Jimmy Carter, Wife Rosalynn Visit Grand Ole Opry
President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, dropped by the Grand Ole Opry for a visit on Friday night (Oct. 11). The couple spent the week in Nashville as part of a building project for Habitat for Humanity, and they took some time out to visit the hallowed country music institution.
The Carters were in Nashville to mark the 36th year of their Habitat for Humanity Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteers and ambassadors Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood both worked beside them on a project that saw 21 new single-family homes go up in Music City over the course of a week, while Opry favorites provided the lunchtime entertainment at the building site, singing for more than 300 volunteers each day from Monday through Friday.
In a surprise moment, Brooks and Yearwood introduced the former president and First Lady to the audience at the Opry on Friday.
Carter had previously visited the Opry House during his tenure as Governor of Georgia, where he served from 1971-1975, and again during his presidential term, which ran from 1977-1981.
Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit the Opry in 1974, when he was in attendance on the opening night of the Grand Ole Opry House, according to a press release. Nixon actually sang and played the piano that night, making him the only president to ever perform on the Opry stage.
95-year-old Carter suffered a fall at his Georgia home last weekend that left him with a black eye and 14 stitches. That could have sidelined him for this week's build project, but he gamely traveled to Nashville to take part despite his injury.
“You don't expect anything different from the man,” Brooks raved to Yahoo! News. “He’s just one of those guys, and Ms. Rosalynn's the same way. They're just those people that you just have to be around to actually believe it.”
“What the Carters stand for is what we should all shoot for as human beings," Brooks reflects. "Please forget ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat.’ What they are standing for is as human beings. If we're going to get anywhere as a human race, this is the path we want to follow. So anything keeping any kind of light on that path and those two people's dreams, then count us in."
Habitat for Humanity plans to build 12 more single-family homes and 26 new townhomes in Nashville by 2021.
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