Home to endless entertainment and a hot housing market, it’s easy to forget the Peach state is also home to historic presidential homes. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter each spent a memorable youth in the south before, during and after shining brightly through our country’s history.
Originally from Staunton, Virginia, Woodrow Wilson spent a decade of his life at the Presbyterian Manse in Augusta, Georgia while his father served as a minister of the First Presbyterian Church. In his later years, Wilson spent time in Virginia and the Carolinas and eventually, returned to the metro area to start his law practice in Atlanta. After receiving a doctorate in political science and history from John Hopkins University, Wilson ran for office in the state of New Jersey, emphasizing his southern ties to secure the presidency.
Visitors to Augusta are encouraged to tour The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, a house museum detailing the early life of the 28th president of the United States.
A prominent icon in World War II history, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) is the only president in American history to serve four consecutive terms. After experiencing detrimental polio side effects, Roosevelt traveled to Warm Springs for hydrotherapy. While the soothing water provided relief, FDR also showed a prominent love and commitment to the other residing polio patients, later purchasing a resort in the rural Georgia town. Coined his “Little White House,” FDR spent a great deal of time in the small southern town and, in April 1945, spent his last days in his Georgia residence.
In Georgia, Roosevelt spent a great deal of time shaping a community through his generosity and passion. Today, visitors traveling to Warm Springs can tour his Georgia estate, which stands frozen in time to pay tribute to his final days. Personal artifacts, including a beloved car designed to drive without the use of feet, an edited version of FDR’s “Unspoken Speech,” as well as the “Unfinished Portrait,” a portrait commissioned at the time of death.
Further cementing his legacy for helping those in need, The Roosevelt Warm Springs rehab facility continues to provide quality care to those with disabilities. March of Dimes, an internationally recognized charity, was initially established by FDR to fight polio and works today to improve healthy pregnancies.
The 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter is the only president to date to have been born and raised in the beautiful state of Georgia. Preceding his years in office, Carter worked as a peanut farmer in Plains, Georgia and served as a member of the Naval ROTC program at Georgia Tech University, serving as a U.S. Naval office until his father’s death. Before leading our country, Carter served one term as the Governor of Georgia and two terms as a Georgia State Senator.
After a trying time in office, President Carter returned to his peanut farm in Georgia. However, he never stopped being an advocate for world peace. In 2002, Carter was the recipient of the Novel Peace Prize for his continued efforts and advocacy for world peace on the international stage. Visitors can explore the legacy of President Carter and his time in office by visiting the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum as well as The Carter Center in Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization founded by Carter and his wife. In partnership with Emory University, this organization builds upon President Carter’s beliefs by working to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering.
From leading the country through World Wars and championing international peace, these three men used their southern connections to help launch America into the future.
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