Jimmy Carter Attacked by a Rabbit

Jimmy Carter shoos away the infamous rabbit as he goes fishing in his hometown in Georgia
Jimmy Carter shoos away the infamous rabbit as he goes fishing in his hometown in Georgia

Historical Context

Although Jimmy Carter was a one-term president, he is remembered for many things, like the Iran hostage crisis, the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the late-70s energy crisis - and being attacked by a "killer rabbit" on April 20, 1979.

As Carter was on a solo fishing expedition in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, when a rabbit that was being chased by hounds jumped into the water near him and swam aggressively towards his boat. The President shooed it off with a paddle and the rabbit swam away.

Such an innocuous event turned into political fodder for his enemies, who wanted to portray Carter's presidency as hapless and weak. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, released around the same time, features a scene with a rabbit killing people, and so the rabbit that swam toward Carter became known as the "killer rabbit."

Columnist Dave Barry once referred to it as the single most memorable event of Carter's presidency.

Photo Info


Photographer: White House Staff
Date taken: April 20, 1979
Location taken: Plains, Georgia, USA

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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  • 1979-04-20 President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a swamp rabbit which swam up to his fishing boat in Plains, Georgia

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