Politics and parties aside, visiting all of the Presidential Libraries is on my Photo Bucket List, so we had to make the Carter Presidential Library & Museum part of our trip to Atlanta. In a tradition started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, beginning with President Herbert Hoover, there are currently 13 Presidential Libraries. Three down, ten to go!
The Carter Presidential Library was the most affordable of the three I’ve visited so far, with free admission for children 16 and under, and only $8.00 for adults. We began our visit with a brief video and then wandered through the exhibits that covered President Carter’s childhood, education, Naval career, political career, and, most impressive of all, his time after leaving the White House.
I would recommend allowing about two hours for your visit. Like the other Presidential Libraries I’ve visited thus far, I feel it’s best suited for children ages 7 and up. For an even more enriching experience, be sure to check out these resources before you visit.
Some of My Favorite Things:
- Oval Office. As with other Presidential Libraries, like the Truman Presidential Library & Museum, the Carter Library has a full-size display of the Oval Office that makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to Washington DC in the late 1970s.
- Partnership with the First Lady. While Presidents Truman and Eisenhower also seemed to be deeply in love with their First Ladies, President Carter seems to also have a true partnership with Mrs. Carter. From their first date to today, they seem to be quite the loving, committed couple!
- Post-Presidential Years. When Jimmy Carter left office in January 1981, or as he jokingly states in the opening film “involuntary early retirement,” he was the youngest ex-president in “modern” times. (I’m defining “modern” as born in the 20th century, and President Bill Clinton now holds that title by a two year margin.) The list of accomplishments that President Carter has achieved in retirement is quite impressive. He’s written nearly 30 books, earned a Nobel Peace Prize, observed elections in nations working to establish democracies, mediated international conflicts, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Mrs. Carter, and won two Grammy Awards. One might chalk up these accomplishments to simply being “retired” at the age of 56, but I think he’s simply a bad ass with a heart of gold. After all, at 91 and after battling cancer, Mr. Carter still builds houses for the homeless through Habitat for Humanity, and teaches Sunday school.
A Focus on Peace. As the only US President who didn’t wage war, working hard to instead find peaceful resolutions to the conflicts he faced as President, it’s no surprise that the post-Presidency section places a huge emphasis on peace.
A Bit Disappointing:
- Billy Beer. I was a bit sad that I didn’t see a can of Billy Beer on display. Seriously, this is all I’ve got…
What about you? Have you visited the Jimmy Carter Library? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
A few tips for your visit:
- Read this great article about 13 Ways to Rediscover 13 Presidents through the Presidential Libraries.
- If you are interested in visiting more than one of the 13 Presidential Libraries, consider purchasing a Passport to Presidential Libraries (currently $5.00). With a dark blue cover embossed with gold letters, it looks just like a US Passport, and is a fun keepsake to collect unique passport stamps from each library and document your family’s travels. (We have to go back and visit the Truman and Eisenhower Libraries again to get those stamps!)
- If the weather cooperates (it didn’t for us), the grounds are gorgeous and a perfect spot for lunch either before or after your visit.
Don’t just take my word for it, here’s what a few other bloggers had to say about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum.