Wednesday, June 8, 2011
2 First Ladies are born on this day
Barbara Bush, thanks for being there with your husband, George Herbert Walker Bush and your son, George Walker Bush when they served as president!Remembering you today, happy 86th birthday!
Barbara Pierce Bush (born June 8, 1925)(Age 86) is the wife of the 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush, and served as First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993. She is the mother of the 43rd President George W. Bush and of the 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush. Previously she had served as Second Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.
Barbara Pierce was born in Flushing, New York attended Rye Country Day School from 1931 to 1937, and is an alumna of Ashley Hall School in Charleston, SC. She met George Herbert Walker Bush at age 16, and the two married in 1945, while he was on leave during his deployment as a Naval officer in World War II. They would have six children together. The Bush family soon moved to Midland, Texas; as George Bush entered political life, Barbara raised their children.
As wife of the Vice President and then President, Barbara Bush has supported and worked to advance the cause of universal literacy. She founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy while First Lady. Since leaving the White House, she has continued to advance this cause.
First Lady of the United States
Barbara Bush's cause as First Lady was literacy, as it was when she was Second Lady, calling it "the most important issue we have". She became involved with many literacy organizations, served on literacy committees and chaired many reading organizations. Eventually, she helped develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
During the early 1980s, statistics showed that 35 million adults could not read above the eight-grade level and that 23 million were not able to read beyond a fourth-grade level. Mrs. Bush appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the situation. She also appeared regularly on Mrs. Bush's Story Time, a national radio program that stressed the importance of reading aloud to children.
Through her influence, Virginia's former First Lady Jeannie Baliles was inspired to form the Virginia Literacy Foundation, which supported Virginia's grass roots adult literacy programs. Through her support and the publicity she generated as First Lady, grass roots adult literacy programs began to spring up around the country.
She was also active with the White House Historical Association and worked to revitalize the White House Preservation Fund, which she renamed the White House Endowment Trust. The trust raises funds for the ongoing refurbishment and restoration of the White House. She met her goal of raising $25 million towards the endowment.
Bush was known for her affection for her pet English Springer Spaniel Millie and wrote a child's book about Millie's new litter of puppies. Barbara Bush became the first U.S. First Lady to become a recipient of the Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund, receiving $36,000, most of which she gave to favorite charities.
Ida McKinley, thanks for being there with your husband, William McKinley when he served as president!Remembering you today, happy 164th birthday!
Ida Saxton McKinley (June 8, 1847 – May 26, 1907), wife of William McKinley, was First Lady of the United States from 1897 to 1901.
First Lady of the United States
President McKinley took great care to accommodate her condition. In a break with tradition, he insisted that his wife be seated next to him at state dinners rather than at the other end of the table. At receiving lines, she alone remained seated. Many of the social chores normally assumed by the First Lady fell to Mrs. Jennie Tuttle Hobart, wife of Vice President Garret Hobart. Guests noted that whenever Mrs. McKinley was about to undergo a seizure, the President would gently place a napkin or handkerchief over her face to conceal her contorted features. When it passed, he would remove it and resume whatever he was doing as if nothing had happened.
The President's patient devotion and loving attention was the talk of the capital. "President McKinley has made it pretty hard for the rest of us husbands here in Washington," remarked Mark Hanna.
The First Lady often travelled with the President. Mrs. McKinley travelled to California with the President in May 1901, but became so ill in San Francisco that the planned tour of the Northwest was cancelled. She was also with him on the fateful trip to Buffalo, NY in September of that year when he was assassinated, but was not present at the shooting.