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Greetings Pour in for Jimmy Carter’s 99th Birthday

From presidents to Hollywood celebrities to regular folks, droves of admirers sent former President Jimmy Carter greetings for his 99th birthday Oct. 1, 2023.

President Joe Biden posted a video saying, “Happy birthday, pal.” Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also passed along well wishes. “It’s been a long, good ride,” Clinton said, “and we thank you for your service, your friendship, and for the enduring embodiment of the American Dream.” All three donned “Jimmy Carter 99” baseball caps for the occasion. Vice President Kamala Harris sent her best wishes, accompanied by a picture of a giant wooden birthday cake on the White House lawn.

Actor Martin Sheen recorded an inspiring speech, TV host Stephen Colbert made a joke, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calculated that Earth had traveled about 58 billion miles around the sun during President Carter’s lifetime. Barbra Streisand and James Brolin sent their regards, actor Jeff Daniels played “Georgia” on guitar, and Jane Fonda and Katie Couric delivered greetings.

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A post shared by Katie Couric (@katiecouric)

“I have always admired you as a man of faith, compassion and intelligence,” Couric said. “I’ve also appreciated your relentless efforts, every day, to make the world a better place.”

Georgia residents Tim and Sarah Williams and Kellie Parr wrote a special song for President Carter that earned them a spot on an Atlanta TV station. All honored him on social media, and his image appeared on billboards, scoreboards, and theater marquees. 

Rock music legend and human rights advocate Peter Gabriel led a crowd at Madison Square Garden in singing “Happy Birthday” to the former president, as did The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra likewise played the song for him during an outdoor performance at the Georgia capital’s Piedmont Park, with an audience of thousands joining in.

Many of these greetings can be seen and heard on the Carter Center’s Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter) pages.

Nearly 20,000 people from more than 100 countries contributed pictures or videos to form a digital mosaic of President Carter. The image was displayed on a large outdoor screen at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, where celebratory public events were held on Sept. 30, carrying over to the naturalization of 99 new American citizens at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum on Oct. 1.

President Carter and his wife of 77 years, Rosalynn, celebrated the day with a sun-splashed private family picnic at their home in Plains, Georgia.     

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