CMT Homecoming: President Carter in Plains   -  Features


  • President Jimmy Carter
    Jimmy Carter was born in 1924 in the small farming town of Plains, Ga. He received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy, he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. On July 7, 1946, he married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia. Carter took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter's Warehouse in Plains, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company. He quickly became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority and the library.

    In 1962, Carter won election to the Georgia Senate, eventually becoming Georgia's 76th governor. He served as president from Jan. 20, 1977, to Jan. 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world. On the domestic side, the administration's achievements included a comprehensive energy program conducted by a new Department of Energy; deregulation in energy, transportation, communications and finance; major educational programs under a new Department of Education; and major environmental legislation, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

    Carter is the author of 19 books and is a University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and founder of The Carter Center. President and Mrs. Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. In 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights and to promote economic and social development." President Carter also teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, eight grandsons and three granddaughters.


  • Willie Nelson
    Willie Nelson is the creative genius behind the historic recordings "Crazy," "Hello Walls," "Red Headed Stranger" and "Stardust." His career has spanned six decades, and his catalog boasts over 200 albums. Nelson has earned every conceivable award and honor that can be bestowed to a person in his profession, and he has also amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor and activist. He is a thriving, relevant and progressive music force in the year 2004. Nelson began the year performing his No. 1 single, "Beer for My Horses," a duet with Toby Keith, at the Super Bowl. He launched his new internet service,, that netcasts contemporary country, Americana and world music and information 24-hours a day at no charge. Nelson, along with another musical icon, Bob Dylan, embarked on an imaginative summer tour to minor league baseball parks that was warmly received by capacity crowds. He also headlined Farm Aid in Seattle, an event he continues to support since co-founding it in 1985.

    With two new albums in fall 2004, Nelson's music is as adventurous as ever. The September release of Outlaws and Angels perfectly expresses Nelson's expansiveness and features performances with Toby Keith, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Kid Rock, Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Richards among others. The prolific Nelson followed that album with the October release of It Will Always Be, his first full studio album since 2002's The Great Divide. The disc features duets with Paula Nelson, Lucinda Williams and Norah Jones, as well as the cover of Keith's "Tired." As ever, Nelson continues to tour tirelessly, climbing aboard Honeysuckle Rose III (he rode his first two buses into the ground) and takes his music and his fans on a seemingly endless journey to places that were well worth the ride.

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