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Jimmy Carter to celebrate 96th birthday quietly on Thursday

By Christopher Quinn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all

Former president has given many gifts to Georgians and others

President Jimmy Carter turns 96 years old today, marking another milestone as the longest-living former U.S. president.

He and his wife, Rosalynn, have sequestered themselves in their home in Plains during the coronavirus pandemic, so the annual birthday party that the town throws is out.

A Carter spokesperson said the couple will spend a quiet day together.

Here’s a short list of those who have reason to celebrate his birth.

Metro Atlantans who enjoy the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. It was put under protection during his presidency.

Canoeists and fishermen: While Carter was governor, the Chattooga River was named a National Wild and Scenic River. He also vetoed legislation that would have dammed the Flint River at Sprewell Bluff.

Lovers of undeveloped Georgia beaches. Carter played roles in preserving both Cumberland and Ossawbaw islands.

Thousands of families living in Habitat for Humanity houses. The Carters have given their time and lent their celebrity to the Atlanta-based nonprofit for decades.

Millions of people in Africa and the Mideast. When the Carter Center started working toward the eradication of Guinea worm disease in 1986, 3.5 million people had it. Last year, only 54 did.

Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala. The Carter Center’s river blindness eradication program helped eliminate the disease from those countries.

Israelis and Egyptians. The peace he helped forge as president is still holding.