FLARE Member in the Newsview all news

FLARE Member of the Month ... Nancy Kegan Smith

Nancy Kegan Smith Ms. Smith worked for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as an archivist from 1973 until 2012 when she retired. She started her career as an archivist at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.
FLARE Member of the Month ... Nancy Kegan Smith
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FLARE/American University Announcementsall announcements

"The First Rose of Texas Was the ‘Rose of Long Island’”

"The First Rose of Texas Was the ‘Rose of Long Island’”

Join FLARE on January 24 for our program at 7 pm ET

Julia Gardiner TylerJulia Gardiner Tyler became the first of America’s first ladies to marry a sitting president when she “eloped” with John Tyler on June 26, 1844. She quickly became politicized as newspaper articles and wickedly satirical caricatures shamelessly linked their marriage to Tyler’s pursuit of the annexation of Texas—his chief policy goal as a president without a party. Annexation became the signature issue of the 1844 presidential election campaign, a campaign that metaphorically gave the administration’s attempt to add Texas to the union a feminine face—Julia’s—and one that dramatically increased sectional tensions over the expansion of slavery.

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Jill Biden is rooting for the Phillies in the World Series. She's part of a long history of first ladies who loved America's national pastime.
Rosalynn Carter’s Secret to Mental Health Care Reform
“Pat and Dick Nixon: Love Letters from World War II” with Heath Lee, presented by the White House Historical Association
40 years on, Betty Ford's impact on addiction and recovery is as strong as ever
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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

FLARE Focus on Mrs. Lincoln and Mental Health: A Short Apology

Haley Gray

Research reveals that First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln was very different as a child from who she evolved into as an adult. Mrs. Lincoln, as noted by many childhood friends, was the embodiment of joy and spontaneity; she was described as "the very creature of excitement" by a young lawyer in 1840. Later tales of Mrs. Lincoln depict a woman who was struck by tragedy, emotionally hurt, and mentally destroyed by the time of her death in 1882. She had no ability to take her case to social media or to engage with mental health awareness organizations. Instead, her life devolved partly through lack of understanding by the medical community, the courts, the people around her, and public opinion. Today, seven score and one year later, Mrs. Lincoln is deserving of compassion, care, and an apology.

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Upcoming Events view all events

 February 2023 
February 1, 2023
7:00PM - 8:15PM EDT

Evolution of the Modern First Lady – How We Got from Lady Washington to Dr. Biden

This program is presented in partnership with FLARE as well as KU’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Political Science departments.

February 9, 2023
7:00PM - 8:15PM EDT

First Ladies and Power – Influential First Ladies You Might Not Know Much About

This program is presented in partnership with FLARE as well as KU’s department of Communications and School of Journalism.

March 9, 2023
7:00PM - 8:15PM EDT

First Ladies, Women’s Rights and Suffrage

This program is presented in partnership with FLARE as well as KU’s History and American Studies departments.

First Ladies Birthdays view all events

February 12, 2023

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams

February 12, 1775

February 13, 2023

Elizabeth “Bess” Wallace Truman

February 13, 1885

Kristin Ahlberg

Mary R. Anderson

Thomas J. Balcerski

Maurine Beasley

Allida Black

Pamela G. Bourland-Davis

Mary C. Brennan

Paulette Brinka

Mary Balfour Calvert

Stacy Cordery

Erika N. Cornelius Smith

Susan Donius

Sharon Fawcett

Lewis L. Gould

Nichola Gutgold

Laura Gutin

Linda B. Hobgood

Edwina and Tom Johnson (Atlanta)

Kay Sebring-Roberts Kuhlmann

Christopher J. Leahy

Heath Hardage Lee

Anne F. Mattina

Lisa Hill McCubbin

Nick Natalle

Valerie Palmer-Mehta

Barbara Perry

G. Joseph Pierron

Lindsay B. Reynolds

Rebecca Boggs Roberts

Mary Stockwell

Larry and Louann Temple

Elizabeth Lorelei Thacker-Estrada

Courtney C. Travers

Tammy R. Vigil

Sharon Williams Leahy

Jeanne Ryan Wolfson


Kay Zerwick