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My year with the First Ladies
Washington, DC area
Psychologist; history lover, worked for the White House
Recent Activity
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FIRST LADY GRACE COOLIDGE AND THE RED DRESS THAT MADE HER FAMOUS President Calvin Coolidge knew he had a very attractive wife and he took an interest in her wardrobe. When it came time to have her official White House portrait painted Coolidge in 1924 Coolidge took exception to the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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During Lucy Hayes tenure as First Lady of the United States (1887-91) she commissioned an Ohio artist, Eliphalet Frazer Andrews, to create portraits of all sitting presidents that did not have a have a representative likeness hanging in the White House, a White House tradition that continues to this day... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Some presidents, like John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama liked summer getaways on the water while other presidents preferred the quiet of the wilderness. President Calvin Coolidge went all the way to South Dakota during the summer of 1927 to a place close to where Lt. Colonel George... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Thomas Jefferson built another home among the forests of Virginia, separate from his mountaintop estate Monticello. He called this octagon home he personally designed Poplar Forest. He used Poplar Forest as a retreat from Monticello, which was a working farm and sustained a constant flow of visitors, often for lengthy... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Given the continued popularity of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, it is no surprise that two new books about them: Obama: The Historic Presidency of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama: A Photographic Journey appear on Washington's most recent bestseller list. Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Jacqueline Kennedy was born on this day, July 29, in 1929. She was First Lady of the United States from 1961 to 1963, during the administration of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. Every First Lady has an official portrait , as do Presidents of the United States, and all... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Each summer this blog focuses on a specific aspect of presidential housing, travel and/or recreation. This year the emphasis is on Summer White Houses, where presidents of the United States and their families, tried to escape the heat and the heated rhetoric of Washington, DC. In addition to heat and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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The 2017 Wimbledon Tennis championships are underway and receiving quite a bit of attention here in the United States with several key American players making news in the tournament, including men’s semifinalist this year, Sam Querrey, who participated in tennis clinics at the White House during the Obama administration and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Today is the birthday of First Lady Elizabeth Monroe, who was born on June 30, 1768. Although she and her husband, 5th U.S. President James Monroe, occupied the White House 200 years ago, her influence is still evident in today's White House. On view in the Blue Room on the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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President John F. Kennedy celebrated his last birthday in 1963 on board the presidential yacht Sequoia, cruising along the Potomac River and passing the home of the first U.S. President, George Washington. The USS Sequoia was the last of a series of presidential yachts, a victim of changing times, technology,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Part Three – An Outdoor Space Worthy of Historic Events When Jacqueline Kennedy lived in the White House in the years 1961 to 1963 not only did she successfully lead efforts to preserve the buildings and the historic character of the neighborhood surrounding the White House, but she also revitalized... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Part Two – Preserving the White House Neighborhood First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s (1961-63) contributions to make Washington DC beautiful again were closer to home during the time she resided in the White House. When redevelopment threatened the historic character of the neighborhood in Lafayette Square, across from the White House,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Part One – Cherry Blossom Time As the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC burst forth in their annual displays of flowering beauty (somewhat diminished this year due to earlier snow and ice) they stand as a testament to the efforts of First Lady Helen Taft to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Donald and Melania Trump are not the only presidential couple to want to stay in their golden tower in New York. Long before Donald Trump came on the scene another president did his best to escape the White House. In 1886, 49 year old President Grover Cleveland married 21 year... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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The President of the United States is a full time job with pay. How about the job of First Lady? First Lady Pat Nixon said: "Being First Lady is the hardest unpaid job in the world." More than 60 years ago, President Harry Truman offered his opinion: "I hope some... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Most of us would be forgiven for not knowing much about the sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams, if only because his presidency was long before our time. However, John Quincy Adams accomplished a lot in his 80 years, before collapsing on the floor of Congress two days before his... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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The pie created to commemorate the birthday of first president of the United States George Washington is actually a cake and here is the recipe: https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2017/02/16/celebrate-presidents-day-with-washington-cake-or-washington-pie/ Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Who ranks first among U.S. Presidents? This week presidential historians announced their 2017 rankings and the results are listed here. https://www.c-span.org/presidentsurvey2017/?page=overall. Before you view the results, care to guess which president is at the top of the list: George Washington? Abraham Lincoln? Thomas Jefferson? Franklin Roosevelt? Take a look. Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Don’t worry if you did not make it to Washington, DC to attend a presidential inaugural ball last month. If and when you do visit the nation’s capital you can see many of the inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies of the United States on display at the Smithsonian American... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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President Trump may not be considered a traditionalist, but when it came to wardrobe choices for his inauguration, he wore a shirt and overcoat from the clothier, Brooks Brothers. How are those traditional choices? Presidents all the way back to Lincoln have worn this American brand including Presidents Grant, Arthur,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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January 20, 2017 marked a presidential transition at the White House. Many of the followers of My Year with The First Ladies have followed this blog since it began in 2010 during the time I was working for the Obama White House and was introduced to its history and traditions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Today, January 17, 2017, as Michelle Obama celebrates her 53rd birthday it is a reminder that it will be the last one she observes as First Lady of the United States. Related articles Michelle Obama Final remarks as first lady : "Hope i have made you Proud" 10 Times Michelle... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Inaugurations for President of the United States did not always take place on January 20. Most "regular" presidential inaugurations from 1793 until 1937 happened on March 4. The very first one, however, took place on April 30, 1789 after George Washington traveled (unaccompanied by his wife, Martha) from his Mount... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2017 at My year with the First Ladies
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Forty of the 44U.S. Presidents were fathers and a number of presidents had large families. As Father's Day approaches here is a look at some of them: 32nd President Franklin Roosevelt with wife Eleanor and children: 38th President Gerald Ford, wife Betty and children 41st President George H.W.Bush, wife Barbara... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2016 at My year with the First Ladies
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Jacqueline Kennedy's garden, or, as it is sometimes called, the First Lady's Garden is located on the north side of the East Colonnade of the White House not too distant from where the First Lady's office is located. The garden is in the style of a traditional 18th century American... Continue reading
Reblogged May 24, 2016 at My year with the First Ladies