ATLANTA (AP) — The Jimmy Carter Library & Museum is moving up festivities for the former president’s 99th birthday because of the threat of a partial federal government shutdown.
Events originally scheduled for Sunday, Carter’s birthday, will now be held Saturday on the Atlanta campus of the library and the adjacent Carter Center. An end-of-Saturday deadline looms for Congress to reach a new budget agreement to keep all government offices — including presidential libraries and museums — open.
The commemoration is scheduled from from noon to 4 p.m. Satureday. It will include a 99-cent entry fee for the Carter museum, which features a replica of the Oval Office as it appeared during Carter’s 1977-81 White House term. Anyone 16 or younger will receive free admission. There will be birthday cake, games, crafts and food trucks on the grounds.
The museum’s theater will show “All the President’s Men” at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The movie chronicles President Richard Nixon’s downfall from the Watergate scandal. That turn in U.S. political history, along with the fallout of the Vietnam War, set the stage for Carter, then a one-term Georgia governor, to mount a winning campaign for president as a Washington outsider who promised never to lie to his fellow Americans.
Carter is the longest-lived U.S. president. He has been in home hospice care at his Plains residence since February. His wife, Rosalynn, now 96, has dementia and is also at home with the former president.
If lawmakers in Washington reach a spending agreement by the deadline, the birthday observances will continue Sunday, including the 99-cent museum admission. The Sunday schedule is to also include a naturalization ceremony for 99 new American citizens.
A partial government shutdown also would affect federally run historic sites in and around the south Georgia town of Plains, including Carter’s boyhood home and farm. Plains residents celebrated the former president’s approaching milestone last weekend as part of the annual Plains Peanut Festival. The former president and first lady made a surprise appearance in the festival parade, riding in a Secret Service vehicle.