Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn celebrate the 75th anniversary of their wedding today.
The Carters were married in 1946, one year after they met.
At the time, the future president was a student at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He was home in Plains, Georgia for a visit when his sister set him up him with Eleanor Rosalynn Smith for a date.
Carter won the presidential vote in 1976 and served as the country’s 39th president for one term. He was defeated by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election.
Carter is 96 years old and his wife is 93. At 96, Carter has lived the longest of any of America’s 45 presidents.
Carter has often said the greatest decision he ever made was asking Rosalynn to marry him. He said it does not compare to being commander-in-chief or being in charge of a nuclear submarine during his time in the Navy.
The Carters discussed what keeps them together after so many years.
“It’s a full partnership,” the former president said.
Every day, he said, the two make sure they communicate and fix any problems that come up before they go to bed. “We don’t go to sleep with some remaining differences between us.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn also keep a longtime tradition alive each day: reading the Bible out loud together each night, even if they are apart.
Even at their age, the two still try to find activities to do together. Rosalynn spoke about attempting to find common interests.
But at the same time, Rosalynn said they each need some time alone. “That’s really important,” she said.
Over 40 years ago, Rosalynn Carter established some of the traditions carried on by future First Ladies. She set up her own office in the White House. She worked on making laws for health care and mental health. She continued doing that work as the pair moved back into private life, working at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia after Jimmy’s four years as president.
In recent years, some well-known American couples announced breakups. These include Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie, as well as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. So it seems correct for the Carters to celebrate staying together so long.