Helen Taft


Picture of President William Taft

Summary of Helen Taft - First Lady of America
Our summary and fast facts about Helen Taft provides an interesting and easy way to learn about the life of the First Lady of President William Taft. Helen Taft was the highly ambitious, energetic and intelligent wife of the Presidents. It has been said by many that William Taft would never have become President without the efforts of his ambitious wife. Helen Taft was a sophisticated First Lady, fond of wearing beautiful clothes and a variety of tiaras at White House social events. She suffered a debilitating stroke but carried on in her role. Helen Taft is famous for her beautification project and the planting of more than 3000 Cherry Trees in Washington DC.

Facts about Helen Taft - First Lady, "Nervous Nellie"
Helen Taft undertook the role of First Lady to William Taft, the 27th President of the United States who served in office from March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1913.  What was the life of Helen Taft like? The Facts about Helen Taft covers important information, dates and interesting facts about her birth, her early life, her family, her personality with a biography and the accomplishments of Helen Taft as the First Lady of the United States of America.

Facts about Helen Taft: Fact Sheet of Helen Taft
Facts and Info: This fast fact sheet provides important information about Helen Taft, First Lady of the United States of America.

Helen Taft Fact Sheet - The First Lady of President William Taft
Relationship to President William Taft: Wife
Date Helen Taft entered White House as First Lady: March 4, 1909
Term of Presidency: 1909-1913
When and where was Helen Taft born?  

Picture of Helen Taft

Picture of Helen Taft

 She was born on January 2, 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio
What was the name of her father and mother?
 The name of her parents: John Williamson Herron & Harriet Collins Herron. She was educated at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
What was her relationship to President William Taft?
 She was his wife
When did she marry?
 They were married on June 19, 1886
What are the names of her children?
 The names of her children were Robert Alphonso (1889 – 1953), Helen Herron (1891 – 1987), Charles Phelps (1897 – 1983)
When and where did Helen Taft die?
 Helen Taft died on May 22, 1943 in Washington, D.C.
Helen Taft Fact Sheet - The First Lady of President William Taft

Facts about Helen Taft: Fast Overview of Events in the White House
Facts and Info: Helen Taft assumed the position of First Lady to President William Taft. She witnessed the important events of his presidency that included
Taft's Dollar Diplomacy that used the military might of the United States to promote American business interests abroad.

Personality and Character: Helen Taft Quotes
Facts and Info: An insight into the personal views, character and personality of this First Lady may be obtained from the following Helen Taft quotes:

"I had always had the satisfaction of knowing almost as much as he about the politics and intricacies of any situation. I think any woman can discuss with her husband topics of national interest. I became familiar with more than politics. It involved real statesmanship."

"Higher education for women? My daughter has elected to take a full college course...I believe in the best and most thorough education for everyone, men and women, and it is my proudest boast that all of my children are studious."

Facts about Helen Taft: Her Nickname or Pet Name - "Nervous Nellie"
Facts and Info: This First Lady was known by the nickname of "Nervous Nellie". Her husband called her Nellie, a derivative of the name Helen, and the word 'Nervous' was added by some critics to reflect her perfectionist nature which made her anxious before every big occasion or event at the White House. 

Facts about Helen Taft: First Events
Facts and Info: Helen Taft was the 1st First Lady to
to ride in her husband’s inaugural parade. The first to own and drive a car. And she was also the 1st First Lady to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Facts about the Causes and Accomplishments of Helen Taft
Facts and Info: First Ladies are not elected so have no official role. Their accomplishments are therefore based on their own particular wishes that ranged from political interests, humanitarian and charitable causes or duties relating to their family or social responsibilities. The causes and accomplishments of Helen Taft were demonstrated in her support of education for women; beautification projects and the Titanic memorial. Helen Taft also initiated the First Ladies gown collection. Helen Taft was politically active and lobbied for federal legislation to create health and safety standards in the federal workplace. The bill was passed by Congress in March of 1912. Helen Taft was also the first First Lady to publish her autobiography

Facts about Helen Taft: The Life of Helen Taft
Facts and Info: Helen Herron
was born on January 2, 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her parents were John Williamson Herron & Harriet Collins Herron. Her wealthy father was a Lawyer and politician who served as the US district attorney for Southern Ohio, and as a member of the Ohio assembly. Helen Herron was educated at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she developed a lifelong love of books. At the age of 17 her father took her to visit President Rutherford B Hayes in the White House. President Hayes later invited Helen to stay at the White House for a week. She is quoted as saying that her visit to the White House was "the climax of human bliss. Helen vowed that one day she would live in the White House. Helen had grown into an extremely ambitious, unconventional, independent and strong minded woman. Helen met William Taft when he was a law student at the University of Cincinnati. The couple married on June 19, 1886 and had 3 children whose names were Robert Alphonso, Helen Herron and Charles Phelps. In 1900, President McKinley appointed William Taft to the Governor General of the Philippine Islands. The couple travelled to Japan and China, and William Taft undertook a special diplomatic mission to the Vatican. The ambitious Helen Taft was determined to support and encourage her husband in his political career. Many historians believe that without her determined efforts her husband would never have become president. As First Lady she became his most trusted aide and advisor.

Facts about Helen Taft: Life at the White House
Facts and Info: William Taft was elected President of the United States and Helen Taft assumed the role as First Lady on
March 4, 1909. On inauguration day she became the first president's wife to ride beside him as he rode in a horse drawn carriage down Pennsylvania Avenue. With her husband's election Helen Taft had achieved her great ambition and become First Lady of the United States. Helen Taft was in her element and set about her new role with energy and great enthusiasm. Helen was a brilliant social hostess and organized parties and social gatherings at the White House. Her hard work came to an abrupt halt in May 1909 when she suffered a paralyzing stroke. She recovered but the stroke had left her speech impaired. Helen underwent a year of therapy to combat the results of the stroke but her health was damaged and she never fully regained her former energy and vigor. She continued to support and advise her husband throughout her illness and resumed her social duties as First Lady as soon as she was able. She wore the most extravagant, beautiful gowns with low necklines and was famous for her of tiaras. The most outstanding social event held during the presidency was an evening garden party on June 19, 1911, attended by several thousand guests,  to celebrate the couple's silver wedding anniversary. The White House had undergone substantial renovation under the Roosevelt administration and building improvements continued resulting in the addition of the oval office within an enlarged office wing. President William Taft concluded his term in office and he and Helen Taft left the White House on March 4, 1913.

Facts about Helen Taft and the Cherry Trees
Helen Taft was a successful First Lady and is well remembered and famous for her enthusiasm for Japanese cherry trees. She initiated a beautification project in Washington DC in which Cherry Trees were planted along the tidal basin. The idea was originated by Eliza Scidmore, an authority on Japan, and she suggested the idea to Helen Taft. Helen Taft loved the idea, and had seen the beautiful trees on her earlier travels to Japan. Over three thousand Japanese Cherry trees were planted along the Potomac River from the site of the Lincoln Memorial southward towards East Potomac Park. The Cherry Trees of Washington DC are the lasting legacy of Helen Taft.

Facts about the later life of Helen Taft
After Helen Taft left the White House she wrote her autobiography 'Recollections of Full Years' and became the first wife of a president to see her memoirs published in her lifetime. William and Helen Taft moved from Washington to New Haven, Connecticut and in 1921 William Taft chief justice of the United States. William Taft died of a heart attack on March 8, 1930. Helen Taft died on May 22, 1943 at the age of 81, she was buried next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.


Presidential Seal


Video of William Taft
The Facts about Helen Taft provides a fast overview of the key facts and events in the biography about her life and accomplishments as the First Lady of William Taft. The following video enables you to sit back and listen to the history of the personal and political life of William Taft, the man she supported. A useful biography and educational resource for kids, children and schools learning about the life and family of Helen Taft.




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