First Ladies Quiz
Who was the youngest first lady?
- Frances Cleveland was 21 years 316 days old when she married the 49-year-old president Grover Cleveland in June 1886. After Cleveland died in 1908, she became the first of two former presidents' widows to remarry (Feb. 1913). Jackie Kennedy, widow of John F. Kennedy, married Aristotle Onassis in Oct. 1968.
Which one of these presidents had someone other than his wife serve as first lady?
- Rachel Donelson Jackson died on Christmas Eve shortly after her husband was elected. Her niece, Emily Donelson, and daughter-in-law, Sarah Yorke Jackson, served as White House hostess in her stead.
It has been postulated that this president was so debilitated after having a stroke that his wife made virtually all his political decisions for him. This president was:
- Wilson married his second wife, Edith Bolling Wilson, in 1915. In 1919, in the middle of his second term, Wilson suffered a stroke and never fully recovered, dying three years after his term expired.
Which first lady had studied modern dance with Martha Graham?
- After studying at the Graham School in New York City, Betty Bloomer returned to Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1941, where she became a fashion coordinator and organized her own dance troupe. She married Gerald Ford in 1948.
Who was the first wife of a president to be elected to public office?
- She was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from New York in 2000.
Which former first lady was declared insane in 1875 (but the decision was reversed a year later)?
- Mary Todd Lincoln, unhinged perhaps by the murder of her husband (which she witnessed) in 1865 and the death of her youngest son in 1871, was confined to the Bellevue Place Sanatorium, a private institution in Batavia, Ill., from May 20, 1875 to Sept. 10, 1875.
Which first lady wrote about the White House as follows: "The house is made habitable, but there is not a single apartment finished...and the great unfinished audience room I make a drying-room of, to hang up the clothes in."
- Construction on the White House was completed in 1800, and Mrs. Adams and her husband, John Adams, were the first first lady and president to live there. They lived there for only a few months, however, because President Adams's term ended in March 1801.
Which first lady arranged for the planting of several thousand cherry trees around Washington, DC?
- In 1909, the first year of her husband's administration, Helen Taft secured eighty Japanese cherry trees from various nurseries. Later that year, two thousand additional trees arrived from Tokyo, a gift to the city of Washington. But the trees proved diseased. Three thousand more trees were planted in 1912. Mrs. Taft was also a suffragist and greatly interested in politics.
Who was the first wife of a president to hold the Bible at her husband's swearing-in?
- Martha Jefferson and Hannah Van Buren both died nearly 20 years before their husbands became president.
Which first lady met her husband while acting in an amateur theatrical production?
- The Nixons were married in 1940.