A bust of President Jimmy Carter in the lobby of the museum.
Carter left the presidency on January 20, 1981, deeply disappointed that he had been defeated by Governor Ronald Reagan. His last visitor to the Oval Office was Max Cleland, who brought the outgoing president a plaque with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson:
I HAVE THE CONSOLATION TO REFLECT
THAT DURING THE PERIOD OF MY
ADMINISTRATION NOT A DROP
OF THE BLOOD OF A SINGLE CITIZEN
WAS SHED BY THE SWORD OF WAR.
On his last day in the White House, Carter wrote in his diary that Cleland's gift "is something I shall always cherish" [Jimmy Carter, Keeping Faith, p. 596].
Photos and text © Gleaves Whitney 2005