The First Ladies of the United States of America
Style, Personality & Charisma Check
Preface: Thus, this is it – The American elections 2016 are finally over, the world is in ‘shock and awe condition’.Until the 7th of November 2016, it all seemed to be just a big hullabaloo on social media platforms and all over tv channels. But now, that sh#t has become real. Who would have thought, that such a mighty country would have really voted for a man like Mister Donald Trump? To put a guy like that on top, representing the United States of America for at least the next 4 years?!
I am really looking forward to his upcoming performances when meeting the Heads of States from all over the world.Will he be able to communicate in an appropriate language? Will he attend some elocution lessons before taking over the villa ???
As a woman, I would have probably voted for Mrs. Clinton, especially after Mr.Trump’s despiteful statements he has shouted out pretty much way too loud. What a behavior for a man who’s supposed to be an idol for a nation!
But that party is over, history already, forgotten ….not many in the United States of America seem to be bothered. I am just really wondering what it feels like to be married to a man who speaks about women like he does? Would you still feel loved and respected?
Anyhow, let’s forget about him for now, it is what it is, the people of America have voted for him. End of story!
The First Ladies of the United States of America at a Glance
I won’t go as far as Lincoln or Roosevelt – let’s start with THE First Lady par excellence ..
Jacqueline “Jackie” Lee Bouvier
Jacqueline “Jackie” Lee Bouvier, the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
Bouvier was the elder daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Lee Bouvier. In 1951, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature from George Washington University and went on to work for the Washington Times-Herald as an inquiring photographer.
Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor
Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson (December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was First Lady of the United States as the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Notably well-educated for a woman of her era, she proved a capable manager and a shrewd investor. After marrying Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934 when he was a political hopeful in Austin, Texas, she used a modest inheritance to bankroll his congressional campaign and then ran his office while he served in the Navy. Next, she bought a radio station and then a TV station, which soon made them millionaires. As First Lady, she broke new ground by interacting directly with Congress, employing her own press secretary, and making a solo electioneering tour.
Lady Bird Johnson was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways (Where flowers bloom, so does hope) and the Highway Beautification Act was informally known as Lady Bird’s Bill. She was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest U.S. civilian honors. (Wikipedia)
Thelma “Pat” Catherine Ryan
Thelma Catherine “Pat” Nixon (née Ryan; March 1912 – June 1993) was the wife of Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States from 1969 to 1974.
Graduating from high school in 1929. She attended Fullerton Junior College and later the University of Southern California. She paid for her schooling by working multiple jobs, including pharmacy manager, typist, radiographer, and retail clerk. In 1940, she married lawyer Richard Nixon and they had two daughters. Nixon campaigned for her husband in his successful congressional campaigns of 1946 and 1948. Richard Nixon was elected Vice President in the Eisenhower administration, whereupon Pat undertook many missions of goodwill with her husband and gained favorable media coverage.
As First Lady, Pat Nixon promoted a number of charitable causes, including volunteerism. She oversaw the collection of more than 600 pieces of historic art and furnishings for the White House, an acquisition larger than that of any other administration. She was the most traveled First Lady in U.S. history, a record unsurpassed until twenty-five years later. (Wikipedia)
Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Bloomer
Elizabeth Ann “Betty” Ford (née Bloomer; April 1918 – July 2011) was First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, as the wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford As First Lady, she was active in social policy and created precedents as a politically active presidential wife.
Throughout her husband’s term in office, she maintained high approval ratings despite opposition from some conservative Republicans who objected to her more moderate and liberal positions on social issues. Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy. In addition, she was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights Amendment. (Wikipedia)
Eleanor Rosalynn Smith
Eleanor Rosalynn Carter (née Smith; born August 1927) is the wife of the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, and in that capacity served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981. She has for decades been a leading advocate for numerous causes, perhaps most prominently for mental health research. She was politically active during her White House years, sitting in on Cabinet and policy meetings as well as serving as her husband’s closest adviser. She also served as an envoy abroad, to Latin America in particular. (Wikipedia)
Nancy Davis Reagan (born Anne Frances Robbins; July 1921 – March 2016) was an American actress, and the wife of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
Nancy Reagan became First Lady of the United States in January 1981, following her husband’s victory in the 1980 presidential election. She was criticized early in his first term, largely due to her decision to replace the White House china, despite it being paid for by private donations. She aimed to restore a Kennedy-esque glamour to the White House following years of lax formality, and her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign, which was considered her major initiative as First Lady.
Barbara Bush (née Pierce; born June 1925) is the wife of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd President, and Jeb Bush, the 43rd Governor of Florida. She served as the Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
She attended Milton Public School from 1931 to 1937, and Rye Country Day School from 1937-1940. She graduated from Rye, New York in 1945, while he was on leave during his deployment as a Naval officer in World War II. They had six children together. The Bush family soon moved to Midland, Texas; as George Bush entered political life, she raised their children.
While First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush worked to advance the cause of universal literacy and founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Hillary Diane Rodham
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician who served as the 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the American elections 2016
As First Lady of the United States, Clinton led the unsuccessful effort to enact the Clinton health care plan of 1993. In 1997 and 1999, she helped create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. She also tackled the problems of adoption and family safety and foster care. At the 1995 UN conference on women (held in Beijing), Clinton stated in a then controversial and influential speech, that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” (Wikipedia)
Laura Lane Welch
Laura Lane Welch Bush (born 1946) is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, and was the First Lady from 2001 to 2009.
Bush graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in education and took a job as a second-grade teacher. After attaining her master’s degree in library science at the University of Texas at Austin, she was employed as a librarian.
As First Lady of Texas, Bush implemented many initiatives focused on health, education, and literacy. In 1999-2000, she aided her husband in campaigning for the presidency in a number of ways, most notably delivering a keynote address at the 2000 Republican National Convention, which gained her national attention. She became First Lady after her husband defeated Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States. She is married to the 44th and current President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, Obama campaigned for her husband’s presidential bid, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She also spoke during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where she delivered a speech in support of the Democratic Presidential nominee, and fellow First Lady, Hillary Clinton.
As First Lady, Obama has become a fashion icon, a role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating.
…. and then this ! The change America wanted ?
Melania Trump (born Melanija Knavs , April 1970; also known as Melania Knauss) is a Slovene American former model who is married to the American businessman and designated 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Born in Yugoslavia in the Socialist Republic of Slovenia (today the independent country of Slovenia), she became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and a citizen in 2006. She will assume the role of First Lady of the United States on January 20, 2017.
Melania Trump began her modeling career at age 16 when she posed for the Slovenian fashion photographer Stane Jerko. At 18, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan, Italy.She was named runner-up in the 1992 Jana Magazine “Look of the Year” contest, held in Ljubljana, which promised its top three contestants an international modeling contract. After attending the University of Ljubljana and leaving after her freshman year,she worked as a model for fashion houses in Milan and Paris, before relocating to New York City in 1996,her contract and visa negotiated by Italian businessman Paolo ZampolliShe subsequently appeared on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar (Bulgaria), Ocean Drive, In Style Weddings, New York Magazine, Avenue, Allure, Vanity Fair (Italy), Vogue (following her marriage to Donald Trump), and GQ (UK).She was featured as a bikini model in the 2000 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Melania Trump will assume the role of First Lady of the United States on January 20, 2017. She will be the first foreign-born woman to hold the position since Louisa Adams, the British-born wife of John Quincy Adams who served from 1825 to 1829.
The First Ladies Michelle Obama and Melania Trump
– The Speech –
I am certainly not in the position to judge anybody, but we do watch and think, don’t we !? Do YOU see President Trump and his wife, the next First Lady of the United States socially acceptable in representing their country ? Did Mister Trump actually really know, what he was on about ? Or was it just a huge promotion and publicity event for his conspicuous ego, gone wrong ?Did he ever reckon himself, that he would have a chance to win at all ? And now ?
Now Melania Trump will become a member of the caste of The First Ladies Of The United States of America, and she will make history – either way ! God bless America !!!
I am gonna leave you with that. Thanks a lot for reading !
all information & sources Wikipedia
all images public domain CC
title image: staticfickr.com
I’m a Filipino, but I have always followed the first ladies of the United States. Of course, Jackie O is iconic, and out of them all, Michelle Obama is my favorite for being the most progressive. I only hope that the next First Lady will be as gracious and compassionate.
Interesting and very timely post. We watched closely the elections in the US too even though we live here in the Philippines. Aww just imagine how bad everything was during the election here in the PH. It was just as bloody as in the US minus the protests after the election. If people think Trump is bad, wait till you meet the PH president. People compared each other like they were actual twins. And I can’t wait how these two will talk to each other when they meet.
As for the first ladies, I do agree that Michelle Obama had a great personality and people seemed to like her a lot. Unfortunately, she’s the only first lady I know aside from Hillary.
I am not an American but I have read news about your elections. I’m a Filipino and currently, I’m scared for my fellowmen there because Trump has plans that are quite different. As for Melania Trump, I wish she would not stain the legacy of the other first ladies that were before her. I was rooting for Hilary but guess your people have spoken.
Hi Maria , thanks a lot for stopping by. Just a quick feedback to let you know , I am not American myself, I live in Europe. But the elections in general were a big issue here day and night. So,nobody could have not getting soaked into all that some way 🙂 if that makes sense ?! English ( or American ? ) is not even my first language. Thanks a lot for commenting !
Love seeing the first ladies! I’ve followed the elections in the USA. I think it’s very interesting. I only actually know the most recent First Ladies. Now it’nice to see the development and the changes/ differences. And to see which causes they promoted and supported! I really liked Michelle Obama as a first lady!
Yeah , Michelle Obama has got a great personality , she is an amazing woman. The people in the US are now already cheering for Michelle as president in 2020 , it is all so sad … thanks for coming over !
This was a interesting idea for a blog post. Very creative of you. I will not share my opinions on any of these first ladies, but I enjoyed reading your post and just wanted to let you know!
This is a very interesting post. It’s great to know the former First Ladies that I’ve ever known. For me, I ‘ve always admired Michelle Obama. She’s one of my female idols next to Emma Watson hahaha. I really love how smart and quirky she is. No comment on Melania Trump haha. But I wish her well. The First Lady position is something you don’t get elected to, but has an immense power over the head of state.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that includes why Mr. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. I am just really hopeful that he would care about climate change and consider animals/ wildlife in his decisions.
For the past first ladies, It was my first time reading about them. They may have come from different backgrounds but I realized that being the first lady is not an easy job after all behind every great man is a woman.
I am not American but I have invested a considerable amount of time following the campaign trail and the elections on TV. I stayed up late waiting who will win as well. Anyway, I think we all have something to say about how Melania Trump is compared with the other Presidential Wives in the past. Personally I would say that there is really no criteria as to the qualifications of being a First Lady because after all she is not being elected into office herself. She’s just an “extra baggage” of the President that hopefully will do her share to serve Americans as well. As dark as her past maybe, we should all hope and pray that she will do great things for the benefit of the populace.
I love this post, love the photos! History is being made..whether we like it or not…
I would say Jackie O and Michelle O are my top picks…Melania, well, let’s see what she can deliver. Being a First Lady is more than just looking good!
As I’m not American I can’t really say much in terms of the presidential election, but I love this article and how you discussed the wives achievements instead. I don’t agree with Trumps hate and fear mongering, but I’m not going to hold Melania accountable for her husbands actions, perhaps she’ll do some good of her own?
Nicely written entry…..sort of sad we go from perhaps the most elegant First Lady in Michelle Obama to the lowest in the form of Drumpf’s third wife.
I love Michelle Obama so much ❤️ And even though I can’t say much good about Trump, I’m going to try not to hold his actions against his wife.
Great article! Michelle Obama is a very inspiring lady
These all are so classy women! This is a wonderful wrap up 🙂 Although, I can’t recognize Melania as a “classy” woman.
Great post! Altought I may not agree with Mr Trump’s values, I still wish her all the best.
These are classy females. I especially love Michelle and Jackie’s sense of style.
Thanks for the amazing post Klaudia! And although I’m not american, I’m a big woman rights supporter and I would like to say a few words of support to Melania. Yes, her early photoshoots are embarassing and I admit that she might be not the best mother to her son or maybe not the perfect wife, but she can’t change her past (unfortunately neither do I), though she can build a better future and become a better person (or a better first lady). I think we all deserve a second chance, no matter what we did or who we were in the past. And don’t forget – she’s not an idol, goddes or amazonian, she’s just a woman with her own imperfections, just like each and every of us.
God bless you all ladies!
Thanks a lot for reading and leaving that lovely comment, Tatyana. Yes, I do believe in second ( and even third ) chances , we are all human beings with our little flaws and good traits. But I also believe that there is a place and purpose for all of us . I am just not sure if the white house is the right place for both of them , Melania and Mister President Trump. The idea already is frightening ! What really made me think and wonder was Melania’s reaction to all these despiteful things her husband released about women … not even talking about all the other horrible things … that is to say no reaction at all. I would immediately leave my husband if he would talk about women in general that way ! Anyhow , I think we will have a lot to talk and write about in the next 4 years. Thanks again for coming over !
Brilliant! So many amazing women even if we didn’t respect their husbands politics we always respected them and their work. I can’t even put into words my fear and disgust that I am feeling about the day America dumbed it down.
I LOVED looking at this retrospective of first ladies. The style, fashion, contributions. Just loved it! Thanks for putting it together.