Monday, October 15, 2018

Teachable Moment: In Praise of First Ladies--As Different As They Are

This is totally non-political. In reading this post, I doubt you could tell who I plan to vote for or not; who I have voted for or not; or who I may have written in or plan on writing in. This has nothing to do with politics. This post is in praise of a small group of women who have served the country as First Lady, and we should take note.

Melania Trump visiting a school in Africa.
 Melanie Trump is the second naturalized citizen to be First Lady (the first being John Quincy Adams' wife Louisa from England.) Ms. Trump is from Slovenia. The emphasis of this First Lady involves helping children.

The "Be Best' platform will focus on three main issues facing today's children that Mrs. Trump said are of particular concern to her: physical and emotional well-being, social media use, and the opioid abuse. 

 “I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

Michelle Obama, wife of the 44th president, Barrack Obama, has focused on helping kids be healthier through the Let's Move! program. Kids across America have learned to love healthy food through improved lunches. I recently had a second grader tell me how he loved squash. Cool. Check out the Let's Move! site--it is really special.

" I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition." Michelle Obama
Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president, George Bush, was a librarian--it follows that literacy would be her focus as First Lady. She has worked hard not only for Americans, but she has particularly declared the rights of girls for education worldwide.

Her foundation works for libraries in the USA.

"Once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open." Laura Bush

Center for Southern Folklore
Save America's Treasures
As First Lady and wife of the 42nd president Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton worked to begin Save America's Treasures--is a United States federal government initiative to preserve and protect historic buildings, arts, and published works.

  The arts are not a luxury. They are an integral part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.” Hillary Clinton


Barbara Bush, wife of George H. Bush, 41st president, established Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, empowering children and their parents to succeed,
through  family literacy programs, young children are prepared to start school ready, and parents are given a second chance to improve their literacy skills. You may recall she is a children's book author, the proceeds went to Mrs. Bush's Literacy Campaign.

Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush 

"I strongly believe that if every man, woman, and child could read, write and comprehend, we would be much closer to solving many of our nation's serious problems." Barbara Bush

Nancy Reagan, wife of  Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was the First Lady through most of the 80s. She began the well-known program "Just Say No," an anti-drug program aimed at students.

 "Say yes to your life And when it comes to alcohol and drugs, just say no." Nancy Reagan

Rosalyn Carter, wife of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter, supported many causes, but
her prime interest was in the area of mental health, and assisting caregivers through The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force.

"I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community no matter who you are or where you live." Rosalyn Carter

Betty Ford, wife of the 38th president, Gerald Ford, was remarkable in her candor about personal challenges. She supported recovering from substance abuse, as well as openly discussed her challenges with cancer and alcoholism. She established The Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction.

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic? Betty Ford

Pat Nixon, wife of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, as First Lady was enormously effective supporting volunteerism worldwide and, in fact, volunteered personally. She encouraged a "national recruitment program" to enlist thousands of volunteers to carry out a wide variety of community services. One of her missions was to inspect ten "Vest Pockets of Volunteerism" programs that addressed pressing social problems that fell outside of purview of legislation.

"Our success as a nation depends on our willingness to give generously of ourselves for the welfare and enrichment of the lives of others."

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president, encouraged the beautification of the nation's capital through the planting of flowers, in particular, by starting the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital and she was instrumental in promoting the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed "Lady Bird's Bill.

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope."Lady Bird Johnson
Jackie Kennedy, wife of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, is quite famous for supporting the Arts and renovating the White House. Her televised 'White House Tours' were quite a phenomena in the early 1960s. through her efforts, the White House was declared a museum.

"Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to redecorate it—a word I hate. It must be restored, and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship."

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