FLARE/American University Announcements

"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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FLARE November 7 Program - Rosalynn Carter: Jimmy's Secret Weapon

Rosalynn Carter’s growth and definition of her role as a marital partner led her to find her significant voice, as First Lady of Georgia, then as First Lady of the United States. She developed her advocacy skills for mental health legislation, her support for women’s rights, and her political skills in acting as an effective surrogate for her husband as he ran for elective office.

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First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) Announces AnitaMcBride as the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award Recipient

Washington, D.C. – Anita B. McBride, former Chief of Staff for First Lady Laura Bush and currently Executive in Residence and Director of the First Ladies Initiative at American University’s School of Public Affairs, today received the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award. The annual award, presented by FLARE, recognizes distinguished contributions to the field of First Lady research and education, and a commitment to excellence while furthering the study of American First Ladies.

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Pat Nixon: Unheralded First Lady

Thursday, May 26 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

The far-reaching achievements of Pat Nixon, First Lady from 1969-1974 are too often overshadowed by the drama of her husband’s White House. Far from being “Plastic Pat,” Mrs. Nixon was a gifted person-to-person diplomat whose wide interests prevented her from selecting just one “signature” First Lady project. Instead, she declared, “People are my project.” Our panel will examine Mrs. Nixon’s true personality versus her media image, her efforts to make the White House more accessible to all, her foreign trips and efforts as a solo diplomat, her behind-the-scenes support for getting more women in government roles, and her strong desire to see a woman on the Supreme Court.

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SHE DID ALL THAT - Betty Ford: Speaking Out, Saving Lives

Thursday, April 14 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Celebrate Mrs. Ford’s birthday month by joining us at 7:00 pm ET on April 14th for a conversation with playwright, director, and producer Lisa Rafferty, who will discuss her work creating documentary plays which celebrate the strength and resiliency of heroic women. SHE DID ALL THAT - Betty Ford: Speaking Out, Saving Lives offers insight into an extraordinary First Lady, who broke down societal taboos and empowered women throughout the United States, bringing breast cancer and addiction to the forefront of American conversation. The show, which premiered at Boston Playwrights' Theatre in July 2018, shines a light on the Betty Ford story using her own voice, voices from her family and friends, White House news accounts, and letters from her critics and admirers. The Gerald R. Ford Foundation will be hosting a live performance of the play on April 20th, 2022. For more information, contact Clare Shubert: cshubert@38foundation.org. Click the link above for more information.

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Taking a New Look at Edith Wilson

Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time

This panel will explore the influence and legacy of Edith Wilson, first lady from 1915-1921. While she is popularly known for her role in protecting her husband’s position in the White House after his stroke in 1919, an effort steeped in controversy owing to claims of her outsize influence, our panelists will re-evaluate Edith’s historical reputation, noting her longtime role as her husband’s de facto chief of staff, the many times she confidently took on new roles well before 1919, and her relationship with the press which has shaped her legacy to this day. This panel will be introduced by FLARE Vice President Nancy Kegan Smith and moderated by Dr. Katherine Sibley, and include panelists Dr. Mary Stockwell, journalist Rebecca Roberts, and Dr. Stacy Cordery. Live Stream: https://youtu.be/Q2QbWsAYtYc

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FLARE and American University's School of Public Affairs Launch Partnership

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2021) – The nation’s first association dedicated to the study of the evolving roles and history of America’s First Ladies has been announced by American University’s School of Public Affairs. When it officially begins its work this month, the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) will bring together scholars, institutions, members of First Ladies’ staff, biographers, archivists, journalists, and public historians to explore the lasting and varied legacies of the spouses of Presidents.

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