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Thursday, December 16, 2010

List of First Ladies of the United States


First Lady of the
United States
Incumbent
Michelle Obama

since January 20, 2009
StyleMrs. Obama
ResidenceWhite House
Inaugural holderMartha Washington
FormationApril 30, 1789
WebsiteFirst Ladies

The First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. The position is traditionally filled by the wife of the President of the United States, but on occasion the title has been applied to women who were not Presidents' wives, such as when the President was a bachelor or widower, or when the wife of the President was unable to fulfill the duties of the First Lady herself. First Lady is not an elected position; it carries no official duties and receives no salary. Nonetheless, she attends many official ceremonies and functions of state either along with or in place of the President. Traditionally, First Lady does not hold outside employment while occupying the office. The Office of the First Lady is also in charge of all social and ceremonial events of the White House. The First Lady has her own staff, including the White House Social Secretary, a Chief of staff, Press secretary, Chief Floral Designer, and Executive Chef. The Office of the First Lady is a branch of the Executive Office of the President.
According to the White House and the National First Ladies' Library, there have been forty-five First Ladies and forty-six First Ladyships. This discrepancy exists because Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms and is counted chronologically as both the twenty-second and the twenty-fourth President; his wife Frances Folsom Cleveland is also counted twice. Following Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, his wife Michelle Obama became the forty-sixth First Lady, succeeding Laura Bush, wife of former President George W. Bush.
As of May 2009, there are six living former First Ladies: Betty Ford, widow of Gerald Rudolph Ford; Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter; Nancy Reagan, widow of Ronald Reagan; Barbara Bush, wife of George H. W. Bush; Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of Bill Clinton; and Laura Bush, wife of George W. Bush. The first First Lady of the US was Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, married to George Washington. Presidents John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson had two official First Ladies – both remarried during their presidential tenures. The wives of four Presidents died before their husbands were sworn into Office but are still considered First Ladies by the White House and National First Ladies' Library: Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, wife of Thomas Jefferson; Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson; Hannah Hoes Van Buren, wife of Martin Van Buren; and Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur, wife of Chester A. Arthur.
Harriet Lane, James Buchanan's niece, is the only person not married to a President who was considered an official First Lady; however, Dolley Madison served unofficially as Jefferson's First Lady; Emily Donelson and Sarah Yorke Jackson served unofficially as First Ladies during Jackson's presidency; and Chelsea Clinton served unofficially as First Lady during her mother's campaign and term as Senator during her father's presidency.
The title "First Lady" was first used to describe Dolley Madison in her eulogy given by James Madison. It did not enter official usage until Harriet Lane entered the White House.
In 2007, the United States Mint began releasing a set of half-ounce $10 gold coins under the First Spouse Program with engravings of portraits of the First Ladies on the obverse. When a President served without a spouse, a gold coin is issued that bears an obverse image emblematic of Liberty as depicted on a circulating coin of that era and a reverse image emblematic of themes of that President's life. This is true for the coins for Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan's First Ladies, but not the coin for Chester A. Arthur's First Lady, which will instead depict suffragette Alice Paul.

First Ladies

First LadyDate of marriagePresidentEntered White HouseLeft White House
1Portrait of Martha WashingtonMartha Custis Washington

(née Dandridge)
January 6, 1759George WashingtonApril 30, 1789March 4, 1797
2Portrait painting of Abigail AdamsAbigail Adams

(née Smith)
October 25, 1764John AdamsMarch 4, 1797March 4, 1801
3Portrait painting of Martha JeffersonMartha Jefferson Randolph

January 1, 1772Thomas Jefferson[n 1]
4Portrait painting of Dolley MadisonDolley Todd Madison

(née Payne)
September 14, 1794James MadisonMarch 4, 1809March 4, 1817
5Portrait painting of Elizabeth MonroeElizabeth Monroe

(née Kortright)
February 16, 1786James MonroeMarch 4, 1817March 4, 1825
6Portrait engraving of Louisa AdamsLouisa Catherine Adams

(née Johnson)
July 26, 1797John Quincy AdamsMarch 4, 1825March 4, 1829
7Rachel JacksonRachel Robards Jackson

(née Donelson)
January 7, 1794Andrew Jackson[n 2]
8Portrait painting of Hannah Van BurenHannah Van Buren

(née Hoes)
February 21, 1807Martin Van Buren[n 3]
9Portrait painting of Anna HarrisonAnna Harrison

(née Tuthill Symmes)
November 22, 1795William Henry HarrisonMarch 4, 1841[n 4]April 4, 1841
10Portrait painting of Letitia TylerLetitia Tyler

(née Christian)
March 29, 1813John TylerApril 4, 1841September 10, 1842[n 5]
11Portrait painting of Julia TylerJulia Tyler

(née Gardiner)
June 26, 1844June 26, 1844[n 6]March 4, 1845
12Portrait painting of Sarah PolkSarah Polk

(née Childress)
January 1, 1824James K. PolkMarch 4, 1845March 4, 1849
13Portrait painting of Margaret TaylorMargaret Taylor

(née Mackall Smith)
June 21, 1810Zachary TaylorMarch 4, 1849July 9, 1850
14Portrait painting of Abigail FillmoreAbigail Fillmore

(née Powers)
February 5, 1826Millard FillmoreJuly 9, 1850March 4, 1853
15Engraving of Jane PierceJane Pierce

(née Means Appleton)
November 19, 1834Franklin PierceMarch 4, 1853March 4, 1857
16Portrait photograph of Harriet LaneHarriet Lane

[n 7]James BuchananMarch 4, 1857March 4, 1861
17Portrait photograph of Mary LincolnMary Todd Lincoln

(née Todd)
November 4, 1842Abraham LincolnMarch 4, 1861April 15, 1865
18Portrait engraving of Eliza JohnsonEliza Johnson

(née McCardle)
May 17, 1827Andrew JohnsonApril 15, 1865March 4, 1869
19Portrait photograph of Julia GrantJulia Boggs Grant

(née Dent)
August 22, 1848Ulysses S. GrantMarch 4, 1869March 4, 1877
20Portrait photograph of Lucy HayesLucy Ware Hayes

(née Webb)
December 30, 1852Rutherford B. HayesMarch 4, 1877March 4, 1881
21Portrait photograph of Lucretia GarfieldLucretia Garfield

(née Rudolph)
November 11, 1858James A. GarfieldMarch 4, 1881September 19, 1881
22Portrait of Ellen ArthurEllen Arthur

(née Lewis Herndon)
October 25, 1859Chester A. Arthur[n 8]
23Portrait of Frances ClevelandFrances Clara Cleveland

(née Folsom; later Preston)
June 2, 1886Grover ClevelandJune 2, 1886[n 9]March 4, 1889
24Portrait of Caroline HarrisonCaroline Lavinia Harrison

(née Scott)
October 20, 1853Benjamin HarrisonMarch 4, 1889October 25, 1892[n 10]
25Portrait of Frances ClevelandFrances Clara Cleveland

(née Folsom; later Preston)
June 2, 1886Grover ClevelandMarch 4, 1893March 4, 1897
26Portrait of Ida McKinleyIda McKinley

(née Saxton)
January 25, 1871William McKinleyMarch 4, 1897September 14, 1901
27Portrait of Edith RooseveltEdith Kermit Roosevelt

(née Carow)
December 2, 1886Theodore RooseveltSeptember 14, 1901March 4, 1909
28Portrait of Helen TaftHelen Louise Taft

(née Herron)
June 19, 1886William Howard TaftMarch 4, 1909March 4, 1913
29Portrait of Ellen WilsonEllen Louise Wilson

(née Axson)
June 24, 1885Woodrow WilsonMarch 4, 1913August 6, 1914[n 11]
30Portrait of Edith WilsonEdith Galt Wilson

(née Bolling)
December 18, 1915December 18, 1915March 4, 1921
31Portrait of Florence HardingFlorence Mabel deWolfe Harding

(née Kling)
July 8, 1891Warren G. HardingMarch 4, 1921August 2, 1923
32Grace CoolidgeGrace Anna Coolidge

(née Goodhue)
October 4, 1905Calvin CoolidgeAugust 2, 1923March 4, 1929
33Portrait of Lou Henry HooverLou Henry Hoover

(née Henry)
February 10, 1899Herbert HooverMarch 4, 1929March 4, 1933
34Portrait of Eleanor RooseveltAnna Eleanor Roosevelt

(née Roosevelt)
March 17, 1905Franklin D. RooseveltMarch 4, 1933April 12, 1945
35Portrait of Bess TrumanElizabeth Virginia Truman

(née Wallace)
June 28, 1919Harry S. TrumanApril 12, 1945January 20, 1953
36Portrait of Mamie EisenhowerMamie Geneva Eisenhower

(née Doud)
July 1, 1916Dwight D. EisenhowerJanuary 20, 1953January 20, 1961
37Portrait Of jaqueline KennedyJacqueline Lee Kennedy

(née Bouvier; later Onassis)
September 12, 1953John F. KennedyJanuary 20, 1961November 22, 1963
38Portrait of Lady Bird JohnsonClaudia "Lady Bird" Alta Johnson

(née Taylor)
November 17, 1934Lyndon B. JohnsonNovember 22, 1963January 20, 1969
39Portrait of Pat NixonThelma "Pat" Catherine Nixon

(née Ryan)
June 21, 1940Richard NixonJanuary 20, 1969August 9, 1974
40Portrait of Betty FordElizabeth "Betty" Ann Warren Ford

(née Bloomer)
October 15, 1948Gerald Rudolph FordAugust 9, 1974January 20, 1977
41Portrait of Rosalynn CarterEleanor Rosalynn Carter

(née Smith)
July 7, 1946Jimmy CarterJanuary 20, 1977January 20, 1981
42Portrait of Nancy ReaganNancy Davis Reagan

(née Davis)
March 6, 1952Ronald ReaganJanuary 20, 1981January 20, 1989
43Portrait of Barbara BushBarbara Bush

(née Pierce)
January 6, 1945George H. W. BushJanuary 20, 1989January 20, 1993
44Portrait of Hillary Rodham ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton

(née Rodham)
October 11, 1975Bill ClintonJanuary 20, 1993January 20, 2001
45Portrait of Laura BushLaura Lane Bush

(née Welch)
November 5, 1977George W. BushJanuary 20, 2001January 20, 2009
46Portrait of Michelle ObamaMichelle LaVaughn Obama

(née Robinson)
October 3, 1992Barack ObamaJanuary 20, 2009Incumbent



(source:wikipedia)

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