On Thursday, Rosalynn Carter turns 95, making her the second-oldest U.S. first lady in history. To celebrate, people all over the country will send her butterflies in addition to their birthday cards and well wishes.
Longtime friend and neighbor Annette Wise say that Rosalynn Carter, the 97-year-old widow of former President Jimmy Carter, has been fascinated by butterflies ever since she was a youngster and would watch them dart through her mother’s flowers in Plains, Georgia.
The former first lady’s interest in the plight of butterflies, which are essential to the pollination of flowering plants, led to the creation of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail in a town in southwestern Georgia. She became concerned about the plight of monarch butterflies after reading a news item on the issue in 2013, according to Wise.
Wise has alleged that she and Carter, her husband of 76 years, planted a garden at their home with native milkweed, a prime habitat for monarch butterflies, but that the public is not allowed to visit the area because of security concerns from the Secret Service.
Happy 95th birthday to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who was working to elevate the issue of caregiving decades before it began to gain the national attention it so deserves. #MrsCarterMakingHistory pic.twitter.com/YhgpupAnnA
— Pivotal Ventures (@pivotalventures) August 18, 2022
The idea for the butterfly path, which now consists of 76 public and private gardens throughout rural Plains, began when Wise created a second garden nearby that would be open to the public.
Carter’s birthday will be used by the butterfly trail to promote the annual statewide count of butterflies known as the Great Georgia Pollinator Census, which will take place this year on Friday and Saturday, according to Wise.
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter made one of their first public appearances in quite some time on Saturday for the dedication of a new butterfly sculpture that is part of the route and is on land next door to where she grew up. At night, the former first lady, who was accompanied by her walker, flipped a switch to bring the artwork to life.
They don’t get out very often. The ages of these people, as well as the prevalence of COVID, are causes for concern, according to Wise.
Foremost among the many causes that Rosalynn Carter has advanced is that of mental health. She lobbied for the 1980 Mental Health Systems Act and has kept up the fight ever since through the Atlanta-based Carter Center for Advocacy.
According to The National First Ladies Library, Bess Truman, the wife of President Harry Truman, is the only first lady to have outlived Rosalynn Carter. Former first lady Truman, who served from 1943 to 1953, passed away in 1982 at the age of 97.
On October 1st, former President Jimmy Carter will turn 98, making him the oldest surviving U.S. president. For more such updates do follow us only on Lee Daily