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Jimmy Carter’s Connections to Pee Dee Remembered

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Myrtle Beach Planning Commission member is reflecting on former president Jimmy Carter while others recall his friendship with a former local Pee Dee congressman as the United States’ 39th president spends the rest of his life in home hospice care.

Decades-old memorabilia brings back memories for Sally Howard, a Myrtle Beach Planning Commission member who has been a lifelong democratic activist.

Howard stumped for Carter in the mid-70s.

“This campaign I guess is so special because it’s the first national and presidential campaign I was involved with at that level,” Howard said.

Carter was born and raised in Plains, Georgia. He was a peanut farmer before serving as a senator and then governor.

Howard said Carter’s presidency helped legitimize southern politics.

“It was exciting and he, of course, carried all these Southern states that would not normally vote for a Democratic president,” Howard said.

Carter made stops in our region including the 1976 Southern 500 at Darlington, just months before his victory. Carter carried his home state of Georgia and the Carolinas in his win.

Carter’s first endorsement for president in the U.S. House came from former South Carolina 6th District Congressman John Jenrette.

John Clark wrote a book with Jenrette about the congressman’s year’s on Capitol Hill and said the two southerners were friends.

“John campaigned for Carter in South Carolina and outside South Carolina and Carter had campaigned for John,” Clark said.

News13’s Bob Juback interviewed Jenrette in 2015, just before Carter’s 91st birthday. In that interview, Jenrette reflected on Carter’s time in office.

“He was looked upon at times as not the right person we should’ve had in that position, but as time goes, he will be remembered as a great president, as a man of the people and a man of faith,” Jenrette said in the interview.

At 98 years old, Carter is the longest-living U.S. president. The Carter Center said the family appreciates the kind and thoughtful messages.

Source: Count on 2