In recognition of 75 years of marriage, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn plan to celebrate the momentous occasion in a big way. “What they’re really doing these days is planning their 75th-anniversary party for July,” grandson Jason Carter said, who appears in a new documentary about Carter.
As the longest-married presidential couple, the Carters have stayed out of the spotlight amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The couple, who are both in their 90s, made a few public appearances after getting their COVID-19 vaccines.
Now vaccinated, Jason says the anniversary celebration will be a “big party … with a lot of their friends from over the years.” The bash will be held in their hometown of Plains, Georgia — not at their home but “at different sorts of locations,” Jason added.
“The number of things that have to go right in your life to have a 75th anniversary,” he said, “it’s a truly incredible milestone.”
“The best thing I ever did was marrying Rosalynn,” 96-year-old Jimmy Carter said during a 2015 interview. “That’s the pinnacle of my life.”
The couple got married on July 7, 1946, at a Methodist church in Georgia. At the time, Carter was 21, and Rosalynn was 19. The two tied the knot after Jimmy Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.
How Fate Brought Together Jimmy Carter and His Wife
Even before the wedding, the pair had been close for years. Jimmy’s sister was Rosalynn’s best friend since childhood, Rosalynn recalled in the book What Makes a Marriage Last.
“I first started noticing him when I was thirteen,” she said, “and, I mean, there’s just no relationship between a thirteen-year-old and a sixteen-year-old in that situation.” But by the time she turned 18, Rosalynn wanted to confess her love for Jimmy when he returned for a month-long break from the Naval Academy.
“Ruth and I plotted to get me together with him. She’d call and say ‘Come over! He’s here!’ and I’d go flying over to her house, but he’d be gone again,” she said in the book. “I always said I fell in love with a photograph of him on her [Ruth’s] bedroom wall,” Rosalynn said.
One night, Jimmy found himself without a date when his then-girlfriend was at a family reunion. “I was cruising around with my sister Ruth and her boyfriend, just looking for a date, and I picked up Rosalynn in front of the Methodist church,” he said in What Makes a Marriage Last. He then invited her out to the movies.
“I just felt compatible with her,” he said. “She was beautiful and innocent, and there was a resonance. We rode in the rumble seat of a Ford pickup—Ruth and her boyfriend in the front—and I kissed her on that first date. I remember that vividly,” Carter also lovingly added about his wife.
Throughout their life together, they went on to have four children together. They’re parents to Jack, Chip, and Jeff and, and also a daughter named Amy.