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Examining the power of first ladies in American history

U.S. First lady Jill Biden listens as Ashley Biden, the daughter of U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks during a Pride celebration on the South Lawn of the White House.
U.S. First lady Jill Biden listens as Ashley Biden, the daughter of U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks during a Pride celebration on the South Lawn of the White House.

They have the ear of the most powerful person in the country. They pillow talk with the president. They are… the first ladies.

As Americans celebrate with fireworks and talks of the Founding Fathers, it’s the women behind these presidents that leave an often overlooked mark.

Abigail Adams wrote a letter to future president John Adams to “remember the ladies” while drafting the Declaration of Independence. Eleanor Roosevelt helped define the role of FLOTUS as an outspoken voice for civil rights. And just this past weekend, Jill Biden further cemented herself as a key figure in President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign.

The country’s first ladies play a significant and unique role – and it’s always evolving. We talk about it.

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven

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