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Former POTUS Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter celebrate 76 years of marriage

Former POTUS Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn Carter celebrate 76 years of marriage

The pair went on their first date in 1945 when Carter was 20 and Rosalynn, 17. They instantly hit off and Carter even told his mother not long after that he was going to marry her someday.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are celebrating 76 years of togetherness. The former POTUS has regarded his marriage to Rosalynn "a pinnacle of my life," according to CNN, and even said, "The best thing I ever did was marrying Rosalynn."

Georgia's favorite couple lived just three miles apart before they tied the knot on July 7, 1946. Rosalynn had befriended Carter's younger sister who introduced the two at the Plains United Methodist Church after the 97-year-old returned from the Naval Academy. 

"I thought he was the most handsome young man I had ever seen," Rosalynn wrote in her memoir, First Lady from Plains. The pair went on their first date in 1945 when Carter was 20 and Rosalynn, 17. They instantly hit off and Carter even told his mother not long after that he was going to marry her someday, according to NPR.



 

 

Six months later, he popped the question but Rosalynn turned him down because she wanted to finish her graduation as she was still in her first year at Georgia Southwestern College. "But he was persistent," she recalled, according to Good Morning America

Eventually, she gave in and the two exchanged marital vows the following year. "It was happy and joyful and obviously long-lasting. Rose did say OK finally, and staying with me all this long has been the most wonderful thing in my life," shared the 39th president of the United States.



 

When asked about the secret to their lengthy, happy marriage, Carter said, "My biggest secret is to marry the right person if you want to have a long-lasting marriage. Every day there needs to be reconciliation and communication between the two spouses...We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us."

Meanwhile, Rosalynn emphasized the importance of giving each other space. "We've survived this long together because first of all, we give each other plenty of space to do our own thing," she said, adding. "We're always looking to do things or find things we can do together, like fly fishing and bird watching and just going out to the pond, catch a fish."



 

Carter has experienced numerous health scares in the past couple of years but Rosalynn has remained by his side regardless. "It’s hard to live until you’re 95 years old. I think the best explanation for that is to marry the best spouse: someone who will take care of you and engage and do things to challenge you and keep you alive and interested in life," he told PEOPLE in 2019. 

But it's having a beautiful family together is the most important thing to the Carters. The couple has four children, 12 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren together and they couldn't have been happier. 

Cover image source: Twitter | Jimmy Carter Presidential Library (L) Getty | Photo by Frazer Harrison (R)

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