BIG NUTTY FAMILY
CREATED BY: Gerald Chong
WGAw REGISTRY: 1853422
Story by: Gerald Chong
REVISED: SATURDAY, 01/26/19 - 6:45 PM
After repeated denials of a partnership position at one of the most prestigious of architectural firms, a talented but volatile architect immediately creates a competing firm to push the boundaries of math, science, and the arts to design the most innovative buildings in the world.
CREATED: SATURDAY, 01/26/19 - 6:45 PM - 41-031 WAILEA ST. - WAIMANALO, HAWAII
By Robert A. Strong
Professor of Politics - Washington and Lee University
James Earl Carter's ancestors had lived in America since the 1630s. They were residents of Georgia since just after the Revolution. “Jimmy” Carter’s parents, Earl and Lillian Carter, owned a peanut farm and warehouse and a store outside the small town of Plains, Georgia. Earl was bright, hardworking, and a very good businessman. "Miz" Lillian had been trained as a nurse, but abandoned her career when she became pregnant soon after marriage. She named the first of her four children James Earl, for his father. Jimmy's mother, well read and curious about the world around her, crossed the then-strict lines of segregation in 1920s Georgia by counseling poor African American women on matters of health care.
The family became moderately prosperous, but when Jimmy was born in 1924, the first American president to be born in a hospital, he was taken back to a house that lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. By the time he was ten, the boy stacked produce from the family farm onto a wagon, hauled it into town, and sold it. He saved his money, and by the age of thirteen, he bought five houses around Plains that the Great Depression had put on the market at rock-bottom prices. These homes were rented to families in the area. His father was stern but proud of Jimmy. His mother, Lillian, while also demanding, nurtured and encouraged his reading.
Entertainment was hard to come by in the rural Georgia of the 1930s, and for Jimmy his mother's brother offered a glimpse of the outside world. Uncle Tom Gordy had joined the United States Navy, and sent postcards to the Carters from around the globe. His nephew was fascinated with all the exotic places depicted in the cards and began to tell his parents that someday he'd be in the Navy, too. Before he even entered high school he had written the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to ask for a catalogue. In 1941, he graduated as class valedictorian of his tiny high school.
NAVY CAREER AND MARRIAGE
The events of World War II (1939-45) motivated many American patriots like Jimmy to enter the military service. There was stiff competition for admission into Annapolis and thus, Carter flung himself into his coursework, studying for a year at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1942. Carter was admitted to Annapolis in 1943 and graduated in the top ten percent of his class in August 1946, just after the end of the war.
Prior to his last year at Annapolis, while on leave, Midshipman Carter met Rosalynn Smith, a friend of his sister's. She was only seventeen-years-old, three years Jimmy's junior. When Carter first proposed marriage, she refused him. Early the following year, however, she visited him at Annapolis, and when he proposed a second time she accepted. The two were married in July of 1946.
For Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, the next eight years were typical of a young postwar, American couple. Their first son was born within a year of their marriage, and there would eventually be two more sons and a daughter. Carter worked long hours while his wife worked at home raising the children. Lieutenant Carter selected the submarine service, the Navy's most hazardous duty. One incident during this time clearly illustrated Carter's values and beliefs. While his submarine was moored in Bermuda, British officials there extended a party invitation to white crewmembers only. Partly at Carter's urgings, everyone on the submarine refused to attend.
About this time, the Navy was attempting to construct its first nuclear-powered submarines. The program was headed by the brilliant, tough Captain Hyman Rickover. Today regarded as "the father of the nuclear Navy," Rickover was slight, intense and a demanding taskmaster. Carter was assigned to Rickover's research team, and the young lieutenant was pushed mercilessly by the uncompromising captain. "I think, second to my own father, Rickover had more effect on my life than any other man," Carter would later say. One of the two new submarines being built was the Seawolf, and Carter taught nuclear engineering to its handpicked crew.
Then came bad news from Plains. Carter's father Earl had cancer, and in July 1953, he died. The farm had declined in his last years, and there was real danger that it would now be lost, a crushing prospect to Lillian Carter. After some hard thought, Carter decided to resign from the Navy, return to Plains, and help his family.
SOUTHERN WINDS OF CHANGE
Carter threw himself into farming the way he had his naval duties. But the return to Plains became the greatest crisis of the Carter marriage. Rosalynn, deeply opposed to giving up the travel and financial security of military life, found it a difficult adjustment. The year 1954, saw a terrible drought in Georgia, and net profits from the farm totaled just $187.
The South was changing. The Supreme Court, in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), had declared school segregation unconstitutional. Later in neighboring Alabama, an African American woman named Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a city bus to a white person, and she was jailed for it. Black citizens boycotted the bus system and challenged the segregation in court. They were taking a stand against centuries of oppression, and the attitudes of many whites hardened. An organization called the White Citizens Council was formed to maintain the segregated status quo in the South, and its membership blossomed across the region-including Plains, Georgia. Carter was heavily pressured to join the organization in 1958, and was the only white male in Plains to refuse. The council's members boycotted Carter's business, but he stubbornly held out and over time, the boycott fizzled out.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS
Hard work and effective management made the Carter farm prosperous by 1959. Jimmy Carter's involvement in his local community increased as he began to serve on local boards for civic entities like hospitals and libraries. He also became a church deacon and Sunday school teacher at the Plains Baptist Church. In 1955 he successfully ran for office for the first time-a seat on Sumter County Board of Education, eventually becoming its chairman. When a new seat in the Georgia State Senate opened up because of federally ordered reapportionment in 1962, Carter entered that race. Initially defeated in the Democratic primary, he was able to prove that his opponent's victory was based on widespread vote fraud. He appealed the result and a judge threw out the fraudulent votes, and Carter was handed the election.
During his two terms in the state senate, Carter earned a reputation as a tough, independent operator. He attacked wasteful government practices and helped repeal laws designed to discourage African Americans from voting. Consistent with his past practice and his deeply held principles, when a vote was held in his church to decide on whether to admit blacks to worship there, the vote was nearly unanimous against integration. Of the three dissenting votes, two were cast by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.
In 1966, Carter planned to run for United States Congress. However, a Republican rival announced his candidacy for governor of Georgia, and Carter decided to challenge him. This attempt was a mistake. The civil rights movement had created a conservative backlash in the South ending the solidly Democratic stranglehold on the South. Liberal Democrats like Carter were especially vulnerable. Although he campaigned hard, he finished a poor third in the 1966 Democratic primary. The eventual winner was Lester Maddox, an ultraconservative who proudly refused to allow blacks to enter a restaurant he owned, and who distributed ax handles to white patrons as a symbol of resistance to desegregation required under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Carter was bitterly disappointed by the defeat and was saddled with a substantial debt from it. He began to position himself for the 1970 gubernatorial election almost immediately. In the late 1960s Carter campaigned tirelessly up and down the state.
He campaigned on a platform calling for an end to busing as a means to overcome segregation in public schools. Carter thought that in order to win he would have to capture white voters who were uneasy about integration. Consequently, he minimized appearances before African American groups, and sought the endorsement of several avowed segregationists, including Lester Maddox. The leading newspaper in the state, the Atlanta Constitution, refused to endorse him, and described him as an "ignorant, racist, backward, ultra-conservative, red-necked South Georgia peanut farmer." The strategy worked, however, and with the support of rural farmers, born-again Christians, and segregationist voters, Carter forced a runoff election and won with 49 percent of the vote.
DELIVERING CHANGE TO GEORGIA
The new governor's inaugural address surprised many Georgians by calling for an end to segregation, and received national attention for it. By and large, Carter governed as a progressive and reformer. During Carter's term as governor of Georgia, he increased the number of African American staff members in Georgia's government by 25 percent. But his primary concern was the state's outdated, wasteful government bureaucracy. Three hundred state agencies were channeled into two dozen "superagencies." He promoted environmental protection and greater funding for the schools. However, he worked poorly with traditional Democratic politicians in the state legislature, and gained a deserved reputation as an arrogant governor, with a "holier than thou" attitude that isolated him from politicians who might otherwise have become his political allies.
While Carter was serving as governor, he was taking careful measure of the national political landscape. The Democratic presidential candidate in 1972 was George McGovern, a liberal who steadfastly opposed the war in Vietnam. Carter watched McGovern run an impracticable campaign, in which he was portrayed by his opponents as a radical extremist, and that ended with an overwhelming defeat at the hands of Republican incumbent, Richard Nixon. Governor Carter reasoned that the next election would require a different type of Democrat, and he quietly began laying the groundwork for a run for the White House in 1976.
CREATED: SATURDAY, 01/26/19 - 7:21 PM - 41-031 WAILEA ST. - WAIMANALO, HAWAII
September 26, 1988
New York Times
Billy Carter, the irrepressible gas station proprietor and farmer who vaulted to national celebrity in his brother Jimmy's successful campaign for President in 1976, died of cancer of the pancreas yesterday at his home in Plains, Ga. He was 51 years old.
A statement issued by the family said Mr. Carter died ''quietly and peacefully in his sleep at 7 A.M.'' with members of his family at his bedside. His condition was diagnosed a year ago as being inoperable.
Mr. Carter, who took charge of the family peanut warehouse and farm in Plains when his brother ran for President, proved incapable of handling his sudden fame after his older brother's election and became the subject of repeated investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and other Government agencies.
The most highly publicized was a Federal inquiry into his ties to Libya, which provided what he said was a $220,000 loan. Mr. Carter, who visited Libya in 1978 and 1979, had a brokerage arrangement with an American company that was seeking an allotment of Libyan oil. At the time, Libya was trying to obtain American transport planes. Mr. Carter was a registered agent for the radical Libyan regime, but he insisted that he never sought to intercede on its behalf in Washington. Panel
FINDS PRESIDENT NEGLIGENT
A Senate committee ultimately found no evidence that Mr. Carter had influenced American policy. But it said in its report, a month before the 1980 Presidential election, that President Carter had been negligent in not dissociating himself from Billy's unorthodox activities.
"I do not deny I brought most of my notoriety on myself, nor do I apologize for it," Mr. Carter told the Senate investigators earlier. "I refused to conform to an image that a lot of people thought a President's brother should adopt. I considered myself to be a private individual who had not been elected to public office and resented the attention of different Government agencies that I began to hear from almost as soon as Jimmy was sworn in."
He also felt compelled that day to declare that he was not "a buffoon, a boob or a wacko," Those were some of the terms about him that appeared in the press, which, depending on the occasion, he both courted and denounced.
His more conventional business ventures were mostly unsuccessful, including the short-lived Billy Beer that he had no hand in brewing but that he promoted with gusto. He also had no success in operating the family peanut warehouse and farm.
These businesses could not be managed properly while in a blind trust, Mr. Carter later maintained, and the town was so besieged by tourists that "it became impossible to carry on normal business in the office."
BUSINESS AND TAX TROUBLES
Without the job at the warehouse, Mr. Carter had nothing to do "except drink beer and go around making a fool of himself," a friend said. By March 1979 he was persuaded to enter treatment for alcohol abuse at the Long Beach Naval Hospital in California.
In 1981, financially beleaguered, Mr. Carter was forced to sell much of his Plains property, including the gas station at which he once played the clown prince on a throne of beer cases. The money went to pay off $70,000 in Federal tax arrears and about $30,000 due to local bankers who had threatened to foreclose on his home.
The tax agency charged that Mr. Carter had not properly reported his income from speaking engagements and personal appearances, which reportedly brought him more than $100,000 a year. The agency refused to accept his complaint that his records had been seized for use in various Federal investigations and were therefore unavailable to him.
'NOTHING EMBARRASSES ME'
Also up for auction was the frame house where he and his wife, Sybil, reared five of their six children and a field in which Mr. Carter, sporting a T-shirt proclaiming "Redneck Power,"' once played in softball games with the President, the Secret Service and the White House press corps.
"They tried to make an example of me, to embarrass me," he said of his tax pursuers. "But nothing embarrasses me." Mr. Carter had previously repaid $1,000 of the Libyan loan, the balance of which is believed to have gone unsatisfied.
After the auction, Mr. Carter moved from Plains to Haleyville, Ala., about 110 miles away, where he took a job as a public relations and sales representative for Tidwell Industries, a manufacturer and refurbisher of mobile homes and an outfitter of private airplanes.
But more notoriety was to come. In 1985, Mr. Carter, then vice president of Scott Housing Systems Inc., of Waycross, Ga., entered a guilty plea on behalf of the company in connection with charges that it participated in "invoice padding" by manufacturers. The company was fined $10,000 and ordered to make restitution to the Veterans Administration, but Mr. Carter said the practice was common in the industry. "I don't think it's fair to call it a kickback," he asserted.
Mr. Carter, whose full name was William Alton Carter 3d, was born in Plains on March 29, 1937 and, except for a stint in the Marine Corps, lived there until April 1977, when he moved about 20 miles to Buena Vista to escape the crowds that had begun engulfing his hometown.
Mr. Carter was well-informed, a reader and had a more supple and sophisticated intellect than he usually showed in his public role. His mother, Lillian, said he was "the smartest" of her seven children.
He cared little for convention. One morning in 1976 he was driving his pickup truck through Plains when he spotted Jimmy Carter walking with Senator John Glenn of Ohio, a possible Vice-Presidential choice who was in town for an interview with the Democratic nominee. As the nominee introduced the Senator to Billy Carter, the younger brother reached into the car seat, chose a can of beer and popped the cap. Jimmy Carter seemed to shudder.
Asked later if Billy embarrassed him, Jimmy Carter said quietly, "I love him." Despite his irreverent attitude, the younger brother certainly seemed to reciprocate the sentiment.
Billy, who was a dozen years younger than Jimmy, once said, "I love my brother, I love my country, and I am my own man."
PRESIDENT REJECTS ADVICE
Even when Billy had become a major political embarrassment, on one occasion for derogatory comments about Jews, the President rejected the advice of many on his White House staff that he distance himself from his unruly brother. There was ''intense'' personal loyalty, even though the two were "just leagues apart" in abilities and interests, said Stuart E. Eizenstat, a senior adviser to the President.
Billy Carter, who often drank beer for breakfast, frequently joked about his reputation for enjoying alcoholic beverages and about his offbeat personality. With a sister who was a faith healer and a brother who thought he could become President, Billy once observed, he must be the only ''sane'' member of the family.
Mr. Carter's sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton, and his father, James Earl Carter, both died of pancreatic cancer and the disease also contributed to the death of his mother in 1983.
Besides his wife, he is survived by four daughters, Kim Fuller and Jana and Mandy Carter, all of Plains, and Marle Usry of Charlotte, N.C.; two sons, William 4th, of Franklin, Tenn., and Earl, of Plains; a sister, Gloria Carter Spann of Plains, and four grandchildren.
Mr. Carter will be buried at Plains Lebanon Cemetery, where a graveside service will be held today at 4 P.M.
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REVISED: WEDNESDAY, 02/19/19 - 2:09 PM - 41-031 WAILEA ST. - WAIMANALO, HAWAII
- OBJECTIVES: As with all of our projects, our goal is to:
- Teach history and give our audiences some background into why things are the way they are.
- Debunk the myths, hoaxes, and "fake news."
- INSPIRE: We hope to create a sense of wonder to inspire a new generation of Americans to take action and do the right things. Because our show's supporting characters is a dreamer who aspires to greatness, our audiences can follow their respective paths.
- OUR ACTIONS DEFINE OUR CHARACTER: We need to show our audiences what road one has to travel in order to achieve our lifelong dreams. Nothing is promised or guaranteed. Nothing is free. One has to suffer some pain to elevate one's life to the next level.
- CALL TO ADVENTURE: When we are personally challenged by an evil person or called out by evil events (criminal activity, war, etc.) occurring within our community, we need to answer, or the evil will eventually reach us after it destroys our neighbors.
PROTAGONISTS: "BILLY CARTER"
A smooth-talking businessman whose brother Jimmy Carter happens to be President of the United States. He has many quirky friends, which includes his Chinese sidekicks DONG WAN from Shanghai and musician BOOTSIE COLLINS of Parliament Funkadelic.
ANTAGONISTS: COUSIN LONGNECK