"I know now that what is most sustaining and healing in the immediate days and weeks following breast surgery is the love and understanding that come in such abundance from one’s husband and children. In addition, to have the good wishes and encouragement of so many other people is to feel especially blessed.” —Betty Ford
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks after moving into the White House. She underwent a mastectomy on September 28, 1974, at Bethesda Naval Hospital. President Ford tried to visit her twice a day until she was released on October 11. In addition to the support of her family the First Lady also received thousands of get well messages from the public, including those who lives had also been affected by breast cancer.
Image: President Gerald Ford, Carrying a Football, and First Lady Betty Ford returning to the President’s Suite at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, following the First Lady’s Breast Cancer Surgery, 10/04/1974 [digitally colored].
Style and Influence: First Ladies’ Fashions
From the first days on a campaign trail to the final days living in the White House, the First Ladies of the United States have attracted attention in numerous ways. Both historic and modern First Ladies have harnessed the power of fashion to build identity and inform Americans. In conjunction with our exhibition “Making Their Mark,” we present a distinguished panel to discuss and examine the fashions of America’s First Ladies through conversation and photos. Moderated by Tim Gunn, star of Project Runway, panelists include Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Chief Curator of Political History and the First Ladies Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; and Tracy Reese, a fashion designer who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama. Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.
Tuesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater
The discussion will be streamed live on YouTube.
Day 67 - Eleanor’s Childhood Trips to Switzerland
Between 1899 and 1902, Eleanor spent three years at Allenswood, an elite boarding school for girls near London. During holidays she frequently travelled throughout England and continental Europe visiting friends and relatives, including a trip in 1900 to St. Moritz, Switzerland.
From Eleanor’s autobiography:
As the summer holidays came nearer my excitement grew for I was to travel to Saint-Moritz in Switzerland to spend my holiday with the Mortimers.
My first view of these beautiful mountains was breath-taking, for I had never seen any high mountains. I lived opposite the Catskill Mountains in summer and loved them, but how much more majestic were these great snow-capped peaks all around us as we drove into the Engadine. The little Swiss chalets, built into the sides of the hills and with places under them for all the livestock that did not actually wander into the kitchen, were picturesque, but strange to my eyes with their fretwork decoration…
The hotels [in Saint-Moritz] all bordered the lake, and the thing that I remember best about my time there was the fact that Tissie and I got up every morning early enough to walk to a little café that perched out above the lake on a promontory at one end. There we drank coffee or cocoa and ate rolls with fresh butter and honey, the sun just peeping out over the mountains and touching us with its warm rays. I can still remember how utterly contented I was!
July 17, 1940: Eleanor Roosevelt Addresses the Democratic National Convention on Behalf of FDR
On this day in 1940, Eleanor Roosevelt addressed delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on behalf of her husband, making her the first candidate’s spouse ever to do so. After her husband gained the nomination for an unprecedented third term, he asked Eleanor to ease the delegates’ concerns over his choice of controversial vice presidential candidate, Henry Wallace. In her speech, she called for unified action during a time of war.
Eleanor remained a Democratic Party figure after her husband’s death and was the first former First Lady to address national political conventions (1948, 1956 and 1960).
Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
This morning, the National Archives hosted a special naturalization ceremony in the Rotunda. Fifty new citizens were sworn in from 44 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bolivia, and Zimbabwe.
Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero gave opening remarks. During the ceremony Ms. Lori Scialabba, the Acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; the Honorable Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security; and First Lady Michelle Obama all gave remarks.
Photo Credit: Jeff Reed.
Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies
Mrs. Bush’s recipe cards were originally located on the White House website. Did you know that we have the White House websites of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton archived online? Take a look!
[And make these cookies, trust us, they are SO good.]
FLOTUS Birthday — Mamie Eisenhower
On November 14, 1896, Mamie Geneva Doud was born in Boone, Iowa. At 19 years old, Mamie met Second Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower while visiting friends at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Ike and Mamie were engaged four months later. The engagement ring was a miniature copy of Ike’s West Point ring, amethyst set in gold.
-from the Eisenhower Library