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Title Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter
Collection First Lady Dolls
Catalog Number 2015.017.042
Description Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter (1927-
Wife of Jimmy Carter - served as First Lady from 1977-1981.

Rosalynn Smith was five feet five inches tall, had auburn hair and hazel eyes. After the death of her father, the young Rosalyn Smith did her part to assist in supporting her family, working at a local hairdresser's shop to earn her own spending money.
Rosalynn was eighteen years old when she married James Earl "Jimmy" Carter on July 7, 1946. Rosalynn and Jimmy met through her friend, his sister, Ruth Carter; she refused Carter's initial marriage proposal December 1945, considering it too soon in their dating, but accepted his second proposal two months later. James E. Carter was an Annappolis Naval Academy graduate. As a navy engineer and commissioned officer, Carter's career dictated the life and location of his new wife and their subsequent children, who followed him from base to base. For the first seven years of the marriage they lived at six different naval bases.
Few presidential candidates' spouses had the level of familiarity with the domestic and international issues and problems that shaped a national campaign as did Rosalynn Carter in 1976. She became the first candidate's wife to declare a campaign promise of her own: if she became First Lady, she would assume the responsibility for guiding legislative reform on behalf of the nation's mentally ill.
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith Carter became First Lady on January 20, 1977. She was 49 years old. At the Inauguration, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter revived an Inaugural precedent performed only by Thomas Jefferson in 1801; after the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Building, they walked down Pennsylvania Avenue back to the White House.
In 1979, during her tenure, the federal government formally recognized the role of First Lady as a bona fide federal position, when automatic congressional appropriation was enacted for a staff for the First Lady on the premise that the "spouse assists the president" in fulfilling his duties.
One of her largest and most important duties was her work as the Active Honorary Chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health. Her second most involved project was aiding senior citizens in need. She further lobbied for the Older American Act, a funding increase in elderly services, as well as the Rural Clinics Act and Social Security reform to benefit seniors. Rosalynn Carter presided over the White House Conference on Aging.
Mrs. Carter was involved with Habitat for Humanity, a network of volunteers who build homes for the needy. In 2009, she co-wrote with her husband the foreword to the book, "Stop the Epidemic: The Last Dropout," giving support to the effort to help eradicate high school drop out rates.
Rosalynn Carter became an advocate for addressing the unmet need of the large percentage of members of the U.S. Armed Forces returning from Iraq or Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The issue is one in which the former First Lady continues to address.
Event Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project
Creator Park, Phyllis Juhlin
Costume Costume by Gladys Price Phillips
Given Given by Woodey B. and Vonnetta S. Searle
Source Uintah County Library