Vital Statistics

Full Name: James (Jimmy) Earl Carter

Years in Office: 1977–1981 (39th President)

Born: October 1, 1924

Birthplace: Plains, Georgia

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.

Important Events During Presidency

U.S. and Panama sign treaties to end American control of Panama Canal by year 2000 (1977).

Department of Energy established (1977).

Camp David talks result in Middle East peace negotiation breakthrough (1978).

U.S. and China resume full diplomatic relations (1979).

Separate Department of Education created (1979).

Iranian militants seize more than 50 hostages at U.S. embassy in Tehran (1979).

U.S. military rescue of hostages in Iran aborted (1980).

U.S. boycotts Summer Olympics in Moscow (1980).

News Flash From Past: Egypt and Israel Sign Camp David Peace Accords
Camp David, Maryland, September 17, 1978

President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel signed two unprecedented peace documents today after thirteen days in isolation at the presidential retreat here.

One of the Camp David accords outlines a proposed peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The other is a framework for peace in the Middle East. Begin and Sadat have both applauded President Carter for the role he has played as host and mediator.

Before this, the last major advance in the peace process came in November 1977, when President Sadat made a courageous trip to Jerusalem to address the Israeli parliament. Sadat's trip was criticized harshly by other Arab leaders who still refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist.

Carter invited Sadat and Begin to Camp David after peace talks between the two nations had broken down. Despite Sadat's visit, Israel and Egypt have been in a formal state of war since Israel was founded in 1948. The Camp David accords are expected to bring peace soon.


Jimmy Carter said that he came to Washington determined to change the way government worked. His informal public image helped him in that task. After promising in his inaugural address to return government to the people, the president and First Lady Rosalynn Carter walked hand in hand from the Capitol to the White House rather than ride in a limousine.


For further information about President Jimmy Carter, look in Compton's online encyclopedia (Keyword: Encyclopedia). Some of the information here also courtesy: Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times (1994: Scholastic, Inc.).