Lesson plans, activities, and games to help students learn about past presidents and develop leadership skills.
Fun and Interesting Facts About President Jimmy Carter
3–5, 6–8, 9–12
Below are many interesting personal facts about the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, courtesy of the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.
The Basic Facts
- Birthdate: October 1, 1924, 7:00 a.m., in Plains, Georgia.
- Full Name: James Earl Carter, Jr.
- Nickname: Hot
- Years in Office: 1977–1981
- Party: Democrat
- Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
- First Lady: Eleanor Rosalynn Smith
- Children: John, James Earl III, Jeffrey, Amy
- Nickname: Hot
- Fast Fact: The first president born in a hospital.
- Height: 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches tall.
- Eye Color: Blue.
- Hair Color: Light brown/gray.
- Hat Size: 7 (but he doesn't wear hats).
- Music: Likes a wide variety of classical, bluegrass, country, and folk music, including favorites Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Regularly attends ballet, opera, and symphonic concerts.
- Favorite Hymns: "Amazing Grace," "Blest Be the Tie That Binds," and "The Navy Hymn."
Sports and Hobbies
- Played basketball at Plains High School.
- Ran cross-country and played under-140 lb. football at Annapolis.
- Life-long tennis player (the family had a dirt court on the farm when he was a child).
- Plays softball and billiards, bowls, fishes, hunts (especially wild turkey, quail, and dove).
- Rode a motorcycle before entering politics.
- To keep in shape, rides a bicycle, jogs, and plays tennis.
- Dances with Rosalynn.
- Collects bottles and arrowheads.
- Reads 3 to 4 books a week, and has taken a speed-reading course.
- Has paddled canoes, kayaks, and rafts many times on Georgia rivers.
- Panned for gold successfully in North Georgia.
- Sometimes watches television for recreation.
- Has taken a memory retention course.
- Favorite spectator sport is baseball.
Food and Meals
- Breakfast: Usually orange juice, coffee, fruit, and cereal. Sometimes pancakes.
- Lunch: A sandwich, cup of soup, and small salad.
- Dinner: Varies depending on the occasion.
- Snacks: Fresh fruit.
- Favorite Foods: Sirloin steak, medium rare. Any kind of fish or poultry. Corn bread. Any vegetables except beans. Salad with Roquefort dressing. Frozen yogurt.
- First Car: 1948 Studebaker "Commander." Drove it cross-country in 1948.
- Favorite Color: Blue.
- Favorite Gift to Receive (as a youth): Books.
- Favorite Books: "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" by James Agee and "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy (considers it to be "one of" his favorite books).
- Favorite Poets: Dylan Thomas, Miller Williams
- Favorite Spots: Cumberland Island, off the southeast Georgia coast (one of his favorite spots).
- North Georgia mountains. Any trout stream.
"Crimes and Punishment" as a Youth
- Stole a penny from the collection plate at church when he was five years old; was punished by his father.
- Shot his sister Gloria "in the rear end" with a BB gun after she threw a wrench at him; was punished by his father.
- Was denied being selected high school class Valedictorian because he played hooky and went to a movie.
- At Annapolis, Midshipman Carter was paddled and hazed for refusing to sing General Sherman's battle hymn, "Marching Through Georgia."
Influential People in Carter's Life
- Rosalynn Carter: "Rosalynn is probably the most influential person in my life."
- Father, James Earl Carter, Sr.: "He was my best friend."
- Mother, Lillian Gordy Carter: "My mother was compassionate, dynamic, humorous, inquisitive in her attitude about life."
- Charles Kirbo: "Going to see Charles Kirbo was probably one of the smartest things I ever did in my life."
- Julia Coleman: The superintendent of the Plains schools, she encouraged him to learn more about music, art and literature.
- Admiral Hyman Rickover: "Hyman Rickover is by any measure a remarkable man."
- President Harry Truman: "Harry Truman is my favorite president and the one I admire most."
Noted Quotes by Philosophers and Poets
The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.
— Reinhold Niebuhr
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.
The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
A hand rules pity as hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.
— Dylan Thomas
Favorite Bible Quote
Revelation 3:20: Behold I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.