Mini Page Heroes: Jimmy Carter

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Your Daily Break -

In 1978, Pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter brought two world lead­ers to Camp David, the pres­i­den­tial va­ca­tion home: An­war Sa­dat (sahDOT), the pres­i­dent of Egypt, and Me­nachem Be­gin (BAY-gin), the prime min­is­ter of Is­rael.

The two Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries had been at war for more than 30 years. Many peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren, had been killed in bat­tle and by acts of ter­ror­ism. But Carter be­lieved that if he could get Sa­dat and Be­gin to talk face-to-face, they could be­gin to work out their prob­lems.

Touch­ing their hearts

The Is­raeli leader had re­quested au­to­graphed pic­tures of the three men to­gether. He wanted them for his grand­chil­dren. Pres­i­dent Carter had his sec­re­tary find out the names of the kids, and he per­son­al­ized each photo.

When Be­gin was handed the pic­tures, he thanked the pres­i­dent. Then he looked at the au­to­graphs and read his grand­chil­dren’s names.

The tough old leader’s eyes filled with tears. The sight of those names led him to talk about the special peo­ple in his life and about the ter­ri­ble ef­fects of war on chil­dren.

Af­ter that, the tone of the talks turned around, and a set­tle­ment was reached. In 2002, Pres­i­dent Carter was awarded the No­bel Prize for Peace.

A sim­ple be­gin­ning

James Earl Carter Jr. was born on Oct. 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. His dad owned a gen­eral store and bought some farm­land in Archery, where as a teenager Jimmy was given his own acre to grow peanuts.

Carter was a good stu­dent and was ac­cepted into the U.S. Naval Academy in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, in 1943. He mar­ried Ros­alynn Smith in 1946, and they lived in many dif­fer­ent states while he served on Navy sub­marines.

Af­ter his dis­charge from the Navy, Carter and his fam­ily worked to ex­pand their peanut­grow­ing busi­ness.

Po­lit­i­cal life

Carter served as a Georgia state sen­a­tor and as gov­er­nor from 1971 to ’75, and in 1976 he was elected pres­i­dent.

Al­though he faced many chal­lenges, as pres­i­dent Carter worked for hu­man rights all around the world, for en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, for ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

The Carter Cen­ter in At­lanta con­tin­ues the for­mer pres­i­dent’s work with teams of peo­ple who ob­serve elec­tions all over the world and try to re­solve con­flicts.

photo by Lau­ren Ger­son

An­war Sa­dat, Jimmy Carter and

Me­nachem Be­gin, at Camp David

in 1978.

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