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Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt died seventeen years before her husband Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the presidency of the United States. She is the most recent of the five women who never saw their husbands reach the White House. Martha Jefferson, Hannah Van Buren, and Ellen Arthur were featured recently in...

BARBARA BUSH, THE OLDEST FIRST LADY, STILL LIVING, WILL BE NINETY-TWO ON AUGUST 8th. Presently, the United States is fortunate to have five living former First Ladies: Barbara Bush will celebrate her ninety-second birthday on August 8, 2017. She was recently hospitalized for a week in Houston to recover from bronchitis. Her...

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AND LORENA HICKOK "ELEANOR & HICK" : THEIR RELATIONSHIP EXPLORED IN A NEW BOOK Eleanor Roosevelt had a long-term relationship with reporter Lorena Hickok, one that began when she was the wife of the Governor of New York State and persisted during her tenure as First Lady. Susan Quinn's saucily...

FDR'S DAUGHTER MAY HAVE PROLONGED HER FATHER'S LIFE APRIL 1944 -- APRIL 1945. Once President Roosevelt was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and severe hypertension, his daughter Anna and Navy cardiologist Lieutenant Commander Howard Bruenn assumed his care and medical treatment. Dr. Bruenn was a constant presence and examined Roosevelt several times...

FDR'S DAUGHTER: INSTRUMENTAL IN PROLONGING HER FATHER'S LIFE, APRIL 1944 -- APRIL, 1945? Anna Roosevelt, President Roosevelt's daughter and favorite child, became a White House resident in early 1944 and was her father's closest companion until his death in April, 1945. It was at her insistence that FDR was examined by...

DID HER INTERVENTION PROLONG FDR'S LIFE THROUGH D DAY, THE 1944 PRESIDNTIAL ELECTION, AND THE YALTA CONFERENCE? Anna Roosevelt Boettiger, President Franklin, and First Lady Eleanor, Roosevelt's oldest child and only daughter, visited the White House over the 1943-44 Christmas/New Year holiday. During her four week stay, FDR quickly realized how...

DAUGHTER AND SURROGATE, 'ASSISTANT FIRST LADY,' and SOCIAL RENEGADE [caption id="attachment_638" align="alignleft" width="300"] Eliza Monroe Hay[/caption] Elizabeth Monroe, the wife of two term president James Monroe (1817-1825), is generally considered an ineffective first lady. The brilliant success of Dolley Madison as a White House social paragon would have dimmed the brightness of...

[caption id="attachment_317" align="alignleft" width="272"] Dolley Madison[/caption] Dolley Madison was a Surrogate First Lady before she entered the White House as First Lady in her own right, as the wife of James Madison, the fourth United States President. During her husband's presidency (1809-1817) Mrs. Madison became the admired prototype for future first ladies....

The United States is fortunate that it continues to experience the elegance, the class, the wisdom, and the wit of two of its aging former First Ladies. Nancy Reagan, aged 93 years 6 months recently became America's third longest lived First Lady. Her predecessor Betty Ford lived for 93 years...

[caption id="attachment_570" align="alignleft" width="300"] Nancy Reagan[/caption] On a recent trip to San Francisco, I read that 87-year-old Joan Quigley had died. The October 24, 2014 front page obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle appeared under the headline Socialite, astrologer advised Reagans. The information below is extracted from this article. Ms. Quigley was...

Rating the First Ladies II [caption id="attachment_557" align="alignleft" width="180"] Abigail Adams[/caption] Over the previous thirty years, the First Ladies of the United States were ranked at least six times, five times by the Siena College Expert Survey (1982, 1993, 2003, 2008, 2014) and once by historian Robert Watson (2000). On five occasions,...

Nancy Reagan, Her Mother, Emerges as an Appealing and Sensitive Parent in The Long Goodbye.   [caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="256"] Patti Davis[/caption] The portrayal of Nancy Reagan in Davis' first three novels and in her autobiography was that of a suspicious, controlling, deceitful, and destructive woman. However her mother emerges quite differently in...

Nancy Reagan's Image Suffers in Her Daughter's Fiction. [caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="256"] Patti Davis[/caption] Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, Margaret Truman, and Julie Nixon Eisenhower wrote laudatory biographies that celebrated the lives of their mothers, First Ladies Eleanor Wilson, Bess Truman, and Pat Nixon. Patti Davis, the daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan, did...

[caption id="attachment_521" align="alignleft" width="176"] Pat Nixon[/caption] Since Eleanor Roosevelt, twentieth and twenty-first century First Ladies have written autobiographies. They may have done so for several reasons: to correct any errors or scandalous rumors about their tenure in the White House; to burnish the record and reputation of their husband, the President;...

Martha Jefferson (1748-1782), Rachel Jackson (1767-1828), Hannah Van Buren (1783-1819), Ellen Arthur (1837-1880) [caption id="attachment_462" align="alignleft" width="300"] Martha Jefferson[/caption] The wives of four future presidents died before their husbands were inaugurated as President of the United States. Two (Rachel Jackson and Ellen Arthur) passed away less than a year before they would...

Lay-offs of non-essential government employees since the October 1st shut-down reached into the White House, although its extent is indeterminate. One estimate (Chris Cilizza: Washington Post "The Fix") stated that only fifteen people would care for the White House and the Obama family, down from the usual ninety. However, this may...

[caption id="attachment_380" align="alignleft" width="200"] Alice Hathaway Roosevelt[/caption] Edith Roosevelt, the woman who became President Teddy Roosevelt's First Lady in the White House in 1901, was not his first wife. Alice Hathaway Lee married Harvard senior Theodore Roosevelt in Boston on October 27, 1880. The groom was 22 years old on his wedding...

[caption id="attachment_317" align="alignleft" width="272"]                    Dolley Madison[/caption] Dolley Madison was a widow when she married James Madison, the intellectual giant who fathered the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Dolley Payne married attorney John Todd in a Philadelphia Quaker ceremony in 1790. Two sons were born to the Todds, John...

Recently Elizabeth Warren, a successful US Senate candidate shamelessly used her 'lineage' as a Native American for political and professional gain. Warren was successful but her relationship to a p.c. privileged class was bogus. One hundred years earlier (1915) Edith Bolling Gault became the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson. Mrs....

Elizabeth Monroe, the wife of future President James Monroe (1817-1825) twice endured round trip transatlantic sailings to accompany her husband on his diplomatic missions. Monroe was twice United States Minister to France, and once its Minister to England. The Monroes were inseparable and there was no question that either Elizabeth...

Nowadays transatlantic crossings by America’s First Ladies are commonplace and routine. Present travel between the United States and Europe is by means of safe and comfortable jet airlines. However, two hundred years ago, travel was by ship, was slow, extremely uncomfortable, dangerous and very unsafe. Three future First Ladies, Abigail Adams,...

On December 2, 1886, a typical foggy day in London-town, twenty eight year old Theodore Roosevelt wed twenty five year old Edith Kermit Carow. It was the future president’s second marriage and the new bride’s first. Both were natives of New York City. The wedding ceremony occurred in Saint George...

Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974 and the Nixons moved to their California seaside retreat. But they could not escape the fallout from the Watergate affair. Washington Post news reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, wishing to pursue farther a fame-enhancing narrative, wrote a follow up Watergate tell-all...

Nancy Reagan's presence suffuses the exhibits seen at the magnificent Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which is perched atop the lovely rolling hills of Simi Valley, California. She is there in many memorable video and film clips; she is there in the catalogue of love letters between her and her beloved husband; she...