All of these women took the centre stage not just to be a style icon but to use their voices for a cause and radiate power along with grace.
Over the years, we have seen various personalities in the role of the first lady of America. While some chose to remain in the shadows of their husband's stature, others used their unique and powerful position to create a voice for themselves and the people.
As a result, their role evolved from being a "hostess" of the White House to someone who's been respected as much as their husbands.
Here is a list of the first ladies in the history of the U.S.A who used their position to be a catalyst for change and made a mark with their impeccable grace and style.
The longest-serving first lady, from 1933 to 1945, she was the wife of Franklin Roosevelt. One of the first ladies to stand for a cause, Eleanor Roosevelt fought for civil rights, new deal proposals, and rights for women, according to Thought Co. After the death of her husband, she became a member of the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) but also the first chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission. She also believed that people deserved equal rights to education and opportunities. What a powerful woman!
Rosalynn Carter was another first lady who was admired by the Americans for her hard work. She was the first lady from 1977 to 1981. Her husband Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, introduced his wife as “an equal extension” of himself, according to Cheat Sheet. She was passionate about fighting for mental health, the equal rights amendment, and supporting arts. In 2001, she was elected into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
She was the first lady from 1963 to 1969. She was Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife. According to Biography, she created the First Lady's Committee for a More Beautiful Capital in the 1960s. Under the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, she planted bulbs and trees along roadsides herself. She also supported the "war on poverty" and the Headstart Program.
Born as Elizabeth Anne Bloomer, she was married to Gerald Ford. She served as the first lady of America from 1973 to 1974. She was one of the most outspoken first ladies with her open discussion about her psychiatric treatment. Her honesty was a breath of fresh air for the Americans. An advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment, she fought for the legalization of abortion as well. She also spoke about breast cancer awareness after going through a mastectomy.
She served as a FLOTUS from 1981 to 1989. She was married to Geroge H.W Bush. She was the founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She dedicated her whole life to raise money for literacy. She was the author of C. Fred's Story, a children's book, and donated its proceeds to literacy charities, according to Wikipedia. She shares the honor of being the first lady and mother to presidents with Abigail Adams.
Nancy Reagan, wife of Ronald Reagan, was a Broadway actress who served as the first lady from 1981 to 1989. She was hailed by the Americans for her zeal to work against drug and alcohol abuse and establishing the Just Say No anti-drug campaign, as reported by Cheat Sheet. According to ABC News, she was an ardent supporter of stem cell research to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Known for her poise and sophistication, the stylish Jackie Kennedy was adored by the Americans. She became the third-youngest first lady after her husband John F. Kennedy took the office as the President of the United States from 1961 to 1963, as reported by Thoughts Co. According to Biography, she transformed the White House into a museum of American history and culture and broadcasted a televised tour of the completed structure for the people. She was also a supporter of the arts.
Wife to former president Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton made a place for herself with her involvement in making policies for the health sector when she served as the first lady from 1993 to 2001. A supporter of children's and women's issues, she was appointed the head of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. She also defended the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
A lawyer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, Michelle Obama served as the first lady from 2008 to 2016. Wife of Barack Obama, she began two initiatives as the first lady. The Let's Move! program was to help reduce childhood obesity, and the second was the Reach Higher Initiative, which provides students the guidance and resources required for higher education and professional careers.
She became the first lady after Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States, the current president. She began the Be Best Campaign which works for the well-being of children and fights against cyberbullying and opioid abuse. Her style is appreciated by the Americans and has been compared to that of Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy.
All these women chose to make their presence known in society not as someone's wife, but as themselves and we are proud to have such inspirational and powerful women amongst us.