The First Ladies


Presidential Seal - Out of many One - US Presidents in order with dates and parties

The Position of the First Ladies
This article provides details of the 'First Ladies' of the Presidents of the United States of America. The position as one of the First Ladies is traditionally held by the by the wife of the President of the United States during his term of office. If the President is a bachelor or widower the President traditionally chooses a female relative to undertake the role as First Lady. The same protocol applied if one of the First Ladies was unable to fulfil the role.

The Role of the First Ladies
The role of the First Ladies is unofficial. First Ladies are not elected, they do not receive a salary, neither is the role of the First Lady addressed in the US Constitution.

The Duties of the First Ladies
The duties of the First Ladies have evolved over the years. The main duty of the First Ladies is to act as hostess of the White House, in charge of social and ceremonial events. First Ladies are the most famous women in the country and support charities and causes.


The First Ladies aka Firstladies
The position of the First Ladies is to support her husband to ensure the smooth running of the White House. The First Ladies attend to the domestic affairs of the White House and organize and attend official ceremonies and functions of state along with the President. In some non-political circumstances or occasions they may take the place of the president.

Which wives died before their husbands became President?
Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Hannah Van Buren and Ellen Arthur all died before their husbands became president, and the social role of the first lady was unofficially filled by family and friends.

Which First Ladies were not the Wives of Presidents?
Several women, who were not the wives of the presidents, have served as First Ladies. The names of the First Ladies who were not the wives of presidents were Martha Jefferson Randolph, Emily Donelson, Sarah Yorke Jackson, Angelica Van Buren, Priscilla Cooper Tyler, Harriet Lane, Mary Arthur McElroy, Mary Harrison McKee and Margaret Woodrow Wilson.

The First Ladies - The Title
Why are presidents wives called First Ladies? Following the American War of Independence
(17751783) George Washington became the first President. It was the birth of a new nation and no one was sure how to address his wife, Martha. She was eventually was called "Lady" Washington, but the same title changed over time. First Ladies were addressed as "Mrs. President," and even "Lady Presidentress". The term "First Lady" was coined in 1849 by President Zachary Taylor during his eulogy to Dolley Madison, the wife of President James Madison. The origin of the term is an English translation of the Italian "Prima Donna", the title of the leading female role in an opera. The term "First Lady" has now come to mean the foremost woman or the wife of the president.

How are First Ladies addressed?
First Ladies are addressed as, for instance, the "First Lady Michelle Obama" or "Former First Lady Laura Bush" however, this it is not officially required, nor is it official protocol.

The First Ladies and the Second Ladies
The President's wife, or designated substitute,
is referred to as "First Lady". The wife, or designated substitute, of The Vice President is referred to as the "Second Lady".

The Names of all the First Ladies
This helpful list of all the names of the First Ladies in order with dates and the names of Presidents is a great resource of interesting facts and important information that can be used as a fast reference guide when completing school or college projects and homework. The list of First Ladies are presented in date order according to the order of presidencies, the names of the President, the First Ladies relationships to the Presidents, their date of birth, date of death, date of marriage, number of children and the date the First Ladies entered the White House. The list of First Ladies are as follows (the number of children relate to all the marriages of the First Ladies):

The First Ladies: List of First Ladies in order with important dates


Names of Presidents
in order
Names of First LadiesRelationship
to President
Date of
Date of
Number ChildrenDate entered
White House
Date of
1stGeorge WashingtonMartha Custis WashingtonWifeJune 2, 1731January 6, 17594April 30, 1789May 22, 1802
2ndJohn AdamsAbigail AdamsWifeNovember 11, 1744October 25, 17646March 4, 1797October 28, 1818
3rdThomas JeffersonMartha Jefferson RandolphDaughterSeptember 27, 1772--March 4, 1801October 10, 1836
4thJames MadisonDolley Todd MadisonWifeMay 20, 1768September 14, 17942March 4, 1809July 12, 1849
5thJames MonroeElizabeth MonroeWifeJune 30, 1768February 16, 17863March 4, 1817September 23, 1830
6thJohn Quincy AdamsLouisa Catherine
WifeFebruary 12, 1775July 26, 17975March 4, 1825May 15, 1852
7thAndrew JacksonEmily DonelsonNieceJune 1, 1807--March 4, 1829December 19, 1836
 Andrew JacksonSarah Yorke JacksonDaughter-in-lawJuly 16, 1803--November 26, 1834August 23, 1887
8thMartin Van BurenAngelica Singleton
Van Buren
Daughter-in-lawFebruary 13, 1818--January 1, 1839December 29, 1877
9thWilliam HarrisonAnna HarrisonWifeJuly 25, 1775November 22, 179510March 4, 1841February 25, 1864
10thJohn TylerLetitia TylerWife12 November 1790March 29, 18137April 4, 1841September 10, 1842
 John TylerPriscilla Cooper TylerDaughter-in-lawJune 14, 1816--September 10, 1842December 29, 1889
 John TylerJulia Gardiner TylerWifeMay 4, 1820June 26, 18447June 26, 1844July 10, 1889
11thJames Knox PolkSarah Childress PolkWifeSeptember 4, 1803January 1, 18241March 4, 1845August 14, 1891
12thZachary TaylorMargaret (Peggy) TaylorWifeSeptember 21, 1788June 21, 18106March 4, 1849August 14, 1852
13thMillard FillmoreAbigail FillmoreWifeMarch 13, 1798February 5, 18262July 9, 1850March 30, 1853
14thFranklin PierceJane PierceWifeMarch 12, 1806November 19, 18343March 4, 1853December 2, 1863
15thJames BuchananHarriet LaneNieceMay 9, 1830--March 4, 1861July 3, 1903
16thAbraham LincolnMary Todd LincolnWifeDecember 13, 1818November 4, 18424March 4, 1861July 16, 1882
17thAndrew JohnsonEliza McCardle
WifeOctober 4, 1810May 17, 18275April 15, 1865January 15, 1876
18thUlysses GrantJulia Boggs GrantWifeJanuary 26, 1826August 22, 18484March 4, 1869December 14, 1902
19thRutherford HayesLucy Webb HayesWifeAugust 28, 1831December 30, 18528March 4, 1877June 25, 1889
20thJames GarfieldLucretia GarfieldWifeApril 19, 1832November 11, 18587March 4, 1881March 14, 1918
21stChester ArthurMary Arthur McElroySisterJuly 5, 1841--September 19, 1881January 8, 1917
22ndGrover ClevelandRose ClevelandSisterJune 13, 1846--March 4, 1893November 22, 1918
22ndGrover ClevelandFrances Folsom ClevelandWifeJuly 21, 1864June 2, 18862June 2, 1886October 29, 1947
23rdBenjamin HarrisonCaroline Lavinia HarrisonWifeOctober 1, 1832October 20, 18533March 4, 1889October 25, 1892
 Benjamin HarrisonMary Harrison
DaughterApril 3, 1858--October 25, 1892October 28, 1930
24thGrover ClevelandFrances Folsom ClevelandWifeJuly 21, 1864June 2, 18862March 4, 1893October 29, 1947
25thWilliam McKinleyIda Saxton McKinleyWifeJune 8, 1847January 25, 18712March 4, 1897May 26, 1907
26thTheodore RooseveltEdith Kermit RooseveltWifeAugust 6, 1861December 2, 18865September 14, 1901September 30, 1948
27thWilliam TaftHelen Heron TaftWifeJune 2, 1861June 19, 18863March 4, 1909May 22, 1943
28thWoodrow WilsonEllen Axson WilsonWifeMay 15, 1860June 24, 18853March 4, 1913August 6, 1914
 Woodrow WilsonMargaret Woodrow WilsonDaughterApril 16, 1886--August 6, 1914February 12, 1944
 Woodrow WilsonEdith Galt WilsonWifeOctober 15, 1872December 18, 19150December 18, 1915December 28, 1961
29thWarren HardingFlorence Mabel
deWolfe Harding
WifeAugust 15, 1860December 18, 19151March 4, 1921November 21, 1924
30thCalvin CoolidgeGrace Anna CoolidgeWifeJanuary 3, 1879October 4, 19052August 2, 1923July 8, 1957
31stHerbert HooverLou Henry HooverWifeMarch 29, 1874February 10, 18992March 4, 1929January 7, 1944
32ndFranklin RooseveltEleanor RooseveltWifeOctober 11, 1884March 17, 19055March 4, 1933November 7, 1962
33rdHarry TrumanElizabeth Virginia
"Bess" Truman
WifeFebruary 13, 1885June 28, 19191April 12, 1945October 18, 1982
34thDwight EisenhowerMamie Geneva EisenhowerWifeNovember 14, 1896July 1, 19162January 20, 1953November 1, 1979
35thJohn KennedyJacqueline Lee
Bouvier Kennedy
WifeJuly 28, 1929September 12, 19532January 20, 1961May 19, 1994
36thLyndon JohnsonClaudia Alta
"Lady Bird" Johnson
WifeDecember 22, 1912November 17, 19342November 22, 1963July 11, 2007
37thRichard NixonThelma Catherine
"Pat" Nixon
WifeMarch 16, 1912June 21, 19402January 20, 1969June 22, 1993
38thGerald FordElizabeth Ann
Warren "Betty" Ford
WifeApril 8, 1918October 15, 19484August 9, 1974July 8, 2011
39thJimmy CarterEleanor Rosalynn
WifeAugust 18, 1927July 7, 19464January 20, 1977 
40thRonald ReaganNancy Davis
WifeJuly 6, 1921March 4, 19522January 20, 1981 
41stGeorge H BushBarbara BushWifeJune 8, 1925January 6, 19456January 20, 1989 
42ndBill ClintonHillary Diane
Rodham Clinton
WifeOctober 26, 1947October 11, 19751January 20, 1993 
43rdGeorge W BushLaura Lane BushWifeNovember 4, 1946November 5, 19772January 20, 2001 
44thBarack ObamaMichelle
LaVaughn Obama
WifeJanuary 17, 1964October 3, 19922January 20, 2009 


Names of Presidents
in order
Names of First LadiesRelationship
to President
Date of
Date of
Number ChildrenDate entered
White House
Date of
The First Ladies: List of First Ladies in order with important dates

List of the First Ladies
The above list of the First Ladies provide facts and dates including the names of the Presidents, the First Ladies relationships, dates of birth, dates of death, dates of marriage, total number of children and the dates the First Ladies entered the White House. Fast, interesting facts about the First Ladies are provided below.


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Trivia and Facts about First Ladies
The following fact file contains important facts, trivia and information about the First Ladies of the United States of America.


Trivia and Facts about the First Ladies

First Ladies Fact 1:The First Ladies Abigail Adams and Barbara Bush were both who the wives and mothers of US Presidents.
First Ladies Fact 2:Edith Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, was a descendent of Pocahontas.
First Ladies Fact 3:Caroline Scott Harrison, the wife of President Benjamin Harrison, was a founding member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
First Ladies Fact 4:One of the campaign slogans of Gerald Ford was "Vote for Betty's Husband."
First Ladies Fact 5:Who was the youngest First Lady? Frances Cleveland. She was also the first first lady to marry and give birth in the White House.
First Ladies Fact 6:Who was the oldest First Lady? Anna Harrison was the oldest of the First Ladies
First Ladies Fact 7:Louisa Catherine Johnson, the wife of President John Quincy Adams was the only First Lady not born in the US. She was born in England.
First Ladies Fact 8:Helen Herron Taft was the first of the First Ladies to publish her autobiography.
First Ladies Fact 9:Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first wife of a President to be elected to the U. S. Senate
First Ladies Fact 10:Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, was voted an honorary seat in the House of Representatives.
First Ladies Fact 11:Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson hired her own chief of staff and press secretary
First Ladies Fact 12:Nancy Reagan was a Hollywood actress before she became one of the most famous of the First Ladies
First Ladies Fact 13:The first African American first lady is Michelle Obama
First Ladies Fact 14:Eleanor Roosevelt became a delegate to the United Nations following the death of her husband
First Ladies Fact 15:Lou Hoover and President Herbert Hoover were both fluent in Mandarin, and would often speak to each other in Chinese to prevent others from eavesdropping on them.
First Ladies Fact 16:Helen Heron Taft "Nellie"  was the only one of the First Ladies to be both first lady and the wife of the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
First Ladies Fact 17:Lucy Hayes was the first of the First Ladies to have graduated from college.
First Ladies Fact 18:The only bachelor president was James Buchanan who asked his niece, Harriet Lane, to serve as first lady
First Ladies Fact 19:The First Ladies Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Hannah Van Buren and Ellen Arthur all died before their husbands became president
First Ladies Fact 20:Which First Ladies died in the White House? Answer: Ellen Wilson, 1914, Caroline Harrison, 1892, and Letitia Tyler, 1842

Trivia and Facts about the First Ladies


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First Ladies: Video of all the US Presidents
The Facts about the First Ladies provide a fast overview of the key facts and events about the lives of the First Ladies. The following video enables you to sit back and listen to the history of the personal and political life of the US Presidents, the famous men they supported. A useful educational resource for kids, children and schools learning about the life and family of the First Ladies and the US Presidents.




US First Ladies for kids
Interesting facts and history about the First Ladies for kids and schools
Key facts and dates about First Ladies for kids
Families, kids, children and accomplishments of First Ladies
Detailed Facts and List of First Ladies
Fast interesting facts and dates about the First Ladies & Presidents
The life and short biography of First Ladies
Facts, info about the role, duties and names of the First Ladies of US Presidents for schools, homework, kids and children

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