Upon election in 1976, Carter's domestic agenda included establishing the Department of Energy, pardoning Vietnam War draft evaders, streamlining federal government and lowering federal income taxes. In foreign affairs, Carter was a strong supporter of human rights. He negotiated treaties over the Panama Canal, and was instrumental in setting up the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt and negotiating SALT II with the Soviet Union.
In naming Carter Man of the Year for 1976 (1/3/77), TIME magazine wrote, "He is complex and sometimes contradictory. His creed combines traditionally antithetical elements of help-the-deprived populism and deny-thyself fiscal conservatism." President Carter's administration and his legacy were marred by the Iranian hostage crisis. In November 1979 Iranian students took over the U.S. embassy in Teheran and took 52 American citizens hostage. The hostages were released 444 days later, on January 20, 1981, the last day Carter held office.
Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center