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On This Day: FLARE Asserts the Importance of Studying Presidential First Ladies

Association celebrates its third year in shaping a network of experts and researchers around first ladies history.

On This Day: FLARE Asserts the Importance of Studying Presidential First Ladies
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FLARE's First National Conference

FLARE's first national conference "First Lady Betty Ford: 50th Anniversary Celebration" co-sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, American University School of Public Affairs, and the National Archives was preceded by an inspiring luncheon hosted by Susan Ford Bales featuring First Lady Jill Biden as the keynote speaker on the Bidens' Women's Health Initiative. FLARE co-sponsored the luncheon with the Foundation and American University's School of Public Affairs.

FLARE's First National Conference
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FLARE Announcements all announcements

Call for Nominations for FLARE’s 2024 Gould Award

Call for Nominations for FLARE’s 2024 Gould Award

The First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) is now accepting nominations for the Lewis L. Gould Award.

The Gould Award seeks to honor a FLARE member with a long and distinguished career that includes significant contributions to scholarship and education about first ladies. All members of FLARE are eligible for nomination except for those serving on the Gould Award Committee.

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Our Mission
The mission of FLARE is to create and sustain a network to promote and publicize research and education relevant to the contributions, lives, impacts, and lasting legacies of U.S. First Ladies.
Our Vision
FLARE will be the primary association to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and outreach among scholars, institutions, First Ladies’ staff, biographers, archivists, journalists, and public historians interested in research and education about the lasting legacy of U.S. First Ladies.


FLARE Focus more information

CT 57-899FLARE Focus on Eleanor Roosevelt: Pioneering and Normalizing Activism for First Ladies

Abby Palazzo

Rhetorical scholar Myra Gutin sorts America’s first ladies into three categories: White House Keepers, Emerging Spokeswomen, and Political Surrogates/Independent Advocates.[i] Many women who occupied the role of first lady, such as Bess Truman, preferred to stay out of the spotlight and declined to take advantage of the political power inherent in the role, instead choosing the primarily social and ceremonial role of White House Keepers. Others were Emerging Spokeswomen, like Lou Henry Hoover, who championed social causes such as Girl Scouting, and made history by speaking on the radio as First Lady, but still largely avoided the press. And others, such as Lady Bird Johnson, were Political Surrogates who took advantage of their private political influence to affect policy by proxy. Activism through independent advocacy was only loosely associated with the role of first lady until one woman redefined the title: Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Upcoming Events view all events

 July 2024 

None at this time.

First Ladies Birthdays view all events

July 6, 2024

Nancy Davis Reagan

July 6, 1921

July 21, 2024

Frances Folsom Cleveland

July 21, 1864

July 25, 2024

Anna Tuthill Symes Harrison

July 25, 1775

July 28, 2024

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

July 28, 1929

July 29, 2024

Julia Gardiner Tyler

July 29, 1820

Some biographies list May 4, 1820 as her birth date.


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Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum

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James R. Grisham, III 


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