Rosalynn Carter celebrates 96th birthday with husband Jimmy Carter, peanut butter ice cream and butterflies

Rosalynn Carter turned 96 on Friday and will celebrate her birthday with her husband, former President Carter, who is 98, at their home in Georgia, her organization said. According to The Carter Center, the human rights organization the Carters opened in Atlanta after losing his 1980 re-election bid, Rosalynn will have a quiet birthday celebration joined by other family members. Members of the Plains, Georgia, community are also expected to honor the former first lady’s years of public health advocacy. During the celebration, Rosalynn plans to eat cupcakes and peanut butter ice cream, a nod to the couple’s experience as Georgia peanut farmers. She also intends to release butterflies in the Carters’ garden, a passion that traces back to childhood. Several other butterfly releases around Plains will be done by extended family and friends, including one near Rosalynn’s childhood home. JIMMY CARTER IS STILL ENJOYING ICE CREAM AND MEETING WITH FAMILY 3 MONTHS INTO HOSPICE CARE, GRANDSON SAYS Eleanor Rosalynn Smith was born on Aug. 18, 1927. The birthday comes as the Carters remain in the same small town where they were born and married, and which was at the centerfold of Jimmy Carter’s victorious 1976 presidential campaign. They have four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. ROSALYNN CARTER DIAGNOSED WITH DEMENTIA AT 95: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE CONDITION IN THE ‘OLDEST OLD’ Rosalynn has been a mental health advocate for decades, first calling for a more comprehensive American healthcare system treating mental health when her husband was Georgia’s governor in the early 1970s and later in the White House. PRESIDENT BIDEN ACCIDENTALLY SHARES DETAIL ABOUT JIMMY CARTER’S HEALTH AT PRIVATE DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISER She also emphasizes the importance of caregivers to the nation’s social and economic well-being, famously saying, “There are only four kinds of people in the world––those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers will commemorate the former first lady’s birthday by sponsoring a screening of a new film, “Unconditional,” which focuses on the challenges people face as caregivers for sick, aging and disabled loved ones. “Her incredible ability is to both look at a problem from the need for policy changes, and to think about the individual who lives next door or down the street and is struggling,” Jennifer Olsen, who leads the Rosalynn Carter Institute, told The Associated Press. Both Rosalynn and the former president shared major health updates earlier this year, with the family disclosing in May that the former first lady has dementia and that the 39th president would forgo further hospital treatment and instead receive only end-of-life care at home. Rosalynn is the second-oldest presidential spouse in U.S. history. Bess Truman died at 97 in 1982, the year after the Carters left the White House. Former President Carter is the longest-lived president. They are also the longest-married first couple in history, as the Carters’ celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary in July. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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