FLARE Member in the Newsview all news

January 2024 FLARE Members in the News

Nancy Kegan Smith Takes the Helm of FLARE--East Wing Magazine

Anita McBride Speaks About First Ladies to Hollywood on the Potomac

Heath Hardage Lee's new book on Pat Nixon is previewed. Martin Luther King biographer Jonathan Eig had this to say: The Mysterious Mrs. Nixon is a marvelous biography—a deeply reported, illuminating story of love, ambition, and influence.

January 2024 FLARE Members in the News
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FLARE 2023 Election Results

The 2024 Board will include the following members (dates in parentheses indicate when the term ends):

FLARE 2023 Election Results
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FLARE Announcements all announcements

FLARE Presents FLOTUS, the Media and Challenging Old Narratives

FLARE Presents FLOTUS, the Media and Challenging Old Narratives

In case you missed it, the January 31, 2024 program with Jennifer Taylor and Erin Donaghue is now available at the links below.

Description: America’s first ladies and their relationship with the media date back to Martha Washington. Even now, the challenges historic first ladies have faced with the press are similar to the challenges modern first ladies face today. As the position of the president’s spouse has evolved, so has the media. Join the First Ladies Association for Research and Education for a lively conversation with East Wing Magazine journalists Jennifer Taylor and Erin Donaghue about the challenges between first ladies and the media; about the changing landscape of the media and how presidential spouses have adapted; and about East Wing Magazine and its mission to flip the traditional narratives told about first ladies and the greater East Wing.

What: Discussion moderated by Diana Carlin
When: 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024More Info >
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by First Lady Jill Biden at an Event to Celebrate Educators and Highlight the Importance of Educator Wellness
 Michelle Obama: White House ‘tests you in ways that you never anticipated’
History Rolls On: Eisenhower and the Easter Egg Roll
Marietta House Museum's Lunchtime Lecture: "The Papers of Dolley Madison"
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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 When The First Lady is an Educator, A Lesson Comes Dressed in Inaugural Clothing

Nichola D. Gutgold

One of the most popular exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is the First Ladies Exhibit. With over 1,000 items in the collection, the Smithsonian documents the lives and legacies of the women who have served in this invaluable role.[i] It was an honor to attend the ceremony of the presentation of the inaugural clothing of First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, which she wore in January 2021 to President Biden’s swearing-in and other celebratory events to mark the occasion..

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Upcoming Events view all events

 March 2024 
  • FLARE Members will receive a registration invitation.

    March 6, 2024
    7:00PM - 8:00PM

March 4, 2024

Remember the First Ladies

Presented by the National Archives

In Person and online

In celebration of Women's History Month, please join Archivist of the United States Dr. Colleen Shogan, who will moderate a program featuring Diana Carlin, Anita McBride, and Nancy Kegan Smith, co-authors of a new book, Remember the First Ladies: The Legacies of America's History-Making Women. The book illustrates First Ladies’ unique position to influence American society, policy, diplomacy, and life in the White House and illuminates how many of them broke barriers to make a mark on our country and, at times, the world. A book signing will follow the program.

Women’s History programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

March 6, 2024
7:00PM - 8:00PM

FLARE Social Hour

FLARE Members will receive a registration invitation.

April 3, 2024
8:30AM - 12:30PM

First Ladies Then and Now: Communicating Their Message

FLARE presents the Central States Communication Assocaition Pre-Conference

Grand Amway Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI

The field of First Ladies Studies has grown dramatically since the first course was offered in 1982 at the University of Texas-Austin and Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter hosted the first conference on first ladies in Grand Rapids in 1984. Communication scholars have been at the heart of the growth in scholarship, publications, conference programs, and interviews in various media. With the creation of the interdisciplinary association, founded by seven scholars--including four from communication--and new publications, including the first-ever college textbook, this is an area of study with tremendous potential for communication scholarship, especially for graduate students and early career faculty. To trace the history of this interdisciplinary field of inquiry, Central States is partnering with FLARE--First Ladies Association for Research and Education--to mark the 40th anniversary of the conference at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

First Ladies Birthdays view all events

March 12, 2024

Jane Appleton Pierce

March 12, 1806

March 13, 2024

Abigail Powers Fillmore

March 13, 1798

March 16, 2024

Patricia “Pat” Ryan Nixon

March 16, 1912

March 29, 2024

Lou Henry Hoover

March 29, 1874


Kristin Ahlberg

Mary R. Anderson

Thomas J. Balcerski

Maurine Beasley

Allida Black

Pamela G. Bourland-Davis


Mary C. Brennan

Christopher Brick

Paulette Brinka

Mary Balfour Calvert

Stacy Cordery

Erika N. Cornelius Smith


Susan Donius

East Wing Magazine

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

Maria Protti


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

Nancy Beck Young

Kay Zerwick