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Louis Armstrong

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Essay title: Louis Armstrong

James Earl Carter, Jr. He is better known as Jimmy Carter. When I first saw James Earl Carter, Jr.’s name, I had no idea who it was. But when I heard that it was Jimmy Carter I knew exactly who it was. He was the 39th president. I didn’t know that off the bat but after some very light research I found that out. He served from Jan. 20, 1977, to Jan. 20, 1981. But let’s start the Jimmy Carter story at the beginning, the way back beginning.

James Earl Carter, Jr. was born October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia, into a family of fifth-generation Georgians. He grew up in the nearby small town of Archery. A fervent Baptist, He is a product of the Plains public school system. After he graduated from high school he attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program, he was assigned to Schenectady, N.Y., where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics, and served as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine. He would serve under Rickover for the final two years of his career in the Navy, working as engineering officer on the nuclear sub.

He married Rosalynn Smith on July 7, 1946. He met her while he was growing up in Plains. With the death of his father in 1953, Carter returned to Georgia to run the family business. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter's Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company in Plains. In ten years Jimmy Carter proved to be a very capable manager as he grew his family's agricultural business. In addition to his father's peanut business, he expanded by starting a fertilizer business, adding a cotton gin, and increasing the number of acres he owned and leased. Also, when a White Business Council was formed in Plains, Jimmy refused to join. The council tried to force Carter to join by boycotting his many businesses, but he persevered and the members of the council eventually gave up the boycott. This is where he began his career in politics. He quickly became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library.

In 1962 a new district was added to the Georgia Senate and Jimmy Carter saw his opportunity to move his ideas forward at a state level. After losing the primary, Carter challenged the results in court. Major mismanagement of the election returns was proven and a recount, after eliminating dead and imprisoned voters proved Jimmy Carter to be the nominee of the Democratic Party three days before the general election. Carter defeated his Republican opponent by less than 1,000 votes. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election, becoming Georgia's 76th governor on Jan. 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and trying to push forward with his agenda of a racially integrated South without completely alienating the existing power structure was a difficult proposition.

Before Carter, became governor, Georgia's politicians had become increasingly weird not only with the people of the state, but with the nation as well. As America became integrated, politicians who supported segregation reflected the position of fewer and fewer of the people they were supposedly representing. Carter's election represented a radical change from the previous governor(s). By the end of his term in 1975 he had shaped the state government into a modern machine, tearing down the barriers of almost 100 years of segregation.

From the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta, Carter watched as George McGovern's campaign for president failed. He felt that just as his predecessors' campaigns had been weird with Georgians, McGovern's liberalism was weird with America. On election night, 1972, Carter began to plan a run for president. On Dec. 12, 1974, at the age of 52, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States. He also announced Walter F. Mondale as his Vice-President.

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