Plains wishes happy birthday to its favorite daughter Rosalynn Carter

SUMTER COUNTY, Ga — Along East Main Street in Plains, Georgia, is the Buffalo Café. LeAnne Smith runs the place. She is happy to share a few stories about her Aunt Rosalynn Carter.

On the former first lady’s 95th birthday, everyone in her hometown is wishing her and Smith’s Uncle Jimmy, the 39th U.S. president, the very best.

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“She notices everyone,” songwriter Andrew Greer said about Rosalynn Carter. “But you also know, she has some fire. A flame. And it has directed her life all the way to this 95th birthday.” Greer came from Nashville to play a special tune for the former first lady, written just for her. It is titled, “Butterfly, Fly. Rosalynn’s Song.” It was the theme of a birthday celebration held over the weekend.


For decades, Rosalynn Carter has championed causes to advance mental health and women’s rights, but she also has been a longtime advocate to protect the monarch butterfly. Butterfly gardens she started in Plains have spread all over the world.

For her birthday, she dedicated a new sculpture called Dancing Monarchs. It stands a few feet from her childhood home in Plains, in a garden where her love of butterflies began when she was a little girl.

“She loved it—so much that she was back there this morning,” Smith said.

Instead of birthday cake, Smith said her aunt asked for banana pudding, her favorite dessert.

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