The year 1924 seems like a time long past, especially when you consider what life was like then:

• “Tea for Two” was a popular song.

• Gasoline cost 10 cents a gallon.

• It took 13 days to travel from New York to California.

• Calvin Coolidge was president.

For farmers, life was worse. While those living in cities had some modern amenities, many living on farms had no indoor plumbing, no electricity and few modern appliances. Many still didn’t have telephones.

Enter Jimmy Carter. Literally. Jimmy Carter was born Oct. 1, 1924, the first president to have been born in a hospital. Now, he is the first president to live 40 years after his inauguration and the first to reach the age of 96.

Many consider Carter, who took office in 1976, a weak president because of the Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which escalated the Cold War and resulted in the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

The good Carter has done since he left office, however, has exceeded any missteps he made while president.

• He has traveled around the world to aid in peace negotiations and monitor elections.

• He has worked to prevent and eradicate diseases in developing nations.

• He’s written more than 30 books, from his memoirs to poetry, while continuing to comment on American and global affairs.

He may be best known for his work with Habitat for Humanity and often is seen doing construction on houses for the organization. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for co-founding the Carter Center, which promotes the expansion of human rights.

Many say Carter was "too nice" to have been an effective president. Maybe so, but we believe that "drawback" to his presidency has been an advantage to his humanity, and the humanity of others.

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