Jimmy Carter, wife Rosalynn celebrate 75 years of marriage

National

In this Feb. 8, 2017, file photo former President Jimmy Carter, right, and his wife Rosalynn arrive for a ribbon cutting ceremony for a solar panel project on farmland he owns in their hometown of Plains, Ga. Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn celebrate their 75th anniversary this week on Thursday, July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter on Saturday turned to his wife Rosalynn and thanked her for 75 years of marriage, telling her that she’s always been right for him.

“I want to express particular gratitude for being the right woman that I chose for my wife,” Carter said at a 75th wedding anniversary celebration in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. About 300 friends and family members attended the event at Plains High School, a portion of which was livestreamed.

Rosalynn Carter, sitting by his side, recounted how she didn’t care for young men while growing up and never thought she’d get married.

“I didn’t know how to talk to them, I didn’t want to go out with them,” she said. She added that she used to urge her mother to tell suiters calling for her on the phone that she wasn’t around.

“And then, along came Jimmy Carter and my life has been an adventure ever since,” she said.

In a recent interview, the 39th president told The Associated Press that the couple’s marriage is “a full partnership.”

The two met in Georgia when Jimmy Carter, at the time a young midshipman, was home from the U.S. Navy Academy. His younger sister set him up on a date with Rosalynn, who was a family friend who already had a crush on the future Georgia governor and U.S. president.

Their anniversary is the most recent milestone for the longest-married presidential couple in American history. Rosalynn Carter is 93. The former president, at 96, is the longest-lived of the 45 men who’ve served as chief executive.

On Saturday, Carter, wearing a dark suit jacket with a yellow flower on the chest, closed his brief remarks with six simple words to those gathered: “I love you all very much.”

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