PLAINS, Georgia — Georgia’s favorite couple is celebrating their 76th anniversary today: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were married on this day in 1946.
The young midshipman needed a date one evening while he was home from the U.S. Naval Academy, so his younger sister paired him with a family friend who already had a crush.
After their first date, Jimmy Carter told his mother that Rosalynn was the woman he was going to marry. The Carters married on July 7, 1946 in Plains Methodist Church and are still together in the same tiny Georgia town where they grew up.
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What are the secrets behind the couple’s success?
“My biggest secret is to marry the right person if you want to have a long-lasting marriage,” Carter said in 2021 when the couple celebrated their 75th anniversary. “Every day there needs to be reconciliation and communication between the two spouses...We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us.”
Rosalynn Carter noted the importance of finding common interests but also emphasized a caveat.
“Jimmy and I are always looking for things to do together,” she said. “Each (person) should have some space. That’s really important.”
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Between their eight decades together, they’ve traveled the world as Naval officer and military spouse, an American president and first lady, and finally as human rights and public health ambassadors. After his presidency, they founded the Carter Center, an organization aimed at resolving issues around human rights and democracy.
Rosalynn has also been an advocate for mental health and substance abuse awareness for 50 years. Last year, Carter was honored by the World Health Organization for her work in mental health advocacy.
The most important thing to the Carters, though, is the close-knit family they have built together. The couple have four children, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren together.
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