Jimmy Carter's Campaign Headquarters

Janie Oliver

Kennesaw, United States

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The depot contains a self-guided museum with exhibits focusing on the 1976 Presidential campaign. It is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. It served as a train depot from 1888 to 1951, when passenger service was discontinued. The building was opened in 1976 as Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign Headquarters for the 1976 Presidential campaign. During the 1976 campaign, approximately 10,000 people a day came to Plains to find out about the candidate Carter. Many state primary victories, as well as the Presidential victory, were held in the streets around the depot.

The historic marker for this site reads:

From this depot in 1975, James Earl Carter, Jr. launched a two-year campaign for the presidency of the United States. At first an unknown referred to as “Jimmy Who,” Carter was inaugurated as America’s 39th President on January 20, 1977.

James Earl Carter, Jr. was born October 1, 1924, in Plains. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and married Rosalynn Smith in 1946. After seven more years of naval service he returned to run a family agribusiness. In 1962, Jimmy Carter was elected to the Georgia Senate and in 1970, became Governor. As governor, he reorganized state government, reformed the budgetary process, improved race relationships, health care, education, and environmental quality. Notable achievements of his presidency (1977-1981) were based on the values he considered most important “. . . human rights, environmental quality, nuclear arms control, and the search for justice and peace.” Successes included the resolution of the Panama Canal issue, signing the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, the Camp David accords and peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, normalizing relations with China and reorganization of the federal government. This Depot and surrounding historic district symbolize the culture of this small rural community which produced a highly respected international leader.

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