center announces the formation of a Mental Health Task Force under the direction of Mrs. Carter.
Carter announces the Atlanta Project, a major domestic initiative to tackle inner city social problems.
Carter leads an international delegation to observe elections in Zambia.
The Carters visit Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Togo in Africa to promote an effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease.
Carter and others observe presidential elections in Guyana.
The Carter Center monitors the polls during general elections in Ghana.
Carter publishes Turning Point, an account of his first election to the Georgia senate.
Carter and other observers monitor elections in Paraguay.
Guinea worm disease is eradicated in Pakistan.
Carter, along with former presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush, announce they will serve as chairmen of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) commission.
The Carters meet with North and South Korean leaders to discuss nuclear disarmament. A few weeks later, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung dies, aborting the planned reunification talks.
Carter heads a mission to Haiti with former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell and Georgia Senator Sam Nunn at the request of President Clinton. They negotiate terms of departure for Haiti's de facto leaders. The successful meetings avert a U.S.-led multinational invasion and result in a signed agreement for the peaceful removal of the officers from power.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter travel to the former Yugoslavia to facilitate talks among warring Bosnian Muslims and Serbs. The Carter mission produces a four-month cease fire and the resumption of peace talks.
Carter negotiates a two-month Sudanese cease-fire allowing leaders and citizens of Sudan to initiate efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease, prevent river blindness, and immunize children against polio and other diseases.
The Carters lead a 40-member delegation from 11 countries to Jerusalem to observe Palestinian elections.
Carter and Yasser Arafat meet in Plains, Georgia.
A 55-member delegation, including Carter, General Colin Powell, and boxing champion Evander Holyfield observe parliamentary elections in Jamaica.
A Carter Center delegation observes village elections in China. This is the fourth visit by the Center to discuss, observe, or advise the Chinese government on elections.
Carter leads a team of more than 40 delegates to observe the Venezuelan presidential election.
The Carters are joined by General Colin Powell and former Nigerian President Mahamane Ousmane as co-leaders of a 60-member delegation to observe the Nigerian presidential elections.
The Carter Center observes the Cherokee Nation elections in Oklahoma.
The Carter Center helps field a team of 100 observers to the Indonesian parliamentary elections.
President Clinton presents former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Carter calls for the Indonesian government to move swiftly to maintain order in East Timor, where armed pro-integration militias are terrorizing the populace in the wake of the August 30 balloting.
The Carters and former Botswana President Ketumile Masire lead a team of observers to the Mozambique general elections.
Carter Center observers visit Lima and find that Peru's election process does not yet meet international standards for democratic elections.
Carter Center observers in the Dominican Republic praise the elections yet call for improvements in the voting process.
The Carter Center withdraws from observing Peru's presidential run-off election, citing conditions that would make a fair election impossible.
Carter leads a delegation to observe Mexico's presidential elections. The country elects a new president, Vicente Fox, breaking 71 years of rule by the governing PRI party.
The Carter Center observes elections in Venezuela. The elections go smoothly, although delegation members note some technical problems with the electronic vote tabulation machines.
Carter is the first American president to visit Cuba in over 40 years. He calls for the decades-old U.S. trade embargo of Cuba, and challenges Cuban president Fidel Castro to introduce democratic reforms.
The Carter Center celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Carter receives the Nobel Peace Prize for "his decades of untiring efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflict."
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