Former President Jimmy Carter has reached his 94th birthday today, and that is an event which should engender respect and applause, that we have been graced with his long life, only matched by former President George H. W. Bush on June 12 of this year.
Jimmy Carter has been out of office nearly 38 years, an all time record, and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, is still doing well as he nears 91 in early January.
Carter’s Presidency was controversial, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis; high inflation after the second Arab oil embargo of 1978-1979; and the Cuban Mariel Boatlift to Miami, Florida.
But Carter will always be remembered for the 40 year success of the Camp David Accords, the agreement of Israel and Egypt, to establish diplomatic relations, the first such agreement between any Arab nation and the Jewish state.
Carter is also remembered for the Panama Canal Treaty; the establishment of diplomatic relations with China; his promotion of Human Rights; his establishment of three new cabinet agencies (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); and his great promotion of environmental protection, making him the third most accomplished in that field, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and more recently challenged by Barack Obama.
He and his wife, Rosalyn, are on the road to being the longest Presidential marriage about a year from now, when they would surpass the length of marriage of George H. W. and his wife Barbara Bush. By that time a year from now, the Carters would be 95 and 91 years of age.
Let us hope that the Carters and Walter Mondale continue to live on, and grace us by their presence.