Reporter: Do you, Amy Carter, have a message for the children of America?
Amy Carter: “No.”
In 1976, nine-year-old Amy Carter left her home in Plains, Georgia, and moved into the White House. People noticed the first child to live at the White House since the days of JFK. And her father, the then President Jimmy Carter, thought her a vote winner, telling the world’s media during a 1980 debate with Ronald Reagan that he’d asked his young daughter what the most important issue in that election was and she’d replied, “the control of nuclear arms”. Regan won by a landslide.
But Amy was an inspiration to some, such as the creator of the ‘Amy Carter Love Doll’, a 21-inch high fabric doll created by artist Tom McPartland in 1978 and distributed nationwide by the Lim Company of Los Angeles. The Atlanta Constittuion newspaper was excited, writing in October 1978:
The cuddly, 21-inch dolls are caricature look-alikes of the president’s blonde daughter, probably one of the best-known youngsters in the world.
The doll wears felt glasses which can be taken off and put in the pocket of her dress. Handmade, they come in red or blue print dresses. “I think little girls can now say, ‘Look who’s wearing glasses. My doll is. Now I’ll wear McPartland said.
But if a ‘Love Doll’ modelled on young girl is not your thing, there was the budget option: the Amy Paper Doll. As Mr. Karswell notes, has a 1970s “underground comic vibe in not only the colorful box art design, but even in Amy herself, (that smile on her face harkens a bit to a certain Devil Girl by R. Crumb!)”.
If you find any of that a little odd, we’ll leave you with a picture from the US National Archives of Amy stood in front of a Christmas tree festooned with dolls:
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