The US have a long history of its Presidents, but we shouldn’t ignore the First Ladies in the White House who also made an impression on our mind by being both brainy and graceful. With Donald Trump swearing in as the 45th President of the US, many eyes are also focussed on his wife, Melania Trump.
With this point in mind, let us recall 10 most influential First Ladies of the US who made a mark and won our heart.
- Dolley Madison
Dolley Madison was the wife of US President James Madison who had earlier served as a hostess in Thomas Jefferson’s White House. As the First Lady, she would organize social events to host the foreign guests and dignitaries. She played a major role during the War of 1812 by saving many national treasures stored in the White House as the British were approaching to occupy it.
- Edith Wilson
Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson played a major role in the history of the US. After her husband was majorly paralyzed during his second stroke, she took up the task of the administration deciding what should reach the President and what not.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
She is regarded to have changed the meaning of being the First Lady. She was not only an arm candy first lady but took an active role for a number of causes like civil rights, women equality, the New Deal and many more. After the White House, she played a major role in the foundation of the UN, served as the Board of Directors of the NAACP, and also aided in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy graduated with a degree in French literature from Vassar and George Washington University. She is famous for introducing the White House to America through a televised tour. She was highly revered for her sense of fashion and the poise and dignity she showed after her husband’s assassination.
- Betty Ford
Betty Ford, wife of US President Gerald Ford was the first woman to openly discuss psychiatric treatment. She opened the Betty Ford Center to help people struggling with addiction and substance abuse. She also advocated Equal Rights Amendment and legalization of abortion. She also talked about breast cancer awareness.
- Rosalynn Carter
She married President Jimmy Carter and was one of the closest advisers of the President. She even attended a number of cabinet meetings and was an advocate of mental health issues. She was also the honorary Chairperson of the President’s Commission on Mental Health.
- Caroline Harrison
Wife of President Benjamin Harrison, she had a major role to play in renovating the interior of the White House and had the first Christmas tree erected there. She was also an advocate of women’s rights and the first President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
- Sarah Polk
Sarah Polk was one of the highly educated First Ladies of the US. She even used her education to assist her husband James K Polk and also wrote correspondence for him. She was also known for her expert speeches.
- Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton was one of the most powerful First Ladies that the US has seen. She played an active role in directing policies in the field of health care. She also headed the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. She was also vociferous about women and children’s issues. She also backed important litigations like the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
- Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama attended the Princeton University and the Harvard Law School and worked as a lawyer afterward. She mentored her husband Barrack Obama when he was just an apprentice in a Chicago law firm. As a First Lady, she advocated the Let’s Move campaign which was a fight against childhood obesity and to promote healthy eating habits.