Wed 6 Nov, 2002 09:18 am
Apart from being married to the Presidents of the United States (there were a few First Ladies who weren't wives of the Presidents, due to widowerhood or bachelorhood), the First Ladies are pretty fascinating in their own right. The following quiz is taken from information found in a book called First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Barbara Bush by Betty Boyd Caroli (the questions about Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush were taken from news stories; the question about Mary Todd Lincoln is from a factoid from a different book). Now - can you name the First Ladies who correspond to these descriptions?
1. She fainted when she heard her husband had been nominated for the Presidency, and fervently prayed for his defeat. Jane Pierce (Mrs. Franklin Pierce) Joefromchicago is correct
2. She worked as a teacher a few years after she and her husband married; a rarity! Once he became prominent, however, she stopped working.
3. During a trip to Cuba, she didn't make an effort to speak Spanish (even though she had studied it) because she was afraid that any error would be reported by the press.
4. While her husband was Ambassador to France, she acted to help save Mme. Lafayette from the guillotine. It was one of her few public acts. Elizabeth Monroe (Mrs. James Monroe) Joefromchicago is correct
5. When her husband was ill in the White House, people referred to her as the "Assistant President". (Mrs. Woodrow Wilson) JoanneDorel named the correct President but not his wife
6. She studied dance with Martha Graham. Elizabeth [Betty] Ford (Mrs. Gerald Ford) plainoldme is correct
7. To keep herself distant from the public, she would hold a bouquet of flowers. This obviated the need to shake hands during campaigning - a good thing, too, as her husband shook thousands of hands during his campaign.
8. When they married, she was a wealthy widow - and he was a year younger than her. Martha Washington (Mrs. George Washington) Merry Andrew and JoanneDorel are correct
9. Since this President was a widower, he asked his sister to fill in as First Lady. Mary Arthur McElroy (sister to Chester A. Arthur) Joefromchicago is correct
10. She and her husband were married for over fifty years, and he was in politics for over half that time. She did not like being a politician's wife. In a small recognition of her sacrifice, Congress adjourned for her 1853 funeral. Louisa Adams (Mrs. John Quincy Adams) Joefromchicago is correct
11. Her husband proposed marriage on their first date. She finally accepted, two years later.
12. Her favorite color was pink. During her husband's tenure in the White House, she put it on everything from bedroom furniture to her lipstick holders. Mamie Eisenhower (Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower) Merry Andrew is correct
13. She didn't even bother coming in for her husband's inaugural, as she was despondent over the death of one of their sons. It didn't matter, since he wasn't in office for very long. ) (Mrs. William Henry Harrison) Merry Andrew and Setanta both named the correct President but not his wife
14. She worked as a librarian. Laura Bush (Mrs. George W. Bush) BillW is correct
15. When she and her husband arrived in Washington, she was described by a gossip columnist as "fair, fat and forty".
16. She suffered from seizures, which her husband helped to hide by covering her face (only during the seizures) with a handkerchief. Ida McKinley (Mrs. William McKinley) Joefromchicago is correct
17. While her husband was away at sea, she cared for their children and memorized Shakespeare. Rosalyn Carter (Mrs. Jimmy Carter) Joefromchicago is correct
18. She urged her husband to fight for women's rights, but he didn't - at least, not effectively.
19. She was started the practice of having the Secret Service protect the First Lady - although she often gave her agent things to do that have nothing to do with her personal safety.
20. She was the only bachelor President's niece. (hostess for James Buchanan) Merry Andrew got the correct President, but didn't name the hostess
21. She was so good at budgeting and economizing, she saved 1/3 of the President's salary during his entire tenure in the White House.
22. She announced on more than one occasion that her "life began when I met my husband".
23. She appeared on television to show the country the art and furnishings in the White House. Jacqueline Kennedy (Mrs. John F. Kennedy) Merry Andrew and JoanneDorel are correct
24. When her husband won the Presidency, she said, "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my Lord than live in that palace in Washington."
25. She married her distant cousin, so her maiden name and her married name were the same. Eleanor Roosevelt (Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Merry Andrew and JoanneDorel are correct
26. She was a strict Methodist and refused to serve alcohol in the White House. Lucy Hayes (Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes) [critics called her "Lemonade Lucy"] edithdoll is correct
27. During her husband's campaign, she said, "If I get to the White House, I expect to live on $25,000 a year and I will neither keep house nor make butter."
28. She died when she was only thirty-five and missed her husband's Presidency. They had five children. Hannah Van Buren (Mrs. Martin Van Buren) Joefromchicago is correct
29. She said she'd do anything to assure her husband's success - except dye her hair, go on a diet or change her wardrobe. Barbara Bush (Mrs. George Herbert Walker Bush) JoanneDorel is correct
30. She didn't attend her husband's funeral (it was considered too traumatic for a widow such as herself). In fact, she was so obscure, no likenesses survive of her, and The New York Times didn't even give her full name in her obituary.
31. Her husband's last words to her were, "Let's hold hands." Mary Todd Lincoln (Mrs. Abraham Lincoln) Joanne Dorel is correct
32. She was the first President's wife to graduate from college.
33. She passed away before her husband became President, so her role was filled by another - who ended up becoming First Lady to the succeeding President. Martha Jefferson (Mrs. Thomas Jefferson) [her hostess role was filled by Dolley Madison] Joefromchicago is correct
34. She arranged to have electricity installed in the White House.
35. The press reported on her numerous hairstyle changes - which was not what she wanted to emphasize. Hillary Rodham Clinton (Mrs. Bill Clinton) JoanneDorel is correct
36. While her husband was President, she engaged in a highway beautification project, and became known as a champion of environmental causes. Lady Bird [Claudia] Johnson (Mrs. Lyndon Johnson) Merry Andrew and JoanneDorel are correct
37. She had had a stroke a couple of years before her husband became President, so she didn't go out much, and her daughter-in-law filled in for her. Letitia Tyler (Mrs. John Tyler) Joefromchicago is correct
38. She established the White House library.
39. They married while he was President. She was 27 years younger than him. (Mrs. Grover Cleveland) JoanneDorel named the correct President but not his wife
40. Her translation of into English of a Latin mining text won an important professional award.
41. She tutored her husband in writing and arithmetic, but eventually he surpassed her. Eliza Johnson (Mrs. Andrew Johnson) Joefromchicago is correct
42. She was quite the party girl; her husband was the opposite. But she was serious when she needed to be, and saved a portrait of Washington from certain destruction. Dolley Madison (Mrs. James Madison) Setanta and JoanneDorel are correct
All guesses are good guesses! :-D
OK, Jes. I didn't look any of these up. They're off the top of my head, so please be patient with me. The one's I'm not sure of I've marked with a question mark.
8 -- Martha Washington
9 -- Woodrow Wilson ??
12 -- Mamie Eisenhauer??
13 -- One of the Harrisons, Was it Benjamin or William Henry who didn't last long?
20 - Can't recall the woman's name, but the only bachelor in the WH was James Buchanan.
23 -- Jackie Kennedy ?
25 -- Eleanor Roosevelt nee Roosevelt
36 -- LadyBird Johnson
I refuse to make guesses on any of the onese where I have no idea whatever. (Double question mark means I'm REALLY unsure.)
William Henry Harrison caught cold standing in the rain for his inaugural, so i imagine that one was about him . . .
42 is probably Dolly Madison, when she wasn't baking cream-filled pastries . . .
1. Bess Truman
2. Pat Nixon
3. Roselynn Carter
4. Abigail Adams
5. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, yikes what was her first name?
6. Jackie O
8. Martha Washington
9. I think I used to know this one
11. Mamie Eisenhower
13. He was shot, but cannot remember the name.
14. Betty Ford
18. Barbara Bush
19. Jackie O
22. The current president’s wife.
23. Jackie O
25. Eleanore Roosevelt
26. Mrs. Calvin Cooledge
29. Barbara Bush
30. Mary Todd Lincolin
32. Patricia Nixon
34. Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt
35. Hillary Clinton
36. Lady Bird Johnson
42. Dolly Madison
Joanne -- you can't be right on # 30. I know I've seen pictures of Mary Todd Lincoln and Jes said no likeness survives.
Hang on - I'm going to check my answers vs. your answers and then mark everything on the original post in, um, green if it's right, okay? And I'll give credit, of course.
Excellent guesses so far! Keep 'em comin'!
2. The current president's wife, gads you know right now I cannot remember her name, eeek.
I will keep changing the original post to reflect correct answers, so stay tuned. Doing great!
#4 must be Mrs, Jefferson. She had so few public acts I don't even recall her name. But Jefferson was ambassador to France at the appropriate time in question.
Sorry, MA, #4 is not Mrs. Jefferson, but I'm glad you picked up on the chronological hint that's in that question and in a few of the others (where you can narrow the era down to a date or series of dates).
This is fun I like the concept, gret memory test.
Nope, #2's not Pat. Actually, Pat's historical tidbit may surprise you; it certainly surprised me.
I should think that #4 would be Jefferson's better half, but i'll be damned if can remember her name . . .
Setanta -- I already made that guess on #4 and was told that, no, it's not Mrs. J. What other future (or past) president was Ambassador to France at that time? Jeff is the only one that spings readily to mind.