History & Culture

Official White House portrait of Jimmy Carter
Official White House portrait of Jimmy Carter.

White House Collection/White House Historical Association

"I say to you quite frankly that the time for racial discrimination is over."

-Jimmy Carter, from his Inaugural Address as Governor of Georgia, 1971

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., 39th President of the United States, was a very unique leader who brought about change, compassion and a belief that a government is only as good as its people. He was the first President to be born in a hospital on October 1, 1924, in the small rural town of Plains, Georgia. He later moved to a farm in the community of Archery at age 4 and spent most of his time working and playing with the African-American children whose families were the bulk of the community of Archery. Living and working with the families in Archery, he saw segregation first hand and noticed that the lives of the African-American families were drastically different from the lives of the white families in the area. The lessons he learned in Archery had an influence on his life from a young age.

From the time he spent in the Navy to his post-presidential years, Jimmy Carter's life shows his dedication to public service. This dedication is no more evident than the fact that he is one of four presidents to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the only one who received it after he left office. His dedication to human and civil rights is another example of his dedication to public service. He and Mrs. Rosalynn have traveled around the world and have seen the pain and suffering of others. Discover more about the 39th President as you learn about the people, places and events that have shaped their lives.

A view of Plains Depot from the east.
Plains Depot, 1976 Presidential Campaign Headquarters


Plains, Georgia

When the railroad came through the area in 1885, the settlements regrouped to form Plains. The name was changed from Plains of Dura because the businessmen wanted it shortened. The State Legislature agreed to the change. Mr. H. L. Hudson was the first settler in the new location. He donated the land for the depot and the town itself.

Plains Depot is the oldest building in Plains, having been constructed in 1888. Plains Depot served the community of Plains as a freight and passenger depot until 1951 when passenger service was discontinued. The building was opened in 1976 as Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign headquarters and during that time approximately 10,000 people a day came to Plains to find out about candidate Jimmy Carter. Many state primary victories, as well as the presidential victory, were celebrated in the streets around the depot.

The Plains Train Depot contains a self-guided museum with exhibits focusing on Jimmy Carter’s campaigns for state senator, governor of Georgia, and the 1976 presidential campaign.

Originally, this area of Georgia was inhabited by the Creek Indians. In 1827, they were moved out by Federal authorities under the Treaty of Washington. Settlers moved into this region and by 1840 three separate settlements were found in the immediate area. These included the Plains of Dura, located not far from the present site, Magnolia Springs, a well-known resort area, and a smaller settlement located near Lebanon Cemetery.


Last updated: May 28, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

300 North Bond Street
Plains, GA 31780


(229) 824 - 4104
The visitor information desk is manned from 9 am until 5 pm daily, except for New Year's Day (January 1), Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day (December 25).

Contact Us