James E. Carter

39th President of the United States (1977-1981)

This bible-quoting peanut farmer and former Georgia governor who campaigned for president under the banner “Jimmy Who?” came to the White House as the ultimate Washington outsider. Many acts he performed in his first 100 days were designed to offer a morale-broken country a sense of hope and renewal after a decade so far defined by a weak economy, a demoralizing war and countless political scandals. Filling his White House staff with trusted Southerners not familiar with the ways of Washington put his administration at odds with Congress and would create a series of challenges for Carter that would eventually lead to the unraveling of his administration.

Highlights from his first 100 days:

• Carter created controversy with his first act: he signed an executive order pardoning Vietnam War draft dodgers.
• In terms of energy policy, he signed the Emergency Natural Gas Act to respond to the gas shortage and later announced a national energy plan to increase coal production and energy efficiency to reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil.
• In the first step toward his commitment to Middle East peace, he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in separate meetings.
• He signed the Reorganization Act, which reduced personnel in the White House and executive branch.

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