Carters celebrate 60 years - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Carters celebrate 60 years

July 7, 2006

Plains-- Sixty years ago today, wedding bells rang for the man who would become our 39th President. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter celebrated that milestone anniversary in their hometown.

They knew each other all of their lives. Jimmy Carter was an active duty member of the Navy, Rosalyn Smith was a recent high school graduate when they made their love official in 1946.

"He's just an ordinary person like you and me. I tell people just because he's a Sunday school teacher, doesn't mean he's gold plated. He's a human being, nice fella," says 91-year-old Fannie Wiggins. Wiggins is a volunteer at the old school the Carter's attended that's now a museum. She's ten years older than President Carter, and she knows the couple well.

It was at the Plains United Methodist Church where a 21-year-old soon to be U.S. President married his bride, Rosalyn Smith.

Rosalyn recalls her newlywed memories as they began their new lives together in Virginia. He was constantly away in the service. She says "I learned to deal with the landlord, the plumber, and the electrician." And admits she wasn't the best cook, saying she could dish up some "breakfast, chocolate fudge, and brownies."

Robert and Winnie Kocot visited Carter's hometown on his anniversary. "We've been married 44 years so were looking for 60. Maybe one day we'll catch up. We were just remarking how cute he looked. They were so attractive when they were young. Look at their wedding pictures. It's really very nice."

Fannie Wiggins feels others should learn from the Carter's commitment in companionship. "When you marry, you're supposed to stay for a lifetime. Very few people do that now. They did it. They're still doing it. They will be together I'm very sure."

Rosalyn Carter grew up visiting her future husband's home. She was friends with President Carter's younger sister, Ruth.

Since they were three years apart, Jimmy and Rosalyn never paid much attention to each other until Ruth set them up on a double date.

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