Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Webpage: National Archives and Records Administration

General Description: With the skyscrapers of Atlanta as a backdrop, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is a beautiful setting in the rolling hills of northern Georgia.  The grounds are beautiful with many native trees and natural landscaping.  Along with the Museum and Library, this is also the location of the Carter Center which has been the location for international dignitaries to convene workshop and meetings on issues of world peace and humanitarian assistance.  The museum itself is a tribute to the legacy of President Carter and highlights many of his accomplishments.  The sections of the museum includes exhibits about his childhood growing up on a farm in Plains, Georgia, his naval career on a nuclear submarine, his unlikely campaign for Governor of Georgia, the 1976 campaign for President, the major issues during his Presidency, and his post-president years in diplomacy and humanitarian assistance programs around the world.  The museum includes a replica of the Oval Office during his term as President and a fascinating display of what a day in the life of the President was like for President Carter.  The museum also includes space for traveling exhibits that change over time.  When we were there, this exhibit area displayed a series of photographs of all the recent Presidents with the focus being lighter moments in the lives while they were President.

Brochure

Impressions:

1) I love museums and the Jimmy Carter Museum exceeded all my expectations.  I love to learn about history from the viewpoint of those that lived it.  Of course President Carter was the first time I voted in a national election, so his Presidency holds a special place for me.  Reminding myself of the major issues of the time was great.  What can I say but that this is a must see for anyone interested in U.S. history.

2) The grounds both leading into the Museum and the pond behind the Museum are beautiful.  We especially were impressed with the view of the Atlanta skyline over the pond.

3) I discovered a lot of things I did not know about President Carter in the Museum. For instance, I was not aware of the conditions of his childhood in Plains, Georgia which formed his beliefs about racial equality and the importance of humanitarian issues.  World peace being only one of these issues that he is best known for with the Nobel Prize.  I also was not aware that he originally wanted to be a career naval officer and only with the death of his uncle did he leave the navy to assist with the farm.  Finally, all the work he and Rosalyn have done since he left office are truly impressive.  I could have spent a lot more time in this part of the museum learning about all they have accomplished, especially in Africa.  However, we were both hungry for lunch and decided on a walk around the grounds after lunch instead of spending more time in the museum.

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