Jimmy Carter
October 1, 1924
'80s Claim to Fame:
President of the United States


James Earl (Jimmy) Carter served as president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. His domestic strategies were hampered by runaway inflation and an uncooperative Congress that couldn't come to agreement with him on energy conservation and alternate energy research policies. In foreign affairs, however, Carter is credited with helping to bring about peace between Egypt and Israel, making treaty to give Panama control of the Panama Canal, reaching an arms control agreement with the Soviets (SALT II, which was never ratified), and securing the release of the U.S. hostages from the embassy in Tehran, Iran. (Though some conspiracy theorists claim George Bush tampered with this action.)

Carter also attempted an overhaul of the tax system, but Congress rejected the idea in favor of tax cuts. Carter's popularity was hampered throughout 1980 because of the difficulty in ending the hostage crisis in Iran. It was also hampered because the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led him to reinstate draft registration, boycott the summer Olympics in Moscow, and cut domestic spending in favor of military spending. In the November 4, 1980 election, Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan. On January 20, 1981, just minutes after Carter left office, Iran released the hostages. Since leaving the presidency, Carter has continued the work that stood out during his presidency, acting as a mediator to help bring about peaceful settlements to disputes throughout the world.

See also:
Ronald Reagan, Cyrus Vance, Walter Mondale

Related links:
The Carter Center, The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum,

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