Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
"Mrs. President and Mrs. Vice President. Washington, D.C. January 12. Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt Was the Honored Guest at a Luncheon Given by Mrs. John Garner for the Senate Ladies' Luncheon Club which was Held at the Washington Club. Photo Shows Mrs. Garner Greeting Mrs. Roosevelt”

- January 12th, 1937 

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

Image dated January 3rd, 1902

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Bess Wallace (Truman) when she was 13 years old, about 47 years before she became First Lady of the United States. 

Image dated 1898

via Alamy
On today’s date December 13th, 1818 Mary Todd Lincoln was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

She and Abraham were married for 23 years and she lived another 17 years after Lincoln’s death. 

Image Mrs. Lincoln holding flowers c. 1861 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"Abigail Adams made herself supremely essential to the two great men forever connected with her name, her husband and her eldest son. John Adams found in her death, though he was then eighty-three years of age, the severest affliction which had ever befallen him. She had gone through the vicissitudes of more than half a century in his company, had sympathized with him in all his aspirations, and had cheered him in his greatest trials. Her character had adapted itself to his in such a manner as to improve the good qualities of both. 

Her eldest son, John Quincy Adams, returned home after eight years' diplomatic service abroad and became Secretary of State under President Monroe. It was, no doubt, a great gratification to his mother to have a son whose uprightness of character and abilities as a statesman were fully and freely recognized; and had her life been spared but a few years longer she would have seen the son, as she had seen the father, elevated to the Presidency of the United States. Though John Quincy Adams was at the time of his mother's death a famous man in mature years, her loss came to him as a great shock, and he wrote of it that he scarcely knew how to live in the world with his mother absent from it. She had with rare and beautiful fidelity impressed him not only with her mother love but with her firm religious convictions and the spiritual quality of her great soul.”

Abigail Smith Adams was born on November 22nd, 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

From: The religious life of famous Americans by Louis Albert Banks, published in 1904 
https://archive.org/details/religiouslifeoff00bank/page/207/mode/2up
Source says not in copyright

Image: Sketch of Abigail Adams in her early 20s about the time she married John Adams via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mary, Willie, and Tad Lincoln

c. 1860

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Edith Carow lived next door to Theodore Roosevelt in New York City when they were children.

She became Theodore’s second wife just a few months after The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886.

Image of Edith Roosevelt in 1902 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mrs. Coolidge gets a basket of flowers and a kiss

- 1927

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
A photo of a young Edith Bolling Wilson (the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson) taken during the late 1800s.

She lived until the early 1960s.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photo of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy when she was a little girl, standing between her parents, Janet and John V. Bouvier.

c. 1934

via Alamy
Eleanor Roosevelt conversing with an American soldier 

- 1942

by Toni Frissell via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photo of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt about four months after her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of The United States.

- July 20th, 1933

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/93508122/
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and John Kennedy talking at their wedding reception in Newport, Rhode Island

- 1953

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016647755/
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28th, 1929 in Southampton, New York.

Image of Jackie when she was about six years old in 1935.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Eleanor Roosevelt wearing her wedding dress in New York City

- 1905

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt is the only First Lady who did not take a new last name upon marriage? Her maiden name remained the same as her married name when she wed FDR.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Angelica (Singleton) Van Buren, was cousin of the renowned Mrs. Madison, and through her became mistress of the White House, honored and 
loved, at home and abroad....

...Her conversation had caught up to heaven; 
So when she (Hannah) went away, so real her worth, 

(President Martin) Van Buren wept and said: ''Sire, we are seven.” (Wordsworth)
He never looked for her dear like again! 

However wiley may have been his ways, 
Whatever burdens bore upon his brain, 

He loved "Dear Hannah" all his living days! 
And now that picture needs this added part: 

His Son's pure wife, worthy a second place. 
Came to the White House, and so near his heart 

She granted her exquisite courtly grace 
To his high office with her ornate, helpful art — 
Her Cousin, Mistress Madison, "Calling the start!”

From: Our presidents' mothers, wives and daughters, and Some Washington sermons
by Thomas Nelson Haskell, published in 1901
https://archive.org/details/ourpresidentsmot00hask/page/n37/mode/1up

Image: Mrs. Abraham Van Buren, Angelica Singleton
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016864871/
No known restrictions
Acclaimed film director Alfred Hitchcock and his wife conversing with First Lady Pat Nixon and her daughter Julie Nixon Eisenhower

- 1969

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mamie Eisenhower in 1971, about 2 years after her husband Dwight D. Eisenhower passed away.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
The beautiful Jackie Kennedy at Hyannis Port 

- 1959

Image via Alamy
Margaret Smith Taylor, the wife of President Zachary Taylor was born on September 21st, 1788 in Calvert County, Maryland.

Image of Margaret Taylor via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Eleanor Roosevelt

- 1911

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
William McKinley and Mrs. McKinley

c. 1896

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt 

October 22nd, 1917

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://loom.ly/zFCmdIE
Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant was born on today’s date January 26th, 1826.

“[Mrs. Julia (Dent) Grant was married at her birth-place in Missouri, Aug. 22, 1848, and went with her husband onto a farm, which he called "Hardscrabble." She bore him three sons and one daughter. In sickness and health, in want and in wealth, she encouraged and aided him, often caring for others in distress. She was a prudent woman, and a proud and praying wife and mother. Passing from poverty up to the White House, her domestic administration was admirable. Her bearing in public and private life from infancy to age, was beautiful as May, and harmonious as music] (Read Proverbs xiv, 1-34)

The woman of the greatest worth; 
Against whom nothing can be said; 
Whose name is honored o'er the earth, 
In realms where it is heard and read; 
Who more than kept her marriage vow, 
Whate'er her husband's wants or wealth, 
To love him truly, high or low," 
In good or ill, sickness or health — 
Her loyal brow wears laurels now! 

So much that's beautiful, that's sweet, that's brave 
Is in this wifely woman's will and way, 
Which saved her husband to his country save, 
We fain would set her worth in full array. 
But there's no language that can laud too much 
Her patient service, when he was so poor, 
His bootless toil had the "Hardscrabble " touch, And dismal want was waiting at the door. 

O, what a model for all wives of men 
Who work by day to win home's daily bread, 
And sometimes sink beneath such burdens then 
That they indeed half wish themselves were dead! And what a lesson is her later life, 
So womanly in all that wicked war, 
So straight and simple in the scenes of strife; 
And in the White House which they waited for!

No woman there had greater wisdom shown, 
Or shared more kindly its domestic cares, 
And made her husband's honor mold her own; 
In practice of her prudence and her prayers, 
She made the White House what it should be — Home! — 
And typic of our country and our time. 
And when around the world they while and roam, 
Courted by queens and kings in their best prime, 
And to our coasts they hast'ning, happy come, Of woman's excellence she seems the sum!“

From: Our presidents' mothers, wives and daughters; Some Washington sermons and (mayhap) "Young Konkaput, king of Utes," and "Occasional poems." by Thomas Nelson Haskell, published in 1900. No known restrictions 
https://archive.org/details/ourpresidentsmot01hask/page/n59

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Julia Dent Grant." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47df-d04f-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
No known restrictions
“First official White House photograph of Mrs. John F. Kennedy, half-length portrait, seated on couch, facing front”

- 1961

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a22894/
No known restrictions
"Possibly — for some things are beyond ready reading — Mr. Cleveland's kindly way toward the very young had something to do with another change which drew nearer and nearer through all the months of that Winter and Spring. When, in July, 1875, his former law partner and intimate personal friend, Oscar Folsom, of Buffalo, was so suddenly and sadly removed from the bright career seemingly before him, he left a widow and a daughter. The latter was then a school girl of about eleven years of age — a very pretty, bright, vivacious little lady, and she grew up with a strong liking for the exceedingly kind and smiling gentleman who had been so warm a friend to her father. The family property was also said to owe much to the intelligent care he had bestowed upon its management, and her mother, Mrs. Folsom, was upon terms of close intimacy with Mr. Cleveland's sisters. The bright girlhood expanded into a brighter womanhood, and nobody knows or has any business to know when or how one form of liking ripened into another. At last, however, everybody did know, or said they knew, that there would one day be a wedding at the White House, and that the bride would be Miss Frances Folsom. 

Rumor was right for once. There had never been a wedding in the quaint old dwelling of the Presidents, but at last the day was set for one, and grand preparations were made by a host of interested people. The newspaper reporters, in particular, worked hard, and the artists who cut wooden portraits for illustrative purposes. 

The wedding took place at the Executive Mansion, June 2d, 1886, with the roses in full bloom, and the occasion passed brilliantly, without one un-toward incident. The entire nation joined in hearty expressions of good will, and, for a few days, there seemed to be no party lines in existence. There is a vast deal of genuine, kindly human nature among the American people, and they intensely approve of weddings. 

The bridegroom and bride, with a merry party of 
friends, made a wedding trip to a picturesque summer resort called Deer Park, among the Maryland mountains. For a few days only, however, could the President just then be spared from his pressing official duties, and on June 8th he was once more in Washington. Even in his return, however, he had accomplished an important reform. During an entire generation it had been sufficiently well understood that the White House was imperfectly suited to the uses of a family residence. It had been little more than endurable, and plan after plan had been proposed for the selection of a more retired locality, and the construction of such a dwelling as the good taste and self-respect of a great people might induce them to provide for their chosen Chief Magistrate. Every such suggestion had been choked to death, however, by the more or less malicious employment of the word "palace," and nothing definite had been done. Grover Cleveland was not the man to wait for the action of other people. He looked around Washington while he was getting ready to be married, found a house that suited him, struck a bargain for it, and bought it in May, 1886. " Oak View," as it is called, is a part of the old Greene estate. The house is somewhat old fashioned, but well built, of stone. The ground floor contains reception rooms, dining room, library, kitchen, and so forth, the sleeping rooms being all in the second story. There are about twenty-eight acres of land, of good quality, part under cultivation. The garden and out buildings are good. There are noble oaks and other shade trees, and the view from the commanding ridge upon which the house stands warrants and explains its name. It is a very pleasant place, especially for a summer residence to which a hard- worked President may escape from the mere business office into which the White House was in this manner wisely turned; but there is no suggestion of a palace — nothing but ordinary common sense reaching out after such every-day comfort as belongs to any citizen. There is a morning and evening drive to and from the White House of about four miles, through Georgetown and along the Tenallytown road. It is a pleasant highway, and even the newspaper reporters have never succeeded in breaking through the guarded retirement provided for the President's family at the Oak View end of the morning and evening drive. 

In that first summer of their married life, Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland did not remain long at Oak View. 
As soon as the business of the nation permitted, on 
August 16th,, they left Washington for the North.”

From: Grover Cleveland by William Osborn Stoddard, published in 1888
https://archive.org/details/grovercleveland00stoduoft/page/236/mode/1up
Source says not in copyright 

Image: "Two hearts that beat as one." President Cleveland. President Cleveland's bride, 1886 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"President Gerald R. Ford Chatting with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at an Intermission Reception during a Bicentennial Salute to the Performing Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts”

- 1976

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Eleanor Roosevelt with children, James, Elliott and Anna in Hyde Park

- June, 1911

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mrs. Grover Cleveland

- June 29th, 1886

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2018661484/
Mrs. William Howard Taft

Published in The Boston Herald, July 9th, 1911

via NYPL, no known restrictions 
https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/9af35810-6988-0130-364b-58d385a7b928
Lucretia Garfield, the wife of President James Garfield

Image c. 1870-1880

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, the second wife of President Woodrow Wilson 

- 1913, about two years before she became First Lady 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Did you know that after they were engaged, Mary Ann Todd and Abraham Lincoln broke up?  During the hiatus Mary Ann Todd dated other suitors including Lincoln’s political nemesis, Stephen Douglas. 

As we all know, Lincoln and Mary Todd reunited and eventually got married in 1842. 

Image: Mrs. Abraham Lincoln c. 1860-1865 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2017892979/
Jacqueline Bouvier as the "Inquiring Camera Girl" of the Washington Times-Herald

- 1952

via Alamy 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Mrs. Herbert Hoover

- July 26th, 1926

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2016842450/
First Lady Rosalynn Carter

- 1977

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11th, 1884
in New York City.

Image: Eleanor Roosevelt in Tivoli, New York in 1894 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mrs. Coolidge (standing in front with hands folded) & Campfire Girls

- October 18th, 1923

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
On today's date September 12th, 1953 - Jacqueline Lee Bouvier married U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in Newport, Rhode Island.

https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/JKO-Fast-Facts/Wedding-Details.aspx

Photo: Toni Frissell • Public domain
Nancy Davis Reagan with her mother Edith Luckett Davis - January 1931. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

https://heartfelthistory.com/store/a-short-biography-of-nancy-reagan/
"Towards the close of her life, Mrs. Madison frequently recalled the home of her childhood...The house was called Scotch-town because of the emigrants, and was surrounded by a number of small brick houses, attached to the main building, which was very large, having as many as twenty rooms on a floor. 

John Payne was the father of six children, of whom the second is the subject of this memoir. Much might be said of unusual charms discovered by adoring parents during her infancy. Dorothy Payne first opened her eyes on this world, which she was destined so thoroughly to enjoy, on the 20th May, 1768 in North Carolina, where her parents were visiting; and was named Dorothy for her mother's aunt, Mrs. Patrick Henry. 

Both father and mother were strict members of the ''Society of Friends," and Dolley’s childhood was passed quietly in their country home until she reached the age of twelve years. A favorite with all, she was the particular pet and companion of her grandmother, who often made her happy by surreptitious presents of old-fashioned jewelry, and not daring to wear them before her father and mother, she sewed them into a bag, which was tied around her neck, and concealed beneath her little frock.”

From: Memoirs and letters of Dolley Madison: wife of James Madison, president of the United States
https://archive.org/details/memoirslettersof00madi/page/4/mode/2up
Source says not in copyright 
Published in 1886

Image: Dolley Madison c. 1805-1810 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
MRS. PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE. 

"Mrs. Jane Means Pierce...was the daughter of President Appleton, D. D., of Bowdoin College, Me., and born March 12, 1806. She married Mr. Pierce, 1834, and with him entered the White House in March, 1853. As one has well said: "It is no disparagement to others to claim for her there unsurpassed dignity and grace, delicacy and purity in all that pertains to public life. There was a Christian home, quietly and constantly maintained in the Executive Mansion while she was its mistress." She died in Andover, Mass., in 1863, saying among her last words: "Jesus, Lover of my Soul, let me to thy bosom fly.”

America's best mother-mind, 

Most ethical and most ornate, 
Most feminine and most refined, 

Most studious of her moral state, 
Most helpful to her husband's heart, 

Most flexile in afflictions fierce, — 
Until she panted to depart — 
That "Mother-Mind" was Madame Pierce! 
Not that she was all mind-ethereal; 

Though intellectual, she lived to los'e. 
With model form of fine material, 

And beaming eyes, like Edward's, lit above. 
And yet those eyes had shed full shares of tears; 

From infancy she'd often been bereft, 
Had buried children in their budding years, 

Till loving "Bennie's" all that they have left. 
And when at last, they to the White House went, 

They had yet this one treasure more to yield, 
To fit Frank Pierce in full for President — 

They laid "fond Bennie" in the buried field! 
The people gave them the best gift they had. 

But coming to it caused this keenest grief, 
It took the life of that as loving lad 

As e'er was born of sanctified belief 
Hence Pierce's bold Inaugural began 

By speaking of this "bitter sorrow" borne 
When on their way to this last gift of man — 

Full many tears there fell with them to mourn. 
'Twas in such sorrow — not a soul could know — 

When Mrs. Pierce made her appearance where 
Some souls had lately suffered nearly so — 

'Twas thus she came and served her country there! 
Through wearisome ordeals this woman went, 
The Peerless Wife of a proud President!”

From: Our presidents' mothers, wives and daughters, and some Washington sermons
by Thomas Nelson Haskell, published in 1901
https://archive.org/details/ourpresidentsmot00hask/page/n51/mode/1up
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: Daguerreotype of Jane Pierce with her son Benjamin who perished in a train accident when he was only 11 years old. 
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
First Lady of The United States Abigail Fillmore was born on March 13th, 1798 in Stillwater, New York.

She and her husband President Millard Fillmore established the first permanent library at The White House. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed.”

- Abigail Adams in 1780 - wife of 2nd President of The United States John Adams and mother of 6th President of The United States John Quincy Adams 

Image: Mrs. William S. Smith, (Abigail Adams.)
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mrs. William S. Smith, (Abigail Adams.)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 9, 2020. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f1b1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Public domain
"Thus in succession pass my days. 

While time with flagging pinion flies. 
And still the promised hour delays 

When thou shalt once more charm my eyes. 
Louisa! thus remote from thee, 

Still something to each joy is wanting. 
While thy affection can to me 

Make the most dreary scene enchanting. “

- From the Poem "A Winter’s Day” written in 1807 by John Quincy Adams while he was away to his wife Louisa Adams for her birthday.

Source: https://archive.org/details/memoirsofjohnq01adams/page/453/mode/1up?q=Louisa
Not in copyright 

Image: Louisa Catherine Adams via NYPL Digital Collections, public domain
Elizabeth Kortright married James Monroe when she was only 17 years old in 1786.
Their marriage took place about thirty one years before James Monroe became the 5th President of The United States.

Image of Mrs. James Monroe via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt sitting by a fireplace 

Image dated March 31st, 1904

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Lady Bird Johnson when she was about 3 years old 

c. 1915 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Photo of Betty Ford with her sons at their apartment in Alexandria, Virginia 

- 1952

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
"After Lincoln's death, President and Mrs Andrew Johnson entered the White House. They were half-orphans of pious widows, and were married (in their teens.) He was an illiterate tailor, and she became his evening teacher; was a very beautiful woman, and was at Washington inspiring his ablest Senate speech against secession, Jan., 1861. She returned to Tennessee., and lost her health by her persecutions within the Confederate lines, so that she was unable afterwards to officiate in the White House, but received her guests around her chair. She had two daughters (and 3 sons), Martha and Mary, who did the honors well. She died in 1876, and on their monument is carved an open Bible..”

From: Our presidents' mothers, wives and daughters by Thomas Nelson Haskell, published in 1900
https://archive.org/details/ourpresidentsmot01hask/page/n56/mode/
Source says no known restrictions 

Image: Engraving of Eliza McCardle Johnson, wife of Andrew Johnson via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Mary Todd Lincoln in mourning dress 

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Emily Donelson, who accepted the role of First Lady for the widower President Andrew Jackson since his wife (and Emily’s aunt) Rachel died before Jackson moved into the White House

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Mrs. Herbert Hoover with group of Girl Scouts  

- April 22nd, 1922

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/
Mrs. Hoover, May Day

- May 1st, 1929

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley seated in a garden wearing a beautiful dress and holding a hand fan

c. 1900

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Margaret Wilson, the daughter of Woodrow Wilson

c. 1906

She served as First Lady following the death of her mother, Ellen Axson Wilson in 1914 

via Wikimedia Commons, no known restrictions
A miniature portrait painting of Martha Washington c. 1782 by James Peale 

On June 2nd, 1731 (old style date) Martha Washington was born in Chestnut Grove, Virginia. 

https://heartfelthistory.com/first-ladies/

https://heartfelthistory.com/product/a-short-biography-of-martha-washington/

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
First Lady Barbara Bush in 1992

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
JFK, LBJ, Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower at Eleanor Roosevelt’s funeral 

- 1962

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mrs. William Howard Taft 

- June 9th, 1908

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
A daguerreotype of a young woman believed to be Julia Gardiner Tyler who was the first woman to marry a U.S. President while in office.

Julia Gardiner and John Tyler were married on June 26th, 1844 in Greenwich Village, Manhattan in New York City. 

Image via Alamy
Sarah Polk, the wife of President James Polk (right) with her great-niece Sallie 

- 1879

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Eleanor Roosevelt at Reverend Hayes Housing Project in Newark, New Jersey

- 1956

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
U.S. Military men, Mrs. Harding, and unidentifed man

- July 26th, 1922

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Eleanor Roosevelt in the gown she would wear for FDR’s second inauguration 
Photo taken a few days before the event 

- 1937

From FDR Presidential Library & Museum CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons