Rosalynn Carter marking 95th birthday with butterflies

Aug 17, 2022, 10:04 PM | Updated: Aug 18, 2022, 1:43 pm
FILE - The former first lady Rosalynn Carter speaks to the press at conference at The Carter Center...

FILE - The former first lady Rosalynn Carter speaks to the press at conference at The Carter Center on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Atlanta. On Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, Carter, the second-oldest U.S. first lady ever, turns 95. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

(AP Photo/Ron Harris, File)

Rosalynn Carter, the second-oldest U.S. first lady ever, turns 95 Thursday on a birthday that will be marked not just with cards and best wishes, but with butterflies.

The wife of former President Jimmy Carter, 97, has a fascination with butterflies dating back to childhood, when she was entranced by the colorful insects flitting around her mother’s flowers in Plains, Georgia, longtime friend and neighbor Annette Wise said.

That interest led to the formation of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, which was established in the southwest Georgia town after the former first lady grew concerned about the future of butterflies, which are crucial to the pollination of flowering plants.

“She read an article in 2013 about the decline in monarchs and decided she wanted to do something about it,” Wise said.

Wise said she helped Carter establish a garden featuring native milkweed, a prime habitat for monarch butterflies, at the home she shares with the former president, her husband of 76 years, but the public can’t visit it because of Secret Service security concerns. So Wise planted another garden nearby that could be open to visitors, and that helped lead to the butterfly trail, which includes 76 public and private gardens around rural Plains.

The butterfly trail will use Carter’s birthday to promote an annual statewide count of butterflies, the Great Georgia Pollinator Census, set for Friday and Saturday, Wise said.

Last Saturday, at an event held in honor of the former first lady’s birthday, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter made one of their first public outings in awhile for the dedication of a new butterfly sculpture that’s part of the trail and is on property next door to where she grew up. The former first lady, using a walker, flipped a switch to illuminate the artwork at nightfall.

“They’re not getting out too much. COVID is a real concern, and their ages, too,” Wise said.

Rosalynn Carter has championed a number of causes, including conservation, but is perhaps best known as a pioneer for mental health advocacy. She worked for the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 and has continued the advocacy work through The Carter Center in Atlanta.

Bess Truman, the wife of President Harry Truman, is the only first lady to have outlived Rosalynn Carter, according to The National First Ladies Library. Truman, who was first lady from 1943 until 1953, died in 1982 at the age of 97.

Jimmy Carter, who will turn 98 on Oct. 1, is the oldest living U.S. ex-president. Photos showed him seated in a wheelchair and smiling during the sculpture dedication.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks at the Conservative Political A...
Associated Press

Kari Lake walks back ‘rare and legal’ abortion comment

PHOENIX (AP) — A spokesman for Kari Lake said Tuesday the Republican candidate for Arizona governor didn’t mean to suggest abortion should be legal, saying she’s not calling for changes to abortion laws weeks after a judge ruled that prosecutors can enforce a near-total ban on terminating pregnancies. In her most expansive comments on abortion […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Former veteran California FBI agent convicted of bribery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former FBI agent in Northern California who handled national security issues was convicted Tuesday of accepting at least $150,000 in gifts and cash bribes to provide confidential information to a man with organized crime ties, prosecutors said. Babak Broumand, 56, of Lafayette, was found guilty in Los Angeles of conspiracy, […]
19 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona woman accused of fatally shooting husband, young son

A northern Arizona woman is facing federal charges in the shooting deaths of her husband and young son last week, according to authorities.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

$40K awarded to woman injured by Portland police at protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury on Tuesday awarded $40,000 to a woman who sued the city of Portland, Oregon, over police use of force at a 2020 protest against police brutality, agreeing police used unreasonable force against her and committed battery. Erin Wenzel sued the city for assault, battery and negligence, claiming that on […]
19 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge connects for a solo home run, his 62nd of the season, off of Texas Ra...
Associated Press

Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard. The long chase to top a mark set in 1961 ended when the 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesús […]
19 hours ago
In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, an Army Tactical Missile System or ATACMS, ...
Associated Press

S. Korea missile crash during drill with US panics wary city

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean ballistic missile malfunctioned and crashed into the ground early Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States, panicking confused residents of a coastal city already uneasy over increasingly provocative weapons tests by rival North Korea. The sound of the blast and subsequent fire led many in […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Rosalynn Carter marking 95th birthday with butterflies