First Lady Rosalynn Carter: Active, Kind and Gracious

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Today, Jane and I are going to a press conference at the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum. In case you haven't heard, it's going to be undergoing some renovations. These days, Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn have many diplomacy and health projects underway with their nonprofit organization, the Carter Center.

In light of the day's event, I thought I'd spotlight Mrs. Carter in today's first lady feature. I think she's a pretty unique first lady. Did you know that she traveled solo around the nation to help out during her husband's presidential campaign? The official White House Web site reports that Pres. Carter tapped her as his emissary to Latin America. During her time in the White House, she began supporting programs that aided the public's understanding of mental illness; today, she continues that effort through her work at the Carter Center.

Referring back to the book I quoted from yesterday, Paul F. Boller, Jr.'s "Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History," I've got an endearing sound bite that I think encapsulates Mrs. Carter's kind, down-to-earth attitude. When she resided at the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta as the state of Georgia's first lady, she was "swatted" by a mentally retarded boy in a tour group. She brushed off the incident: "Oh, that's all right...He was just giving me a little love tap. I love that child!" [source: Paul F. Boller, Jr.]

That's the mark of a truly gracious first lady. What other first ladies do you think showed such kindness to the public?

Source: Boller, Jr., Paul F. "Presidential Wives: An Anecdotal History." Oxford University Press: New York, 1998

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