Habitat For Humanity

Hallelujah! Jimmy Carter Reaches His 95th Birthday, A True Gentleman And Statesman!

Hooray! Hallelujah! Former President Jimmy Carter has reached the age of 95 today, and this is a moment of great celebration!

The longest lived President, now almost 39 years out of office, and his wife and Carter about to set a record of longevity of their marriage on October 17, as longer than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and with former Vice President Walter Mondale nearing 92 in January—these events are worthy of national celebration!

Carter had a rough time in office from 1977-1981, but much of it was not his fault, but circumstance, and his longevity has added to his stature, and his historical stock is rising, although certainly not top third of Presidents by any measurement. But as a human being, almost no President surpasses Jimmy Carter!

But Jimmy Carter, whether one agrees with him on policy or utterances in his long lifetime, is such a contrast to the present incumbent of the White House.

Carter is compassionate; has empathy; truly cares about people; and has done so much good in his life. His post Presidency is a time of great achievement in promoting human rights, encouraging democracy, fighting diseases, building housing personally even at his advanced age with Habitat For Humanity, and demonstrating what true religiosity is all about.

Anyone who could be overly critical of Carter because of some failed policies is a person who would not be worth one’s time, as most likely, he or she would be a supporter of Donald Trump, a complete and total opposite.

The fact that Carter is diametrically different from Trump will be explored by this author and blogger in an History News Network article scheduled to be published around October 20, to celebrate the two achievements of the Carters in this month of October. This article will coincide with the 1,000th day of the Trump Presidency, as he moves ever more so toward danger for the nation with his insane utterances and mental instability.

It cannot be soon enough for Donald Trump to be removed from the Presidency in order to save the nation and democracy!

Statesman Jimmy Carter Reaches Age 90, Fourth President In A Row To Reach That Magical Age!

Today, October 1, is the 90th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), making him one of four Presidents in a row to reach that magical age.

Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush all reached the age of 90, Bush just this past June, and Ford and Reagan dying at age 93, with Ford being six weeks older than Reagan.

Now six Presidents, including John Adams and Herbert Hoover, have reached that age, and it is clear that modern medicine and sanitation have helped the Presidents in office from August 1974 to January 1993 to have accomplished this massive achievement!

Carter also has set an ongoing record of nearly 34 years out of office, and shares that with his Vice President, Walter Mondale, as the longest surviving team in the White House in American history!

Carter has long been vilified, and called a “failure”, “the worst President of modern times”, and other insulting terms by people who are ignorant, lacking in knowledge of what makes a President significant.

No one is going to assert that Carter was a highly successful President in the top ten or fifteen, and the fact that he was soundly defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, harms his historical reputation, as Presidents who lose reelection never stand high in polls of Presidents in history.

But this man was decent and honest, humble and sincere, and accomplished the following:

The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the most outstanding accomplishment in Middle East diplomacy of any President before or since.

The negotiated return of the Panama Canal, to its rightful owners, the nation of Panama, righting the wrong done by Theodore Roosevelt early in the 20th century.

The strong principle of human rights as an important goal in American diplomacy.

The third best record of any President on environmental reform, and creation of public lands, only behind Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and more amazing, since Carter only had one term in the White House.

The establishment of the Health and Human Services Department, the Education Department, and the Energy Department, all added to the President’s cabinet.

Out of office, Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, for his human rights record; his promotion of fair elections around the world and the advancement of health care and education through his Carter Center; and his building of housing using his own and his wife Rosalynn’s hands, as part of Habitat For Humanity.

He also wrote 28 books, making him the most prolific President of modern times, and competing with Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon for his extensive writings.

Jimmy Carter set a new standard for former Presidents giving their service to the nation, as Bill Clinton has done, and Carter is often called the best former President of the United States for his contributions in the 34 years since he left office.

Jimmy Carter had obvious shortcomings, but he has lived long enough to be regarded as a statesman, and be given the respect he deserves!

So Happy 90th Birthday, Mr. President!

Presidential Retirement Years And Constructive Post Presidencies

All of our Presidents, except for eight who died in office, have had periods of retirement after their years in the Presidency.

Some have had very short periods of retirement, periods of less than ten years, including George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James K, Polk, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Chester Alan Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

So fully half of our Presidents either died in office or had periods of retirement less than ten years.

On the other hand, the following Presidents had particularly long periods of retirement of fifteen or more years: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Grover Cleveland, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush.

The following Presidents had between ten and fifteen years of retirement: Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, and Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton has had 13 years out of office, and George W. Bush has had five years out of office at this time.

With the retirement periods of all of these Presidents listed above, the question that arises is which Presidents made major contributions in their post Presidency years.

That list is a short one:

John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton

Adams served nearly eighteen years in Congress.

Van Buren ran for President on the Free Soil Party line in 1848.

Roosevelt ran for President on the Progressive Party line in 1912, and went on an African safari, and explored the Amazon River basin in Brazil.

Taft served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for nine years.

Hoover wrote books and served as an adviser to President Truman on reorganization of the executive branch of government.

Nixon wrote about ten books and remained an adviser on diplomacy in his nearly twenty years in retirement.

Carter has written nearly twenty books, and engaged in diplomacy, promotion of democracy, fought diseases, and built housing through the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity.

Clinton has done similar good deeds through his Clinton Initiative, and also worked on relief for the Haitian earthquake and the Pacific Tsunami with George H. W. Bush.

The contributions of these former Presidents have had a major impact on America, and are worthy of remembrance!

Jimmy Carter: Amazing At 88 Years Of Age, Devoted To Promotion Of Mankind!

Former President Jimmy Carter has been criticized by many people for his outspokenness on many issues, and his willingness to become involved in controversy.

He has been much pilloried and ridiculed by Republicans, who have made him out to be the worst President of the past half century, if not more.

But, of course, this is all propaganda, as this man, who is 88 years old, and is still in excellent physical and mental health, continues to amaze with his brilliant mind, and his commitment to his fellow man and woman.

What else but admiration can be felt for a man of religious values, who follows through, rather than just speak rhetoric and be a total hypocrite, as so many people who “claim” to be religious, do so on a regular basis.

Instead of sowing hate and division, Jimmy Carter puts his hands on projects building Habitat For Humanity homes, right now engaged in starting the rebuilding of Haiti, a country which desperately needs more Americans to volunteer to help.

Here is an 88 year old man, who is not giving directions to others, but is actually banging nails and doing other carpentry work, not putting on a front that he is “above” being a workman on projects, by the fact that he was the 39th President of the United States!

This man is much to be admired, as a national treasure, as a man of true decency and humanity, who has devoted the longest post Presidency of American history to good deeds for all of mankind!

13 Former Presidents And Public Service After The Presidency

With Presidents Day upon us, another interesting point of investigation about the American Presidency is the extent of public service of former Presidents.

The Presidents who remained active public figures after their Presidency, chronologically, were:

President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), who served as a Congressman from Boston from 1830-1848, dying on the House floor during a debate over expansion of slavery into the territories gained from the Mexican War.

President Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), who after his difficult term in office due to the Panic of 1837, attempted to come back to the Presidency in 1844, failing at that venture, but running as the Presidential candidate of the Free Soil Party in 1848, the forerunner of the Republican Party.

President John Tyler (1841-1845), who renounced his American citizenship, and served for one year in the Confederate Congress before his death in 1862, which was not officially acknowledged by the United States government, due to his treason, as Americans saw it.

President Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), who after completing Zachary Taylor’s unfinished term without much distinction, came back and ran as the Presidential candidate of the American (Know Nothings) Party, an anti immigrant party, in the 1856 Presidential election, winning only Maryland in the Electoral College, and then went back into obscurity.

President Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), who served a few months as US Senator from Tennessee in 1875, serving alongside many of that body who had voted to remove him from office in the Impeachment trial of 1868, but died after those few months in the upper chamber.

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), who remained active, and ran for President on the third party Progressive Party line in 1912 against his own successor, William Howard Taft, and by running, helped to elect Woodrow Wilson as the next President. He also wrote and made speeches incessantly on every public topic imaginable!

President William Howard Taft (1909-1913), who was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding in 1921, served nine years, and helped to plan the construction of the Supreme Court Building, which opened five years after he left the Court.

President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), who served on the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government under appointment by President Harry Truman after World War II. Hoover also kept active in writing, and speaking up about public affairs.

President Richard Nixon (1969-1974), stayed active, writing about ten books and doing a lot of traveling around the world, and was an informal adviser to every President after him, including Bill Clinton in whose first term he passed away.

President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) remained extremely active in his post Presidential years, writing over 20 books, forming the Carter Center to promote peace and diplomacy, and the fight against many diseases, and working for Habitat for Humanity in the construction of housing for the poor. He also had innumerable interviews and constantly spoke his mind on all kinds of domestic and foreign policy issues, and that continues today.

President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) followed in the steps of Jimmy Carter, promoting regular activity through his Clinton Global Initiative, and also promoting earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010 in tandem with President George W. Bush (2001-2009). Also, Clinton was involved in promotion of relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 with former President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993). He also has been interviewed regularly and published many books and articles.

So these are the contributions, after being President, of 13 Presidents, and it is highly likely that President Barack Obama will continue that tradition, leaving office, whether in 2013 or 2017, as one of the youngest retired Presidents in our history as a nation!

January 20: Historic Day Over And Over Again! :)

Today is January 20, which has been Inauguration Day for the President of the United States every fourth year since 1937, due to the 20th Amendment which was added to the Constitution in 1933 in record time, after the horrors of waiting four months until March 4, 1933, to see the transition between defeated President Herbert Hoover to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the worst days of the Great Depression.

So every President since then has been inaugurated on January 20, with the exception of Harry Truman in 1945 (upon the death of FDR), Lyndon Johnson in 1963 (upon the death of John F. Kennedy), and Gerald Ford ni 1974 (upon the resignation of Richard Nixon). But Truman and Johnson were later inaugurated for a full term on January 20, with only Gerald Ford never experiencing the pomp and circumstance of Presidential Inauguration Day, as a result of his defeat for a full term of office in the 1976 Presidential Election to Jimmy Carter.

Round numbers tend to carry more weight, somehow, so today it is 50 years since John F. Kennedy took the oath and 30 years since Ronald Reagan uttered the oath.

It is also 30 years since Jimmy Carter left the White House, and 10 years since Bill Clinton left the Oval Office.

Kennedy and Reagan have become the favorite Presidents of the poorly informed general public, based on public opinion polls every year to commemorate President’s Day every February.

But it is worth some consideration to think about the contributions of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton AFTER they left the White House!

Carter has already had the second longest retirement of any President, and in mid September 2012, he will surpass Herbert Hoover as the longest retired President ever, and since he is seemingly in tip top shape physically and mentally at age 86, it seems likely he will beat the Hoover record.

Often called the best former President in American history, while far from the best President in office, Carter has stirred some outrage and animosity for some of his views and statements in the past thirty years, particularly regarding Israel and the Arabs.

But despite this, he has been engaged in many good deeds, including Habitat for Humanity and promotion of democracy and free and fair monitored elections all over the world through the Carter Center in Atlanta, and he has great acceptance as an outstanding man promoting peace and diplomacy and the fight against poverty and hunger in the world community.

His stature has risen, and he is the author of about ten books, the most prolific author ever, even surpassing Richard Nixon.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton in ten years time has pursued a similar commitment to peace, diplomacy, and the fighting of hunger and poverty through the Clinton Initiative. He has a great international image and is seen, much like Carter, as a man of wisdom and principle. He has written his memoirs and has given advice to President Obama, and has stood by very proudly as his wife has become an exceptional Secretary of State after being a Senator from New York for eight years.

Both men have their definite faults and shortcomings, as all of us do, but both have gone the extra mile and done the office of the Presidency proud, setting a distinct image and imprint on the potential of a former President to have a major impact even beyond his years in the Oval Office!

So there is a lot to celebrate on January 20 this year!