Staff Bid Farewell to Director

Jay Hakes, Director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, will be stepping down at the end of July after serving in the position for thirteen years.

Jay Hakes, Director of the Jimmy Carter Library, at the Library & Museum's Rose Garden

Dr. Jay Hakes, Director of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum, at the on-site Rose Garden

A press release sent out in May details Hakes’ departure and career in government. Hakes’ departure from the Library and Museum marks the wrap-up of a long public service career. Per the release, he has served as “…Deputy Executive Secretary and Executive Secretary at the U.S. Department of Interior under President Carter and later as Special Assistant, Executive Office of the President. Beginning in 1981, Hakes headed the Florida Department of Energy. He became Governor Bob Graham’s chief of staff and when Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate, Hakes ran his Florida offices.”

Additional excerpts from the release are as follows:

[…] “As Director, Hakes developed a close working relationship between the Carter Library and the adjoining, non-profit Carter Center. He oversaw the $10 million redesign of the Carter Presidential Museum, which has won seven major awards for its films and interactive exhibits. […]

‘Jay has been a leader for the presidential library system,’ said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. ‘He is the most senior director of the thirteen presidential libraries and has been a key player in our strategic planning to make presidential documents widely available. I will miss his judgment and counsel.’

Prior to becoming the Director of the Carter Library in 2000, Hakes was the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy, a post he held for seven years. […] It was that background in energy that led to Hakes’ selection in 2010 as policy and research director for President Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Taking a seven month leave from the Carter Library, Hakes worked on analysis of the role of offshore exploration and development and the potential for restoring the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Hakes is the author of the 2008 book ‘A Declaration of Energy Independence: How Freedom from Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment,’ and is currently writing a new book on energy issues.” […]

I wanted to ask Dr. Hakes a few personal questions prior to his departure and have included his responses. He is known for his expertise in energy issues and his leadership role within the Presidential Library system–but did you also know that he is known for his expertise in navigating the “restaurant scene” in several cities?

Staff at the Library & Museum and your acquaintances frequently go to you for restaurant recommendations. You’re known amongst those close to you as having an “expertise” in the Atlanta, Washington, D.C. (and other areas, I’m sure!) food scenes. Which restaurants or types of cuisine are your favorites?

Over the years, I have eaten at more than 150 restaurants in each of three American cities: New Orleans, Washington, and Atlanta.  It has been fun to live in Atlanta during the rise of the farm-to-table movement, which provides fresh local food that is both highly tasty and nutritious. In this genre, Restaurant Eugene, Empire State South, and Wisteria are Atlanta favorites. When in Washington, I’m a big fan of Blue Duck Tavern in the Hyatt Hotel on the corner of M St. NW and 24th.

I love Indian food and try to get in visits to Bombay Club and Heritage India when in DC. Indian favorites in Atlanta include Panahar and Bhojanic. A new favorite in Midtown is Cafe Agora, which is Turkish and very convenient for us to pick up some dishes we can eat at home.  I’m eager to try dinner at the new Tunisian restaurant CousCous on the east side of Piedmont Park.

Where would I go if I could only eat out once a year?  Either Restaurant August or Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.

Of all of the special Library & Museum visitors that you have had the chance to meet, who has been the most surprising? Unexpected? (I’m sure meeting Conan O’Brien was a treat!)

It was a special thrill to provide a tour of the museum to Lady Bird Johnson during what I believe was her last trip outside of Texas. She could no longer speak at that point, but had an intense interest in history and wanted to read all the labels. From TV news, I’ve given tours to NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s Cokie Roberts. The great authors Salmon Rushdie and Alice Walker have toured. From the world of government, we’ve had Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Attorney-General Ed Meese. Other celebrities have included Norman Lear, Bill Gates Sr., former CNN CEO Tom Johnson, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. (I forgot we had his picture on the wall, but he spied it.) This year, I gave tours to basketball legends Bill Walton and Lucius Allen, as well as TV comic Conan O’Brien. Both Walton and O’Brien were history majors in college and very knowledgeable about the subject. In a follow up email, Walton said his visit was a life-transforming experience. Of course, walking through the museum with President and Mrs. Carter is always a terrific experience.

Your background in energy is quite substantial and those around you know to go to you with any questions related to the field. Staff knows you to be an avid reader, as well. If pressed to recommend a non-energy book, however, what would you suggest? What are you currently reading? Or, what book (fiction and/or non-fiction) could you re-read again and again?

There are two “classics” that I have found very helpful in life and work and think more people should read. Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932), along with his later works, provides the best guide to ethics that I know of. Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline:The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990) is excellent on the subject of improving the complex organizations that both enhance and frustrate modern life.

My current reading includes the not yet classics. For history, I am a big fan of Ron Chernow, but there are many good historians out there. I have read extensively over the years in the fields of health and nutrition. I have recently finished Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live (2011), which proposes some pretty dramatic changes in diet for most people, but would provide major health improvements if implemented. Right now, I am slogging my way through Kelly Starrett’s very thick Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance (2013).

Of course, my favorite reading at night is the many thousands of pages of documents I’ve collected at presidential libraries and other archives around the country. (This is actually true.) So much of modern history is based on mythology, and these documents (including the Nixon tapes) provide the best way to get to the truth.

What’s your first memory of working with the Library & Museum?

My first day of work at the Carter Library, I was given a scrapbook with pictures and bios of all the employees. I thought that was a very kind thing to do and made me feel very welcome.

Fondest memory?

The day we reopened the renovated museum (October 1, 2009), I realized we had nailed it and that our work effort would become a model for many museums to be built in the following years.

What do you wish people knew about the Library & Museum that they might not already know?

I would guess that most people don’t know we are digitizing the documents that crossed President Carter’s desk. These are the most important ones and he often annotated them. Making them available on the web will constitute a quantum leap for helping historians understand those four years.

Thank you, Jay, for sharing some insights about yourself and best of luck in your future endeavors!  Your work and leadership here have been appreciated and the staff certainly will miss your presence here at the Library & Museum!

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New Exhibit: The American President

There is a new exhibit at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum and we invite you to come visit us!

Ever since Zachary Taylor and the Whig Party won the White House more than 150 years ago, AP reporters and photographers have been the dominant source of presidential news for media across the U.S. and around the world. For a limited time, the Carter Presidential Museum is displaying 70 photographs of American Presidents from the archives of The Associated Press. Among the photos are Pulitzer Prize winning images, as well as fascinating candid shots of Presidents at work and play. “The American President: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press” will be available for viewing from Saturday, May 11, 2013 through Sunday, July 21, 2013. Take a look at a sampling of images on our Facebook page.

The American President Exhibit at the Carter Museum

This exhibit is free with paid admission to the museum. Directions and admission information are available on our website. (Admission may be purchased on-site or online.) For the most up-to-date details regarding events at the Carter Library & Museum, please visit us online.

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Does the Carter Library catch your Pinterest?

The National Archives would like to welcome you to one of its latest social media ventures. Presidential Libraries are now on Pinterest!

“Pinterest is a content sharing service that allows members to ‘pin’ images, videos, and other objects to their pinboards…” –Social Media and Digital Engagement at the National Archives

According to an announcement that went out on the National Archives Facebook page yesterday, OurPresidents” on Pinterest is a space that allows you to follow the individual boards for “…iconic and unusual images of our last thirteen Presidents and First Ladies.” (Announcements also went out on OurPresidents Twitter and Tumblr–there are just so many ways to keep up with Presidential Libraries!)

Our Presidents on PinterestHere is a sampling of a few of the Carter-related images you’ll find on the boards:

Rosalynn Carter and Betty Ford at the Carter Inauguration, 01/20/1977

Amy Carter and Jimmy Carter participate in a speed reading course at the White House, 02/22/1977

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter and Amy Carter with Marcel Marceau, 06/16/1977

Jimmy Carter in the White House Library during a Televised Fireside Chat on Energy, 02/02/1977

We invite you to check out the various Carter-related boards! “Pin” content to your own boards for those of you on Pinterest, as well! Enjoy!


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National Museum Month

I can’t think of a better way to start off this month’s first blog post than to say that May is National Museum Month!

What better time is there than now to recognize the roles that museums play in our communities, especially with all of the recent excitement surrounding Presidential Libraries & Museums (i.e. the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.) My National Archives colleagues behind the blog, Prologue, have also created a wonderful overview of Presidential Library and Museum dedications–check it out in honor of National Museum Month!

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum hopes that you’ll be able to make visiting us part of your plans this month. Again this year, the Carter Presidential Museum will participate in the Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission for active-duty military and their immediate family members from May 27 (Memorial Day) to September 2 (Labor Day) of 2013.

In addition to Presidential Museums, I personally could spend hours (and I have) at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Which museums are your favorite ones to visit?

Museum Rotunda

Rotunda showcasing the “Day in the Life of The President” video at the Carter Museum

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April Happenings at the Carter Library & Museum

After a bit of a blogging hiatus, I’m happy to be back with some announcements regarding events still on the horizon for April. If you’re in or near the Atlanta area in April, please be sure to check out the remainder of this month’s events at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.

“Destination Station” with Martha Hess
Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 10:00am
Take an exciting look at the International Space Station with a NASA Professional, Martha Hess. She’s an expert on NASA and NASA strategic opportunities. Fun for the whole family. (Note: The astronaut originally scheduled will not be able to attend.) Want to learn more about NASA’s “Destination: Station?” Check out NASA’s website on “Destination: Station.”

Until I Say Goodbye: My Year Of Living With Joy
Bret Witter
Reading/Book Signing
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7:00pm

In Love with Defeat: The Making of a Southern Liberal
Brandt Ayers
Reading/Book Signing
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 7:00pm

A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States
Gyanendra Pandey
Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7:00pm

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The above events take place in the Museum Theater. For up-to-date details about events, please visit us online. Directions are available online.

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Easter Celebrations

Jimmy Carter with grandson Jason Carter at the White House Easter Egg Rol., 04/11/1977

Jimmy Carter with grandson Jason Carter at the White House Easter Egg Roll, 04/11/1977

The Jimmy Carter Library & Museum hopes that all those celebrating Easter this Sunday, March 31st, have a wonderful holiday! The Carter Museum will be open on the 31st from noon to 4:45pm. We encourage you to plan your visit online.

As you can see in the above image, President Carter enjoyed the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll with his grandson, Jason Carter, back in April of 1977. Have you ever wondered about how the tradition of the Easter Egg Roll at the White House came to be? If so, check out this article from Prologue, a publication of the National Archives. You might be surprised at how this tradition has evolved! You can find out more about the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll online. In the meantime, have an eggs-cellent weekend!

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Exhibit: Patriotic Expressions

President Carter bust carved by Ulysses Davis

President Carter bust carved by Ulysses Davis

Our latest rotating exhibit, “Patriot Expressions: Ulysses Davis’ Presidents from The Beach Institute and Works from the Carter Library” is still on display at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum and will be through Sunday, April 21, 2013. Viewing the exhibit is free with paid admission to the Museum

Ulysses Davis was a barber in West Savannah, Georgia. He cut hair for nearly fifty years and when business was slow at his barbershop, Davis whittled and carved wooden sculptures, including all of the U.S. Presidents through George H.W. Bush. The Carter Presidential Museum is proud to host this wonderful collection of busts of the Presidents, along with works in the Museum’s own collection.

We invite those of you in or near the Atlanta area to pay us a visit, especially while this delightful exhibit is still here! Directions to the Museum are available online.

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Springing Forward

For anyone thinking of visiting the Jimmy Carter Museum this weekend, staff would like to remind all that Daylight Saving Time (United States) starts on Sunday, March 10th at 2:00 am.

We are ready to SPRING forward! (How about you?)

Grounds in front of the Carter Museum

Grounds in front of the Carter Museum

On December 15, 1973, President Nixon gave a Statement on Signing the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973–it’s interesting to see some of the responses Daylight Saving Time has received since then! You can view the text of the statement at The American Presidency Project.

Using the National Archive’s Online Public Access, I found that the Carter Library has documents pertaining to the topic. In response to Georgians writing letters of concern and protest regarding the time change in the winter, Max Cleland writes the following in January of 1974:

“Thank you so very much for your concern about the present shift to daylight saving time in the Winter months.

I bitterly oppose this move. I think it creates a hardship on school children and working people and I will do everything in my power to reverse this decision. […]

I want you to know that I am most interested in seeking a solution to this situation. I think it is an unnecessary hardship which the average person in our State and in our country has to bear. The general Accounting Office in Washington says that shifting to daylight saving time during the Winter months will save only slightly less that 1% of our energy. I believe that until there are cuts made elsewhere in energy the school children and working people in our State should not have to suffer. I strongly believe that daylight saving time should not be in effect anywhere in the country during the school months.”

The above passage comes from textual documentation located in a file entitled “Daylight Savings Time” [National Archives Identifier 5717407] in the Senate Papers of the Max Cleland Papers here at the archives of the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum. This series of textual documents consists of correspondence to and from Max Cleland from various states and counties in Georgia. Also included are summaries of major legislation that passed the House and Senate during the 1974 Georgia General Assembly. In addition, this series contains a draft report of the establishment of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Cleland served as director of the Veterans Administration during President Carter’s administration.

Regardless of your feelings on the topic of Daylight Saving Time, we  hope that you’ll have a great TIME visiting the Library and Museum.

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Corpus Christi Summer School Opportunity

The Jimmy Carter Library would like to make undergraduate and graduate students aware of an exciting opportunity to study several aspects of US and UK intelligence & security programs for academic credit.

“The Corpus Christi Summer School in British and American Intelligence and Security provides in-depth teaching in UK and US intelligence & security programmes from the reign of Elizabeth I to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The three week summer school is based in the medieval setting of Corpus Christi College, founded in 1352, one of the oldest of the 31 historic colleges forming the University of Cambridge.

The programme offers an exciting opportunity to study in England and will be of interest to students of history, politics and international relations. The course includes a number of visits in the company of expert lecturers to many famous sites associated with intelligence practice in the UK, including the wartime code and cipher school at Bletchley Park, the home of Colossus (the world’s first semi-programmable electronic computer), the Cabinet War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and the Imperial War Museum in London.” –ACE Foundation

The closing date for applications is March 28, 2013.

Details regarding the college, courses, lecturers, academic credits, cost, eligibility, scholarships, and how to apply can be found on the ACE Foundation’s website.

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First Ladies: Influence & Image (C-SPAN Original Series)

Happy Friday!

A new original series from C-SPAN, First Ladies: Influence & Image, debuted on February 18, 2013, President’s Day. The series will run from February 2013 to February 2014 in two seasons. (See C-SPAN’s website for the TV Schedule.)

“C-SPAN is producing a two-year feature series on the First Ladies, examining their private lives and the public roles they played in the White House. Produced in cooperation with the White House Historical Association, each week “First Ladies: Influence and Image” will feature the women who served in the role of First Lady over 44 administrations. This project is the first of its kind –a comprehensive biography series on all of the First Ladies produced for television.

C-SPAN and the White House Historical Association also will collaborate on a video-rich website to accompany the series. The interactive site will feature historic letters, documents and photographs, classroom resources, biographies, recordings, as well as additional resources.”  –C-SPAN First Ladies: Influence & Image

While First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s episode does not show until December, we did want to go ahead and spotlight C-SPAN’s information page dedicated to her. It includes biographical information and several pertinent video clips related to the Carters.

Since December is a bit away, be sure to check out the Jimmy Carter Library’s website for information about Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in the meantime! Another great resource is The Carter Center’s website.


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