The First Lady of the United States is 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.
The 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, the First Lady does not hold outside employment while occupying the office. She has her own staff, including the White House Social Secretary, the Chief of Staff, the Press Secretary, the Chief Floral Designer, and the Executive Chef. The Office of the First Lady is also in charge of all social and ceremonial events of the White House, and is a branch of the Executive Office of the President.
Here’s the full list of all the First Ladies since America had a president:
First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a lawyer, writer, and the wife of the 44th and current President, Barack Obama. She is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Through her four main initiatives, she has become a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.
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|Today, one can clearly see that Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman of many accomplishments including a role model and an agent for change . Though viewed positively today, Eleanor Roosevelt was considered scandalous by many. Scandal surrounded her when she went into a coal mind to inspect it; such behavior was not considered ladylike. Scandal surrounded her when she supported friends in positions of public employ; such behavior was not considered proper behavior on the part of a president’s wife. Scandal surrounded her friendships with Lorena Hickok and Joseph Lash; the relationships were viewed suspiciously by opponents and considered improper for a First Lady.
In this lesson student will gain a historical perspective of scandal and the American presidency.
Access to the Internet and/or access to a public library.
1. Explain to students, that for the most part, no president held office without at least a little scandal. For example, even Thomas Jefferson dealt with the scandal of a child born to one of his slaves who we now know was his child, but at the time of his presidency, was simply a scandalous rumor.
2. Share with students that songs were written and used to mock Thomas Jefferson and explain the fun people have with scandals.
3. Below is a chart of presidents and scandals that plagued their presidency. Divide the presidential scandals equally among the students in the class.