America's 39th president, Jimmy Carter, happily celebrated turning 96 following a trying year, especially regarding his health, even though he's outlived all previous Oval Office occupants.
As the son of a peanut farmer in Georgia, Jimmy Carter grew up to become The United States of America's 39th president, a time during which he made notable strides towards equality.
But as former president Carter ushers in his 96th year on this earth, those whose hearts he touched through the years made sure it happened with a show of love and appreciation.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter smiles during a book signing event on March 26, 2018, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images.
THE PAST YEAR
As the oldest living former president of the United States, Carter had a busy year since his last birthday. Two falls, infections, and brain surgery kept him in the hospital for the majority of 2019, but it didn't stop him from resuming the life he loved living.
Carter returned to teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, in December, a tradition he took up and faithfully kept since 1981. And he got stuck into building homes with Habitat for Humanity until the novel coronavirus pandemic and the consequent social distancing regulations put it on temporary hold.
HIS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
However, the focus on October 1 was to celebrate Carter's 96th birthday, and even though he planned on spending it quietly with his wife Rosalyn at home in Plains, he still got a surprise.
Organized by members of the Maranatha Baptist Church and members of the local community, the former presidential couple was treated to a drive-by birthday parade outside their home.
She stayed determined to work her cause until the very end.
Seated in chairs outside wearing their face masks, Jimmy and Rosalyn waved happily as people passed at a safe distance with balloons and flags and golf carts, wishing Carter a happy birthday.
A PHENOMENAL LIFE
While Carter only held office for one term from 1977 until 1981, it became a memorable term. But during his remarkable life, Carter also received a Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a Grammy Award.
What partially made Carter's term as president so notable was his appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A move towards gender equality, Ginsburg later became the second female justice on the US Supreme Court before she sadly passed away recently.
Aged ten years younger than Carter, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died after complications sustained from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
The news of her passing broke on September 19, and she refused to retire, even though the cancer recurrence made Ginsburg very ill, she stayed determined to work her cause until the very end.