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milestones
March 22, 2019

At 94 years and 172 days old, Jimmy Carter is now the longest-living U.S. president.

Carter, the 39th president, was born on Oct. 1, 1924. When George H.W. Bush died in November, he was 94 years and 171 days old. Carter was also the first American president born in a hospital.

In office for one term, he has spent the last several decades dedicated to service, building houses with Habitat for Humanity and launching the nonpartisan and nonprofit Carter Center, which focuses on public policy. In 2002, he received the Nobel Prize. Carter announced in 2015 that he had cancer, which started in his liver and spread; he underwent surgery, and is now cancer-free.

Deanna Congileo, a representative of the Carter Center, told NBC News the organization is "grateful" for Carter's "long life of service that has benefited millions of the world's poorest people." Catherine Garcia

March 20, 2016

President Obama is set to arrive in Cuba on Sunday for a historic 48-hour visit, marking the first such trip by a U.S. president in 88 years, Reuters reports.

In December 2014, Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro began strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have been at odds since the Cold War. Despite Obama's progress easing travel and trade restrictions, Congress has not yet repealed the U.S.'s economic embargo of Cuba.

Obama's trip was first reported in February. Julie Kliegman

January 30, 2016

President Obama will visit a U.S. mosque for the first time during his presidency, the White House announced Saturday, The Baltimore Sun reports.

He'll head to the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday to "to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life," the White House said.

The visit comes as Islamophobia factors heavily into the 2016 presidential race. Republican hopeful Donald Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S.

In 2010, Obama toured a mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, and others while abroad. Julie Kliegman

November 4, 2015

The state of Kentucky is 8.2 percent African-American, according to U.S. Census data, but last night marked the first time a black Kentuckian was elected to statewide office.

The trailblazer in question is Lieutenant Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, a Republican. A Detroit native and Air Force veteran, Hampton is a newcomer to politics, though in 2014 she unsuccessfully challenged a Kentucky state house representative. Hampton is a Tea Party activist whose 2014 race was endorsed by fellow Kentuckian Sen. Rand Paul (R).

"Sometimes you're screaming at the TV, you see things that need to be improved, and you're screaming that someone needs do something," Hampton said, explaining her unexpected foray into public life. "Well sometimes that someone is you." Bonnie Kristian

November 12, 2014

How's this for symmetry: On 11/11, Rosa Beckner turned 111.

Beckner lives in Franklin County, Virginia, and she can still remember hearing the news as a teenager that World War I was over, and the first time her father brought a telephone into the house. Now, she told The Roanoke Times, "you carry them in your pocket."

She has outlived all of her siblings (although her oldest sister made it to 108) and even her son, and while she has some vision and hearing problems, she only just started taking medication regularly. Every day, Beckner exercises, lifting two cans of baked beans 10 times toward her and 10 times away from her. That's not why she thinks she's lived as long as she has — Beckner gives credit to God for that — but it's not something her family wants her to stop doing. "I thought I'd used them enough," she said. "But [my daughter-in-law] said, 'No, you just keep doing them.'" Catherine Garcia

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