ATLANTA - For many, the love shared on Valentine's Day is fleeting, but not for former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. This is their 74th Valentine's Day celebrated as a married couple.
Rosalynn Smith started dating Jimmy, then a fresh-faced Navy recruit studying at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, at a freshman in college.
One year later, on July 7, 1946, she walked down the aisle of Plains Methodist Church in their hometown and said "I do."
The humble ceremony would blossom into a life of civil service from the Gold Dome of Georgia to the White House and beyond.
Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn watch an Atlanta Falcons game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
According to the Jimmy Carter Library, on his 75th birthday, Carter was asked to name the most important thing he had ever done. His reply: "Marrying Rosalynn."
Their marriage produced three sons, one daughter, eight grandsons, three granddaughters, and two great-grandsons.
The couple has recently stayed by each other’s side as they battled back from health scares. Both remain active working with Habitat for Humanity and various activist causes through the Carter Center.
The couple has not made any public appearances the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, although they are still very active together, especially in their philanthropy through the Carter Center.
A few years ago, the Carters were caught on the "Kiss Cam" at the Atlanta Hawks game.
Their anniversary this past summer makes the Carters the longest-married presidential couple in history, passing George and Barbara Bush who stayed together for 73 years.
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