Former President Jimmy Carter, 98, has chosen home hospice care instead of further medical intervention, the Carter Center announced Saturday.
The 39th president faced domestic and international challenges during his one term in office.
Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and captured 52 U.S. diplomats in 1979. They reportedly took and held the diplomats and staff hostage after the U.S. refused to extradite the previous Iran ruler. A failed military rescue resulted in eight U.S. service member deaths, which — more than anything else — led to Carter’s landslide 1980 election loss.
After 444 days in captivity, Iran released the hostages on President Ronald Reagan’s Inauguration Day, according to a Wikipedia report.
Carter negotiated a treaty with Panama that led to the eventual Panamanian control of the Panama Canal. The U.S. had been granted permanent control of the canal in a 1903 treaty but Panamanian natives eventually claimed the treaty was invalid and demanded control of the waterway that connected the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans through their country.
The U.S. economy during Carter’s administration suffered from double-digit inflation, very high interest rates, oil shortages and slow economic growth. The stagnant economic growth coupled with high inflation led to the coining of a new term — stagflation.
Oil exporting countries flexed the economic muscles of the newly formed OPEC oil cartel for a second time during the Carter administration. Carter called the doubling of gas prices in 1979 “the moral equivalent of war.”
President Carter led a push to lower interstate speed limits to 55 mph to save energy, which also reduced traffic fatalities. He also addressed the nation famously wearing a thick sweater to announce the White House thermostats had been lowered to help conserve energy; he urged all Americans to follow the example to reduce energy use.
Carter was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize “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.”
The former president became actively involved with Habitat for Humanity, which is a nonprofit designed to provide housing for needy families. The group recently thanked the 39th president and his wife Rosalyn for their 35 years of help.
Americans may debate whether the former peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, was a good president, but most would probably acknowledge he is a good man.
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