Festive Fun, Friends, and Farewells

The staff of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and warm wishes for a Happy New Year!

A note on our holiday hours: The Library/Research Room will close at 2:00pm on Wednesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 31, 2014. The Library will be closed all day on Thursday, December 25, 2014, Friday, December 26, 2014 and Thursday, January 1, 2015. The Museum will be open normal hours 9:00am to 4:45pm on December 24, 26, and December 31, 2014. The Museum will be closed all day on Thursday, December 25, 2014 and Thursday, January 1, 2015.

In 2015, if you have not already done so, we invite you to become a Friend of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum. Friends of the Jimmy Carter Library are proud partners in helping to support the programs and activities of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The Friends support a wide variety of activities, including bringing outstanding national traveling historical exhibitions to the U.S. South. In appreciation for this vital support, Friends are invited to special events, lectures, and book signings. The annual membership grants free admission throughout the year. The 12 other Presidential Libraries also reciprocate with free admission if they charge admission. Also, the museum shop gives members a discount on all items purchased. Details on becoming a Friend–including membership levels, benefits of membership, and how to apply–can be found online.

Before I close out the last post of 2014, you are probably wondering why the title of the post includes the word “Farewells.” Farewell is a bit of an overstatement… In 2015, The Carter Chronicle will be put on a bit of a hiatus. Announcements might appear on this blog from time to time, but posts will not appear as frequently. In the meantime, you can keep up with the goings-on of the Jimmy Carter Library via Facebook, Twitter, or our website. Don’t forget to check out OurPresidents on Pinterest, as well.

Sincerest thanks to our visitors and researchers and warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a New Year of peace and plenty.

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Giving Thanks and Reading Books

The staff of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum would like to wish all an early HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We are so thankful for those who visit our museum to see the exhibits and  for those who visit our library to research our archival holdings. Your presence always brings a smile to our faces!

(In recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Library & Museum will be closed on Thursday, November 27, 2014.)

We invite those in and near the Atlanta area to join us in December for more of our upcoming author series:

  • Tues., Dec. 2nd …Robbin Shipp & Nick Chiles…Justice While Black
  • Wed., Dec. 3rd…Sandy Althomsons…Inside A Refugee Crisis:  My Time in South Sudan

Visit us online for details about the events and for directions.

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Happy 90th Birthday, President Carter!

Today we celebrate the 90th birthday of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Best wishes from the staff of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum.


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Fall Line-up of Author Events

Wow, so August came and went, didn’t it?

For those in and near the Atlanta area, here’s our line-up for this fall’s author series…and we expect to be adding a few more… (Special thanks to Public Affairs Director Tony Clark for helping to make these wonderful events happen! Tony won an Archivist’s Award in April “…for exemplary accomplishment in developing and sustaining a distinctive author lecture program at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.” Congrats, Tony!)

Unless noted, the readings and book signings are free and will begin at 7pm in the Carter Museum theater. Acappella Books will have copies of the authors’ books available for purchase and signing. Please always visit us online for the latest up-to-date details.

Sept 17th…Tavis Smiley…Death of a King (Cecil B. Day Chapel at 6pm)
Award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King’s life, revealing the minister’s trials and tribulations — denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country’s black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few — all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
This is a TICKETED EVENT. Tickets Available at acappellabooks.com

Sept 18th…Charles Lewis…935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity
Journalist Charles Lewis looks at the various ways in which truth can be manipulated and distorted by governments, corporations, even lone individuals. He shows how truth is often distorted or diminished by delay.

Sept 22nd …Lawrence Wright…Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David (Cecil B. Day Chapel)
A dramatic, illuminating day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter convinced Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to sign a peace treaty–the first treaty in the modern Middle East, and one which endures to this day.

Sept 30th …Simon Winchester…The Men Who United the States
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic delivers his first book about America: a fascinating look at the men whose efforts and achievements helped unify the States and create one cohesive nation.    Program at the Decatur Library..Georgia Center for the Book

October 3rd…Dr. Yamma Brown…Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown & Me
Like every little girl, Yamma Brown wanted her father’s attention, but fame, drugs, jail, and the complicated women in James Brown’s life set the stage for an uncommon childhood. This is her story.

October 8th…Michael Ross…The Great New Orleans Kidnapping
In 1870, the residents of the city of New Orleans were already on edge when two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month old Mollie Digby from in front of her New Orleans home.

October 13th …Bob Herbert…Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has championed the working poor and the middle class. In 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way.

October 15th…James Copenall…A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts: Sudan and South Sudan’s Biter and Incomplete Divorce
Journalist James Copenall argues that Sudan and South Sudan remain deeply interdependent, despite their separation. He also diagnoses the political failings that threaten the future of both countries.

October 28th…Nan Marshall…What Would George Do?
This book takes a refreshing look at our everyday world and gives some helpful tips using George Washington’s words of wisdom.

Nov. 10th…Ritu Sharma…Teach A Woman To Fish
In this firsthand account, Ritu Sharma shares how women can, and are, overcoming the forces that keep them in poverty. She chronicles her travels through four countries—Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Honduras, and Nicaragua—and the intimate interactions she had with the women living there.

Nov. 14th…Rick Bragg…Jerry Lee Lewis, His Own Story
One of the greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis—and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time.

Nov. 17th…Tom Chaffin…Giant’s Causeway: Frederick Douglass’s Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary
Tom Chaffin chronicles Fredrick Douglass’s 1845-47 lecture tour of Ireland, Scotland, and England.

Nov. 18th…Christina Stevens…Love: The Saint and the Seeker
Told through the lens of Christina’s colorful youth, her mind-expanding adventure may prod you to recognize your own life’s calling.

Nov. 19th…Hugh Howard…Houses of Civil War America
A revealing historical and photographic tour of the homes of influential Civil War figures, including Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, Stonewall Jackson, and others.

Wed., Dec. 10th…Eric Posner…The Twilight of Human Rights Law
Eminent legal scholar Eric A. Posner argues that purposefully unenforceable human rights treaties are at the heart of the world’s failure to address human rights violations.

For more information, call 404-865-7109. Information on directions can be found online.

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New Digital Library Goes Live!

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum is excited to announce the official start of its online Digital Library with the “release” of approximately 89,000 pages of digitized textual records from the Presidential “Handwriting” Files of the Office of Staff Secretary. These documents, previously only available in physical form, have been digitized and placed online for easier access. Each file unit has been digitized into a single PDF.

The Staff Secretary is a position in the White House Office responsible for managing communications to the president and circulating documents among senior staff for comment. Sometimes described as “the nerve center of the White House,” the position was first created under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  In the Carter White House, this office consisted of three full-time employees: The Staff Secretary (Rick Hutcheson), the Deputy Staff Secretary (Bill Simon), and the Confidential Assistant (Patty Maloomian.) The Presidential Files of the Staff Secretary Office primarily consist of the daily contents of the President’s outbox, filed chronologically according to the date when each item left the Oval Office.


To access these documents, visit us online. You will notice several expandable sections with descriptive information about the collection. Scroll down further and you will see the Presidential Files series. This series contains several thousands of pages of digitized records available for research. Each “container” is expandable and contains PDFs of each scanned file unit.


So, here’s the big question… What can YOU find in these records?

When the National Archives & Records Administration launched the Citizen Archivist initiative, the goal was to encourage the public to interact with the records of the National Archives by contributing to efforts to make historical records more available and easier to access. In that same vein of thought, we are curious as to what YOU can find in these newly digitized records!

  • Do you wonder what kind of paperwork the President had in his outbox on the date of your birth? (Or your actual birthday if you were born in 1977 or 1978!)
  • Or guess which particular document in file “2/25/77 [1]” in Container 9 of the Presidential Files made me chuckle… (Hint: Vice President Walter Mondale writes what I think many will find to be amusing and endearing commentary in the margins of a particular memo…)
  • Or pick a “day in history” and let us know what you find! On today’s date (July 21) in 1978, I discovered that President Carter signed a letter welcoming the first class of Presidential Management Interns. The Presidential Management Intern Program was established by Carter via Executive Order 12008 on August 25, 1977, “…the purpose of which is to attract to Federal service men and women of exceptional management potential who have received special training in planning and managing public programs and policies.” Nowadays, there is the Presidential Management Fellows Program, which is still an ongoing opportunity. I was not familiar with this program until I began exploring this particular set of records… What will you learn more about?

Share what you find here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. (Sharing the URL of specific file units works best.) We would like to be able to feature select discoveries on our blog and Facebook in October for American Archives Month and Georgia Archives Month!

Good luck searching!

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Summertime is Storytime at the Carter Library!

Do you live in Atlanta or plan on visiting this summer? Looking for fun, affordable, and convenient ways to entertain your little ones? Did you know that the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum holds a seasonal reading program known as Book Nook on select Mondays during the summer months?

Volunteer Program/Tour Coordinator Janet Harris is ready to read! Come visit us for story time at the Book Nook.

Visit us for storytime at the Book Nook

Beginning at 10:00am, a friendly volunteer will read a few themed storybooks to the gathered visitors in the Museum lobby. Stories are geared toward preschool age children (ages 2-5), but younger and older visitors are welcome! Stories conclude at 10:30am, but we invite you to stay a little longer… There is also a world of exploration to be had in the Museum itself and the natural wonder found around the grounds. Take your little ones on a nature expedition to see the diverse flora and fauna found in our city. Enjoy a stroll through the Rose Garden or the new Native Pollinator Garden that has just been completed. Feel free to picnic at any of the tables situated around the grounds or find a shady spot in the field looking toward the ponds.

Statue in Rose Garden

Statue in Rose Garden at Library

The reading program is free and open to walk-in participants. Museum hours are 9:00am-4:45pm on weekdays and admission is free to children under 16; $8 for adults; and $6 for students, military, and seniors with valid ID. Visit us online for additional details and dates.


Grounds of the Carter Library & Museum

[Correction to original post–the museum opens at 9:00am on weekdays, not 9:30am.]

Thanks to Archivist Amanda Pellerin for contributing this post!

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Blue Star Museums Program

Beginning Memorial Day, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum will be participating in the Blue Star Museum program. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.


Best wishes for a pleasant Memorial Day weekend to all–check out the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum’s Facebook page for a look at two individuals who we know will have a wonderful weekend. (Staff bid good-bye and gave thanks to two longtime staff members: Janet Harris, who, oversees our volunteer programs and Jim Doherty, who builds all of our exhibits are retiring this month and will be greatly missed!)

Janet Harris and Jim Doherty Retire from Carter Library & Museum -- Congrats!

Janet Harris and Jim Doherty Retire from Carter Library & Museum — Congrats!

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Plains Chautauqua

May 2-4, 2014
Plains Chautauqua Weekend Event, Plains, GA
Sponsored by the Plains Historical Preservation Trust
Keynote Speaker – President Jimmy Carter 


Travel to Plains, Georgia for a unique opportunity, the first Plains Chautauqua weekend event! “Travel back in time to the mid 1800s and explore the unique history of Plains, Georgia,” birthplace of Jimmy Carter.
The Plains Historical Preservation Trust (PHPT) revived Chautauqua programs for our community in 2008. Many residents of Plains have fond memories of the ‘mini’ Chautauqua programs Miss Julia Coleman held at Plains High School from the 1920s – 1940s. In addition to the programs at Plains High School, Plains had tent Chautauqua programs in the 1920s. 

The purpose of reviving and offering Chautauqua programs is to educate and also to document our rich history. Recent programs have included performances, musicians, authors, historians, and artists. The events have been single program events designed to include PHPT members and people from our community.

Details regarding registration can be found online. Weekend passport registrations will not be accepted after April 11th.

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New Play ‘Camp David’ at DC’s Arena Stage

“President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, plan to join the premiere of the new play ‘Camp David’ by Lawrence Wright that opens in April in Washington.

The Arena Stage announced…that the Carters will serve as honorary chairs of the red-carpet premiere of ‘Camp David.’ It’s a fundraising event scheduled for April 3 to support programs at the theater.

‘Camp David’ follows the pursuit of peace in the Middle East for 13 days during Carter’s presidency, when he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. It will feature Tony Award winner Ron Rifkin as Begin and actor Richard Thomas as Carter.

The production will run from March 21 to May 4.
Associated Press, Feb. 6, 2014
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Saying Good-Bye to Joan Mondale, Advocate of the Arts

The Jimmy Carter Library & Museum would like to express condolences to the Mondale family at the passing of Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, on February 3, 2014.

“Joan Mondale, whose promotion and advocacy of painting, sculpture and other fine arts earned her the nickname Joan of Art in Washington during the vice presidency of her husband, Walter F. Mondale, in the late 1970s, died on Monday in Minneapolis. She was 83.

Her family announced the death in a statement released by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, where the Mondales have long been members. The cause was not specified. The family said on Sunday that she had gone into hospice care.” –The New York Times, “Joan Mondale Dies at 83; Merged Politics With Art” by Anita Gates, Feb. 3, 2014

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