Tuesday, 14 September 2010

United States First Ladies

The First Lady of the United States is usually the wife of the president but if he is unmarried or his wife is ill the role of hostess of the White House can be fullfilled by a female relative or friend.

At her funeral eulogy in 1849, Dolley Madison was the first President's wife referred to as the  "First Lady".

The wife of Geoge Washington, the first president, was addressed as "Lady Washington" and some of the early wives preferred to be called "Mrs President". The current First Lady is Michelle Obama.

First ladies are not elected and they have no official duties but they make an important contribution by organizing and being present at official ceremonies and state functions. If the president is away she represents him.

First ladies are appreciated for their contributions to fashion and good causes. She is often a very able person in her own right and can be a strong force for good in a non-political way.  It hardly need be mentioned that she also has the very important and valuable role of giving support to her husband and looking after their children.

The Office of the First Lady of the United States has a staff to enable her to carry out the duties of hostess and organize the social and ceremonial side of things.

 Images and names of the First Ladies can be viewed from here:

    * List of names alphabetical order

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