Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Contemporary Ladies of the White House

Ladies in Red

1. Maime Doud Eisenhower, Ike's wife, I got more of a feel for her personality from visiting their home in Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg.  She just seemed to be a positive and joyful person to be around.  It can't be easy being married to a general but if you had to pick one, who didn't like Ike. Eisenhower was named one of the twelve best dressed women in the country by the New York Dress Institute every year that she was First Lady. 

 National History Museum

 Eisenhower Gettysburg Residence Museum

  Eisenhower Gettysburg Residence Museum

2. Laura Bush radiated in red and the man she married, George W. Bush III always seems to be smiling in her presence. So I am guessing she is also a wonderful wife.

Women who wowed in white

3. Nancy Reagan always had a polished look, perhaps it came from her Hollywood years. She was the second wife of Ronald Reagan and it always seemed like with that couple, he met his match.

4. Michele Obama's legacy is yet to be determined, I have always admired her and her wit. She seems to be a super mom. The most memorable tour of the White House grounds was when she was traveling in a loop with James Corden and shared her karaoke skills (she's really good).  She was always a good sport and supporter of her man, former President Barrack Obama. She is a a big proponent for exercise with her Let's Move initiative and she practiced what she preached. She is a great "Girl Power" Ambassador.

5. Barbara Bush in royal blue can claim wife and mother of a President of the United States. That's not something everyone can put on their resume. To date, she and I believe Abigail Adams are the only two who can proclaim this fame.

6. Rosalynn Carter also chose a lighter shade of blue chiffon to wear to the Governors Ball in Georgia.

7. Hillary Clinton wore a New York designed blue velvet dress with a violet beaded sheath to the Inaugural Ball following the swearing in of her husband President Bill Clinton.

8. Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford, campaigned for Equal Rights and brought breast cancer out in the open.  She also led awareness to the struggle of alcohol and drug addition. She was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (presented 1991 by George H. W. Bush). Gerald Ford was her second husband.

9. Lady Bird Johnson wore a golden color with cape sleeves of fur. I like the look but I wonder what animal rights activists today would have thought of that? It used to be a fashion.

10. Jackie "O" Jacqueline Kennedy was the fashion icon of the Twentieth Century Presidential Wives to date. It is nearly impossible to compete with her style. It must have been her French roots.

 Just around the corner from the First Ladies Dresses is an African American exhibit. Ann Cole Lowe the first African American woman to operate a couture dress salon on Madison Avenue in New York designed the wedding gown of former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy when she married John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Repeating yesterday's references:

After writing this blog, I discovered the National First Ladies Library website, I was looking for a confirmation on Dolley Madison. I may get some of my facts misconstrued but they have obviously done their homework and would be a great reference to use.  It looks like an excellent research site to delve more into the lives of the Presidents First Ladies.  All of my information and photographs of the dresses came from a recent trip to the Smithsonian National History Museum. It is still a favorite Smithsonian but they are all great! I have learned things about the First Ladies I never knew.

March is Women's History Month

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