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Nov 19, 2023 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association joins the nation in its remembrance of First Lady Rosalynn Carter and the grace, compassion, and leadership she brought to her role as first lady of the United States.
Beginning, Monday, November 20, 2023 at 7:30AM, an official condolence book for First Lady Rosalynn Carter will be available for the public to sign at the White House Visitor Center, located at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.
“First Lady Rosalynn Carter worked extensively with the White House Historical Association to expand the White House’s collection of paintings,” noted Stewart D. McLaurin, President of The White House Historical Association. “As honorary chair of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, she supported the establishment of the private, non-profit White House Preservation Fund in 1979 as an endowment for future residents.”
Mrs. Carter herself once reminisced of her years in the White House: “I remember our excitement in discovering the warehouse of items stored from past administrations…I’m grateful to Jackie Kennedy for founding the White House Historical Association and ensuring the preservation of this unique chapter in our nation’s history.”
Rosalynn Smith was born on August 18, 1927, in Plains, Georgia to Edgar and Allie Smith. She graduated from Georgia Southwestern College in 1946 and married her husband Jimmy that same year. The Carters had three sons: John William, James Earl III, Donnel Jeffrey, and a daughter, Amy Lynn.
Mrs. Carter played an important role in her husband’s political campaigns. During his run for president in 1976, she traveled independently throughout the United States and was famous for her friendly manner.
During her time in the White House, Mrs. Carter attended cabinet meetings and briefings whenever possible, and often represented her husband at ceremonial occasions. She also created the Office of the First Lady, which has since served as the workplace for the initiatives the first lady and her staff pursue. She focused national attention on the performing arts and took a strong interest in programs to aid local communities and the elderly. Mrs. Carter also served as the honorary chairperson of the President's Commission on Mental Health, directing efforts that later contributed to the passage of the 1980 Mental Health Systems Act.
After leaving the White House, Mrs. Carter co-founded the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia where she managed an active mental health program and promoted human rights, conflict resolution, and childhood immunization. In 1984, she published her autobiography First Lady From Plains. She also shared her community service talents with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes for the underprivileged.
Available for interview: Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. To schedule, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information and resources are available at WhiteHouseHistory.org.
About the White House Historical Association
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $115 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.
To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.