Answer: James Earl Carter
Way back in the second decade of the twentieth century, one of our country’s most famous leaders would make history in Plains, Georgia by becoming the first President to be born in a hospital. His name was James Earl Carter, otherwise known as “Jimmy”, who was the son of a peanut farmer and raised as a devout Southern Baptist, ultimately graduating from the Naval Academy.
In colonial America, the typical woman delivered her children at home, sometimes accompanied by close friends and family, but mostly assisted by midwives. These were older women, who had limited access to proper education and instruction, and instead relied more on experience. According to The Week, “up until the mid-19th century, childbirth was something men avoided. Women had babies in a room full of other women, aided by female midwives and nurses. Moreover, giving birth “often proved fatal, as doctors who had no concept of sterilization or contagion would transmit diseases from woman to woman with their own bare hands. But if a woman lived rurally or had enough money, she delivered in her own home.”
Ultimately at the end of the 1800s and into right around the time President Carter was born (1924), “the advent and spread of profit-making hospitals took place. Operated by physicians singly or in partnership as well as by corporations, the hospitals’ large growth was due in part to the new potential for profit from surgery” according to the Mid Wifery College. In 1894, the first cesarean section was performed in Boston, and in 1895 the X-Ray was developed. By the time 1921 rolled around, thirty-fifty percent of women gave birth in hospitals, which is where history was made for our country’s executive office.