Carter accepts Nobel Prize - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Carter accepts Nobel Prize

December 10, 2002

Former President and Georgia Native, Jimmy Carter, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

The Nobel Foundation recognized Mr. Carter for his contributions while in office and for his humanitarian efforts since leaving the White House. Some have said that the former president should have received the award after negotiating peace talks between Egypt and Israel in 1979-- a peace accord that is still standing.

But the Nobel Foundation chose to highlight his efforts for peace and equality since his departure from the White House. In fact, Mr. Carter plans to contribute the one million dollars that he will receive from the prize to the Carter Center in Atlanta-- an organization that sponsors peace projects around the world.

President Carter became the third American president to accept the Nobel Peace Prize- the first after leaving office. He also joins Martin Luther King as the only other Georgian.

Several world leaders who gathered to hear Mister Carter's acceptance speech  said it's a great day for all the world's people. But it's also been quite a day for Plains.

Jean Salter proudly displays her pictures with the 39th President and now Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter. "He's done a lot of good for a lot of countries," The Plains Peanuts owner said.

Salter has been in Plains since President Carter's election, and runs her business from the first peanut warehouse opened by Carter's father.

"It's been interesting over the last 20 years, seen a lot of nice people from all over the world," Salter said.

Visitors strolled through the 78-year-old's boyhood home Tuesday, like the Clemmers from Toronto Canada.

"Through world leadership, most Canadians look on as a good president," Rich Clemmer said.

"I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a trouble world," Carter said in his speech.

Citizen first class, who left office in 1981 and went on to build homes for the needy worldwide.

"Of all the people on earth that have meant so much to this work, President Carter and his wife Rosalyn are at the top of the list," Habitat founder Millard Fuller said.

It was clear President Carter wouldn't complete his acceptance speech without mentioning his humble upbringing in Plains, he talked about his seventh grade teacher, who taught him a lot about life, and gave him a copy of Tolstoy's War and Peace.

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good," Carter said.

"Today when I watched it on TV, it was icing on the cake, millions watched and it was an inspiration for hope and peace," Annette Wise, an instructional specialist with the Carter Museum said.

Perhaps an inspiration to millions worldwide, but the 78-year-old set to return home this weekend to the tiny town of Plains and the hundreds who love him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

posted by dave.d'marko@walb.com

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