FLARE/American University Announcements

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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FLARE members are invited to nominate a member of the organization for the 2022 Lewis L. Gould Award

The Lewis L. Gould Award was presented for the first time in 2021 to Dr. Lewis L. Gould, and is named in his honor. The founders of FLARE hope to present this award annually in recognition of Dr. Gould’s pioneering scholarship in the study of American first ladies.

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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 Link for February 1st Program - Jacqueline Kennedy: New Frontier Strategies

If you missed Jacqueline Kennedy at Home and Abroad on February 1, you can view the program at the following link: https://youtu.be/zJL16j-23hw

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformational First Lady and Leader

December 9, 2021 at 5:30 pm ET.

Often referred to as First Lady of the World, Eleanor Roosevelt not only established the activitist model for first ladies going forward; but also was a leader on the international stage for human rights. This panel, introduced by FLARE President, Dr. Myra Gutin will have Eleanor Roosevelt scholars Dr. Maurine Beasley discuss Eleanor's role as a transformational first lady, and Dr. Allida Black address Eleanor's international efforts and impact to advance human rights. View it at: https://youtu.be/VMxko7jwAG0.

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Abigail Adams and the “Reigns of Government”

Join Sara Martin and Catherine Allgor of the Massachusetts Historical Society who will discuss Abigail Adams and the "Reigns of Government" on November 22, 2021 at 5:30 pm ET.

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Accidental Leaders: Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan Speak Out on Breast Cancer

In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, FLARE sponsored a program highlighting the contributions First Ladies Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan made to awareness.

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Western Illinois Man, Pioneering Scholar on First Ladies, Recognized for His Work – The Galesburg Register Mail

Lewis Gould says he was a "typical male historian writing about men" before he developed a new course to teach in the early 1980s at the University of Texas. That course, called "First Ladies of the 20th Century" — not counting Nancy Reagan, who was in the White House at the time — set Gould on a pioneering path of studying the history and legacies of the wives of American presidents.

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FLARE Announces a Virtual Conversation About Lady Bird Johnson

FLARE is pleased to announce our first virtual program--a conversation with Tom Johnson moderated by Nancy Kegan Smith-- on July 29th at 4:00 EDT. Myra Gutin, President of FLARE will welcome and introduce the program.

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Anita McBride Interviewed on Good Morning America

Jill Biden Featured on the August Cover of Vogue Magazine

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Anita McBride: The First Ladies’ ‘stories need to be told’

Former Chief of Staff to Laura Bush and Director of American University’s First Ladies Initiative, Anita McBride joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the launch of the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) at American University. FLARE is the first national academic organization focused on “the evolving roles and lasting legacies of the First Ladies.” McBride also reflects on the past First Ladies and the important issues they championed.

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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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