Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

Blue Star Voices

Blue Star Museum program manager at Blue Star Families

National Guard families with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Photo courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

One of the best parts of visiting a museum is the surprise element each trip brings. For the military children and families at the recent Atlanta Blue Star Museum Joining Forces Initiative event hosted by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, the day revealed a few surprises of its own. Here are a few of the unexpected facts and events that the day held for kids from the Georgia Army National Guard:

Although it’s called The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, there are no books to take home with you---except for the ones you can buy at the bookstore. You can however look at biographies, genealogical information, presidential chronology, Medal of Freedom Awards, Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize, and more than 500,000 still photographs. You can also watch a really cool video of the President’s Daily Diary from 1977-1981 and download oral histories.

Although the collections were impressive and the hands-on activities were fun, the best surprise of the day wasn’t something in the museum: it was someone. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter treated all the guests at the Blue Star Museums event with her presence and her encouragement. In her opening remarks, she reminisced about being a Navy wife in Norfolk. She said she had a little one at home while her husband pulled duty and left her to “do everything.” It was a sentiment with which many military spouses can identify. Through her common experiences, she showed the crowd she was one of them.

“I know what it’s like to be a part of a military family… thank you for all you do and my heart goes out to you,” Mrs. Carter said.

She also took time to tour part of the museum with the families and have her picture taken with them. During one of the photos, Joshua Eaton, age two-and-a-half, son of Georgia Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Phillip and Danielle Eaton, charmed the former First Lady.

“After the photo, Mrs. Carter said to me, ‘It was so sweet how he laid his head on me. I hope somebody got that picture,’” said Joshua's mother, Danielle Eaton.

Even Mrs. Carter got a nice surprise at the museum that day, and yes, someone got the picture.

Please visit the Blue Star Museums website for more information about the program and to find participating museums.

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