Bring back some good or bad memories


July 12, 2015

Cool Vintage Photos of 5 Influential First Ladies When They Were Young

Over the years, the role of first lady has been filled by a range of personalities. Some of these women stayed in the background while others used their position to advocate for specific issues. A few first ladies even played an important role within their husband's administration, working alongside the president to help enact policies. As a result, the role of first lady has evolved over the years. Each first lady chosen for this list used their position and influence to institute changes in our nation.

Here's a list of 5 influential First Ladies and their cool vintage portraits before they set foot in The White House.

1. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office. President Harry S. Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.

A 3 year old Eleanor Roosevelt is rocking some wide-cut bangs and curls in the back, 1887.

Portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt taken in New York, NY. 1889.

Eleanor Roosevelt school portrait, 1898.

2. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy is remembered for her contributions to the arts and preservation of historic architecture, as well as for her style, elegance, and grace. She was a fashion icon; her famous ensemble of pink Chanel suit and matching pillbox hat has become symbolic of her husband's assassination and one of the lasting images of the 1960s. She ranks as one of the most popular First Ladies and in 1999 was named on Gallup's list of Most Admired Men and Women in 20th century America.

Jacqueline Bouvier (c. 1934) at age 4.

Jacqueline with her dog Bonnett in 1935.

Sixteen-year old Jacqueline Bouvier vamps for the camera at a Newport tennis court.

3. Elizabeth Bloomer Ford

Betty Ford was married to the only President never elected to the White House, the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. Following her White House years, she continued to lobby for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and remained active in the feminist movement. She was the founder, and served as the first chair of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction. She was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (presented 1991 by George H. W. Bush).

Betty Bloomer, age 3. April 1921.

Betty Bloomer, age 17, at the Kent Country Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1935.

Betty Bloomer near the age of 20, ca. 1938.

4. Nancy Davis Reagan

Nancy Reagan became First Lady of the United States in January 1981 following her husband's election. She restored a Kennedy-esque glamour to the White House following years of lax formality, and her interest in high-end fashion garnered much attention, as well as criticism. She championed recreational drug prevention causes by founding the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign during the 1980s, which was considered her major initiative as First Lady.

Nancy Davis at age 6.

Nancy Davis around age 8.

Nancy Davis portrait from the play "Make with the Maximum" at Smith College. Northhampton, Massachusetts. 1943.

5. Hillary Rodham Clinton

During Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary emerged as a dynamic and valued partner, and during his subsequent presidency, Hillary took on far more than the traditional role of the first lady. In 1993 Bill selected her to head the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The controversial commission produced a complicated plan that never came to the floor of either house. It was abandoned in September 1994.

Despite this failure, Hillary's involvement deepened her interest in health care, and combining her new-found experience with her past work involving child- and family-advocacy groups she championed a number of related causes. In 1997 she was influential in the creation creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provided state funding for children whose parents could not afford to pay for their health care, and she was also instrumental in the passing of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, a series of reforms aimed at American adoption and foster-care systems.

When Hillary Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001, she became the only American first lady to hold national office. She became the 67th U.S. secretary of state in 2009, serving until 2013.

Hillary Clinton as a teenager.

Young portrait of Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Rodham Clinton in Massachusetts in 1969 during her student days at Wellesley College.


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10