PLAINS, Ga. (WTVM) - About an hour south of Columbus, the community that former President Jimmy Carter calls home is also observing Inauguration Day.
As people across the world observe President Joe Biden’s swearing-in at the nation’s Capitol, Plains resident Kim Fuller is remembering her uncle’s own historic day.
“President Ford walked by and I was in college, so I started tugging on my daddy’s shirt saying look, look there is President Ford, and my daddy says shut up, your uncle is about to get inaugurated,” Fuller said laughing. “I just thought to myself, it’s just Uncle Jimmy.”
Carter and his wife Rosalynn decided to skip Biden’s inauguration for health concerns related to the coronavirus, but still wish Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris success in office.
“Much like when I was inaugurated, the nation was in need of healing,” Carter said in a statement released from the Carter Center. “I think Joe and Kamala can do that. They can forge a perfect union for Americans.”
Ellen Harris is another Plains resident who said she too is ready for a fresh start.
“Today is a day that I feel like all Americans should come together,” Harris said. “It has been such a bad year with the pandemic and everything else going on, it is just time to get back together.”
Some families chose to observe Inauguration Day by visiting Plains to give appreciation to who they say is their favorite president.
Harris said that is no surprise. It has been 44 years since Carter’s inauguration, but this town is still heavily trafficked with followers of Carter’s, even as the nation swears in a new president.
“People were coming here from everywhere,” said Harris. “It was just crazy. “People started opening up businesses and restaurants. It just changed our town dramatically.”
Carter was not available for an interview, but after speaking with his niece, she said he is in good health.
The Carter Center said he is sad to have missed the first inauguration in 44 years, but he wishes all the best to the nation’s new leaders on this very historic day.