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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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Valentine’s Day 1916 was a joyous occasion for one future President of the United States (1953-61). On that day 2nd Lt. Dwight Eisenhower (25) asked Mamie Dowd (19) to marry him. He gave her a miniature version of his West Point class ring and seven months later they wed. They... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
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What does First Lady Louisa Adams, wife of 6th US President John Quincy Adams, have in common with President Abraham Lincoln? They were both born on February 12. Louisa Adams also shares something in common with First Lady Melania Trump as they are the only two foreign born first ladies. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
Watch as President Obama delivers remarks at the unveiling of portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
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Today in History (Feb.6, 1911) 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan born. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
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Today in history, (Jan. 30, 1815) President James Madison approved legislation to purchase Thomas Jefferson's entire library to replace that of the Library of Congress which was destroyed by fire. Cost: approximately $6,000. Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
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If it ever crossed your mind to make your favorite batch of cookies or other goodies and send them along to the president—forget about it. There was a time in our nation’s history when presidents accepted and consumed such culinary gifts from citizens, but not anymore. For security reasons, whatever... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at My year with the First Ladies
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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