Tuesday, October 31, 2006

White House Ghosts?

Well, it is Halloween and you need some fun! So go listen to some White House ghost stories. You can hear about the man who says he saw President Lincoln or listen to the White House usher discuss a Halloween prank by Amy Carter among other things.

In other Halloween fun news: Mother Goose & Grimm had Halloween Presidential comic strip on 10/29 you can read (it will come up on the current day, you'll have to scroll back a couple of days).

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lucretia’s Dream


As part of the Western Reserve’s website, they have information on Lawnfield, the James Garfield National Historic Site, and there is also some information on Lucretia Garfield.

Lucretia Garfield was instrumental in the construction of the windmill at Lawnfield. There were problems during the constructions and Mrs. Garfield took great interest in the details. In a letter to her son about the construction she wrote:
This tank 11 ft. in diameter and twenty-feet high holds between four and five hundred barrels. You must know just how high your cascade closets are above the level of the well that no mistake be made. I have estimated for twenty feet.

She was also involved with the finances. In another letter to her son, she wrote:
Can you explain why a tank 15 ft. by 15 ft. and holding 600 barrels costs not half as much as one 11 ft. by 20 ft...and holding less than 500 barrels? The former would be put up for $195.00, the latter with only a few steel beams and window guards added, for $440.00. Again, is not Mr. Reough's estimate too large? I really cannot see how he can make such a simple structure cost more than or as much as, he would build a summer cottage for...I can not afford to build an expensive tower, either will I consent to put up a stupid, inconvenient unsightly thing !! Everything you wrote about yourself and the home affairs made me happy, except the estimates for the tower. They were simply ridiculous. Architects and contractors all seem to conspire to get the most money for the least work. I think I will go home and oversee the whole thing myself. I built a home once, bought all material and hired the workmen and although it was in wartime, I have never done anything so cheaply since, nor ever had anything better done.

The windwill stood until 1930 and was finally rebuilt in 1998.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Scavenger Hunt!

It's Friday - go on a Presidential Scavenger Hunt! I would show you my certificate, but I couldn't figure out how to save (or maybe I just didn't try hard enough!). This is a kids' game, but well, I'm a kid at heart!

So this can either be something to have your kids (or students do) or something you can enjoy on a Friday afternoon!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

William Howard Taft Historic Site

The William Howard Taft Historic Site is in Cincinnati, but you don’t need to go there to have fun. There is a fun online tour for kids with information and then quizzes. It would be a fun online project for elementary students when studying the Tafts! I had fun and I’m way too old for it! The site also offers lesson plans on it. Beyond the kid-friendly material, though, this site doesn’t offer a lot of information – just tantalizing nuggets so you will want to visit the site….don’t you now?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eisenhower on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956

President Eisenhower served during the Cold War his entire presidency. He had to make many decisions on how to deal with the Soviet Union. One of his toughest may have been his decision not to directly support the revolutionaries in Hungary 50 years ago.

Wikipedia notes that the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, "was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the Communist government of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from October 23 until November 10, 1956. It began as a student demonstration which attracted thousands as it marched through central Budapest to the Parliament building. The revolt spread quickly across Hungary, and the government fell. Thousands organized into militias, battling the State Security Police (AVH) and Soviet troops. The new government formally disbanded the AVH, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and pledged to re-establish free elections. By the end of October, fighting had almost stopped and a sense of normality began to return. After announcing a willingness to negotiate a withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Politburo changed its mind and moved to quash the revolution. On November 4, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest, killing thousands of civilians. Organized resistance ceased by November 10, and mass arrests began."

Eisenhower clearly sympathized with the Hungarian people. However, any action the United States took beyond offering moral support was dangerous and could possibly have lead to the Third World War. Once the Soviets decided to force Hungary to stay in Soviet bloc, Eisenhower had little choice but to sit back and watch the revolution be squashed.

In the his 1957 State of the Union, he did seek to give refugees some relief. He said, "The recent historic events in Hungary demand that all free nations share to the extent of their capabilities in the responsibility of granting asylum to victims of Communist persecution. I request the Congress promptly to enact legislation to regularize the status in the United States of Hungarian refugees brought here as parolees. I shall shortly recommend to the Congress by special message the changes in our immigration laws that I deem necessary in the light of our world responsibilities. "

The Soviets were not impressed with the help the USA gave Hungary. In fact, they were rather contemptuousus. In a newspaper interview in 1957, Khrushchev commented "support by United States ... is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man."

Eisenhower's true feeling about the event were made in his final State of the Union Address in 1961. He called the events of 1956 a "brutal Soviet repression of the people of Hungary." He clearly would have liked to have done more (like send in NATO troops to back Hungarian independence from Soviet control) but he wisely made the choice that had no possibility of leading to a nuclear war.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pop Culture Continues to Trip a President

I’m always amazed at what my students discuss with one another regarding their television viewing habits. I’m on constant alert to quash discussions regarding various reality television shows comingled with talk of Sponge Bob.

One young television viewer came in the other day and said, “Hey Elementaryhistoryteacher, did we really have a president who used to fall down all the time?”

I was caught off guard. This is not unusual since I generally have four or five kids talking to me at the same time and another two or three others poking me or calling my name repeatedly.

I responded to my televion viewer by saying, “Huh? What are you talking about?”

“Well, I was watching the Comedy Channel last night and I saw this show called….” He was searching for the title. The kids standing around began to pepper him with titles of shows. Apparently my students are well versed with the line up on the Comedy Channel.

Mr. Overexposed to Television made another attempt, “A show called ummmmm, ummmm, something, something live. He turned to the other kids and continued, “It was so funny. Everyone was calling him Mr. President and he kept falling all over the place. Then the guy stood up and said Live from New York It’s Saturday Night. Saturday Night Live!…..that’s it!”

“Oh yeah,” I say. “That’s an old show. It started back when I was in high school.”

“Golly,” one sweet cherub states, “that’s really an old show.” I ignore the comment and simply smile.

Another student speaks up, “Saturday Night Live still comes on. I watch it sometimes. They have this neat cartoon that shows gay superheroes.”

I think to myself that I remember a time when kids thought the word gay meant to be happy and cheerful. Remember? Wasn’t it the Flinstones who had a “gay, old time?

The student expounds further, “…and they have a car that looks just like a…..”

“Alrighty then,” I quickly interject. “Let’s get on with what we need to do today. Turn to page…..”

No, I will NOT be the lead story on the five o’clock news today.

In case you are not aware the characters my student was speaking of have a car that resembles the male body part.

Of course the president Mr. Overexposed to Television was referring to was none other than Gerald Ford.

Poor Gerald Ford…forever saddled with the ‘clumsey guy’ lable.

So maybe my fellow educators and I need to prop poor Gerry up to the kidlets because most of what they internalize about him is what pop culture feeds them.

Actually, Gerry’s story is pretty interesting. He has the distinction of being the first Vice-President ever chosen under the provisions of the twenty-fifth amendment due to the Spiro Agnew scandal and resignation. He was the first Vice-President to succeed a President who resigned. He is also the only man to serve as Vice-President and President who was not elected by the people.

At birth Gerald Ford was born with the name Leslie Lynch King, Jr. after his biological dad. At some point his mother remarried and Ford’s name was changed to reflect his new step father. Ford did not know about his biological dad until he was fifteen years old.

Ford was a standout member of the University of Michigan’s football team. After turning down offers to become a professional football player Ford also played for Yale where he studied law and served for a time as an assistant coach.

During college Ford earned extra money as a male model. Here is a magazine cover he posed for.

gerald ford

Ford volunteered for service in the Navy after Pearl Harbor where he served on the USS Monterey. During a typhoon in December, 1944, Ford was nearly slung off the deck when the ship rolled twenty-five degrees. The Monterey took part in many integral battles in the Pacific theater.

Immediately upon returning to civilian life Ford became involved in Republican politics and ran for Congress. He promised farmers that if they voted for him and he won he would come back and milk their cows for them. This is a promise he kept.

Prior to bursting onto the scene as Nixon’s mid term replacement for vice president Gerald Ford had served for twenty–five years in Congress. The one word his fellow Congressmen would use to describe Ford was integrity. From 1949 until 1973 Ford held his seat in the House of Representatives. He was known as the “Congressman’s Congressman”. From 1967 to 1973 he was House Minority Leader.

Following JFK’s assassination Ford was appointed to the Warren Commission by President Johnson even though he and Johnson were not the best of friends. Ford frequently attacked Johnson’s Great Society programs.

Wikipedia states Ford described his political philosophy as “a moderate in domestic affairs, an internationalist in foreign affairs, and a conservative in fiscal policy.”

One of the most controversial actions Ford took as president was his unconditional pardon for any crimes President Nixon may have committed. Though many did not agree, Ford acted decidedly and announced that the nation had been through enough, and a long and entangled investigation and trial would not have been in the country’s best interest. Critics ranted about a “corrupt bargain” between Nixon and Ford, however, no proof has ever been brought forth.

Gerald Ford didn’t have an easy time being president. The confidence of the country had been shatterred. Inflation was rampant and the economy was depressed. Ford encouraged citizens to wear “WIN” buttons which stood for “Whip Inflation Now”. No real solution other than the buttons ever came out of the White House. There were energy shortages. During midterm elections the Democrats won control of both Congressional houses. They would plague Ford by overriding the highest percentage of vetoes since Franklin Pierce was president in the 1850s.

The final death throes of our involvement in Vietnam……the final personnel leaving and the ultimate fall of Saigon….happened under Ford’s watch.

President Ford sucessfully avoided two assassination attempts.

One of Ford’s major initiatives was making an attempt for world peace though many including those in his own party criticized the Helsinki Accords and other attempts to reach out to China and Soviet Russia.

In the build up to the 1976 presidential campaign Ford reorganized his cabinet in an event that journalist termed the Halloween Massacre. A few people were fired while others were simply moved to other positions.

Getting back to the clumsey image Ford had some bad breaks late in this presidency. While playing golf his shot was so off the mark he hit a lady on the head. While exiting Air Force One President Ford fell….this happened more than once.

geraldford

Of course the newest television show to hit the airwaves couldn’t resist and Chevy Chase began to open many of the episodes by playing a bumbling Gerald Ford. His image suffered further when journalist picked up on the momentum and began tracking down all of his faux pas. Years later Ford stated in his autobiography that he felt the portrayals on Saturday Night Live did have some effect on the outcome of the 1976 election.

Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford

That could be true, however, once again during the election Ford blundered when formulating a response to a question during his televised debate with Jimmy Carter. Ford stated Poland was independent and autonomous from the Soviet Union. At the time it most certainly was not. The commentator actually gave Ford more than one opportunity to correct himself, but he did not.

It’s true that Ford’s presidency is definitely lackluster compared to the great things he did for his district and the service he gave to the nation as a Congressman and serviceman. However, at the time Nixon resigned this nation needed a man of integrity. We needed a man to simply hold this nation together long enough for the crisis to be over. Ford accomplished this and should be remembered for seeing us through.

It’s a shame that the only image many people will remember will be one of the president who fell down all the time.

Harry Truman’s Schoolroom Days

Truman is third from the left in the top row.

A Boy Who Would Be President: Harry Truman at School, 1892-1901 is an article in Prologue that discusses Harry Truman’s schoolroom days. This article centers around some new documents that were uncovered:
…two ledgers that record his attendance and his grades at Noland School for the first and second grade - and two of his high school English theme books were recently made available for research by members of Truman's family.

We learn interesting facts about Truman’s early school life from these resources:

  • The 1892–1893 school year, Harry's first-grade year, began on September 13. For some reason Harry's mother, Martha Ellen Truman, didn't send him to school until October 17….After starting school five weeks late, he didn't miss a day for the rest of the year, and he was never tardy.
  • In the first term, Miss Ewin gave Harry the highest possible grades in every subject. They were a little lower in the second term, but still among the highest given in the class, and they rose to near perfect in the third term. Miss Ewin gave him the highest possible grades in the third term in spelling, reading, language, and numbers.

The article discusses Truman’s claim to have skipped third grade and if this made sense with the one report card from that time frame we have left, which doesn’t back up his story. The article uses evidence from Bess Wallace’s records to help discern what could have happened (I'm making you go read that section...did I whet your curiosity enough?)

The author then goes on to look at the two high school essay books, which he compares to Charlie Ross' (Charlie was Truman's White House press secretary among other literary accomplishments) to help see Truman's writing abilities:

  • The eighth-grade book…reminds one why Harry once wrote to Bess that "the English language so far as spelling goes was created by Satan I am sure."
  • [T]here's something almost objectionable in Harry's essays. Perhaps they're not always sufficiently deferential to some spirit of the age; there's too much opinion in them, too much Harry. If Charlie is mindful of his readers and their values and their expectations of him, Harry seems to want only to tell everyone very plainly how he feels about things.

The author wraps up with this statement:
All the most important policy initiatives of Truman's presidency had their origins in some important way in the fundamental personal makeup that we call his character; and this essential character of Harry S. Truman's was to some degree formed by, and to a much greater degree evident during—even if only in the brief but bright glimpses the limited documentation allows—his nine years as a schoolboy in Independence, Missouri, from 1892 to 1901.

This article offers much more in depth information than I provided here, so take some time and explore it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

FDR: Portrait of a Drinking President

FDR: Portrait of a Drinking President. This article is in a recent issue of Modern Drunkard Magazine by Brian Abrams. The article focuses on two aspects of FDR's presidency: 1. his championing the end of prohibition and 2. his personal drinking habits.

Obviously, FDR helped to bring about the end of the bad idea that was prohibition. He ran on an anti-prohibition platform in 1932 and depression era America was ready to bring back booze. Abrams wrote, "Repeal was the essential pillar to his 1932 presidential campaign, and when the 51-year old moved into The White House, he kept his word. With FDR leading the way, Congress amicably passed the 21st Amendment."

Less obvious is how often FDR drank. History shows he was a drinker. How excessive a drinker he was though will probably never be known. As this is an article from Modern Drunkard Magazine, Abrams argues for a heavy drinking FDR but he does not cite his sources to support the argument.

Regardless of how accurate this article is, I predict it will be a top ten result in Google in less than a year for the keyword search "FDR and drinking." As such, I might as well point it out here. It can amuse you, educate you, or offend you as the case may be. There is also an article in this issue titled Muskets and Moonshine which has an account of the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 that writes about President Washington's response to the "uprising." Happy reading.

Abigail Fillmore

I’ve decided there must be something about First Ladies named Abigail…they are just awesome!

Abigail Powers Fillmore was a well-educated woman and was a schoolteacher before her marriage. While she was teaching, she met Millard Fillmore. She had been teaching for a few years (she started teaching at 16) when the 18-year-old Millard came to her school for further education. He was a clothmaker’s apprentice, but wanted to be a lawyer and so came to the local schoolteacher (Abigail) for help. He was only her student for a few months and by the time he was done, he and Abigail were engaged. They had a long engagement while Millard completed his work to become a lawyer. Abigail’s love of learning continued throughout her life and while First Lady, she worked to improve and expand the White House library.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sculptures depict real George Washington

Sculptures depict real George Washington. So, what did George Washington actually look like? This article by Matthew Barakat in the October 5th, 2006 USA Today has a possible answer. Researchers at Mt. Vernon made models of Washington at 19, 45, and 57.

Barakat wrote, "Research on the project was meticulous. The estate hired an anthropology professor to do an age-regression analysis of Washington's face calculating the changes that would have occurred as he aged and lost his teeth. They took detailed measurements of Washington's tailored clothes to gain insight into his body shape."

Evidently he was a good looking 19 year old. Reactions vary as Barakat wrote, "Rees said people have varied reactions to the models — some say he looks like a bit of a dandy, others are struck by the maturity that shines through even in the youthful depiction."

I guess Washington did not look a lot like his portrait on the dollar. I can not help thinking that is what he looked like though. I may know what he really looked like now but I am still going to envision the "classical" George Washington look when I think about him.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mamie Eisenhower in Time Magazine

The General’s Lady (June 2, 1952)

This is an interesting article from 1952 about Mamie Eisenhower. It was written to introduce Mamie to the American public as a potential First Lady. It started with a description:
For the benefit of U.S. citizens who are about to see the wife of General Eisenhower for the first time next week as a prospective First Lady, an officer at SHAPE in Paris gives an estimate: "Take an average pretty Iowa girl, transplant her to Colorado, give her parents enough money to take winter holidays, let her bump around the world with the Army, give her a modified Lillian Gish hairdo complete with bangs, and that's Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower."

It offers mostly trivia, but is a fun look into the 1950s. So what do we learn about Mamie?

  • She smoked Phillips Morrises
  • Loved canasta (there’s something I can connect with!)
  • She didn’t do much cooking and didn’t like it
  • She lost a son in 1921

Another interesting tidbit about their life came from a honeymoon story:
After a honeymoon visit to Ike's family in Abilene, Kans.—and a bitter quarrel over Ike's imperturbable refusal to come home from a hometown poker game until 2 a.m.—Mamie joined the Army. It was often a trying life; in one year she had to set up housekeeping on seven different Army posts.

So enjoy Mamie through the eyes of the US that elected her husband!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Franklin Trivia

The Franklin Pierce Pages are devoted to Franklin trivia. The author decided that Millard Fillmore had been too long trivialized as the most obscure President and decided to transfer this to Franklin Pierce. His assessment of Pierce’s term was:
Pierce was one of the stream of presidents who helplessly presided over a deteriorating union in the years leading up to the Civil War and Lincoln’s presidency. He was a Democrat who served one term from 1853 to 1857. Very little happened.

Some other trivia about Pierce’s life:
Pierce’s salad days were clearly in college at Bowdoin College in Maine. There, he was a classmate of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who later became a writer and author of The Scarlet Letter, as well as one of Pierce’s closest friends and advisors. At Bowdoin, Pierce also knew Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Initially, Pierce had too much fun and did too little studying. As a sophomore, his grades were at the bottom of the class. He improved his grades and went on to become a lawyer. Oh, and president, too.

This site also offers more articles and even a Pierce quiz. I managed a 90% - your turn! (NOTE: Read the article first unless you a complete Pierce trivia guru.)

One of other articles asks the question: What do you have to do to become one of the worst presidents ever? How do you manage to be largely forgotten, but when you are remembered, it is as the "fifth of six below-average presidents"? That's how a 1962 poll of historians ranked Franklin Pierce. It placed him "above Buchanan, and below Coolidge."

So take some time and learn a little about Franklin Pierce – reputedly the most handsome President (what do you think? Is it just me or is he really not that good looking? Maybe tastes have changed…)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Children's Letters to the President

There was an article in Prologue about children's letters to the President. Did you ever write the President as a child? I know I did! Now, while my letter didn't make the article, this was still a great read.

Some of the letters mentioned were (I tried to give you a variety...there were lots more mentioend):
  • One from 12-year-old Fidel Castro to FDR
  • One from 9-year-old Bobby Kennedy to FDR
  • One to Eisenhower from some girls in Montana protesting the draft of Elvis Presley
  • One from an 8-year-old boy who commiserated with Nixon about his bout of pneumonia.

While all the letters are fun and worth the read, I'm including my favorite in this post for you:

Sometimes, the personal and the political come together. In 1984, Andy Smith, a seventh-grader in South Carolina, wrote to President Ronald Reagan about a problem that plagues children everywhere: a messy room. Andy wrote, "Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room."

The President sent back a full-page handwritten letter brimming with tongue-in-cheek humor. "Dear Andy," he wrote. "Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem; the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother."

Then he took the opportunity to apply one of his administration's political themes to Andy's personal situation:

May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that govt. has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative Program, calling upon people to practice volunteerism in the solving of a number of local problems. Your situation appears to be a natural. I'm sure your Mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3000 already underway in our nation—congratulations. Give my best regards to your Mother.

So get your dose of presidential history through a child's eye today!

Friday, October 06, 2006

American Presidents Blog at the Academic Blog Portal

Yesterday, I became aware of a new collaborative project to sort and catalog blogs by academics on the Web. It is the Academic Blog Portal.

I went ahead and added this blog to the History page. I also created a page for the American Presidents Blog. I did not create an account so the anonymous IP address you see listed as the writer on the page history is me. I need to create an account if I go back in and edit more...

Jennie and elementaryhistoryteacher, what do you think? Please go ahead and make edits if you want to alter the blog description at all. I tried to mirror the set up of another group blog the Crooked Timber.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover

This article by Smith and Walch in Prologue Magazine looks at the Hoover presidency. Overshadowed by the crisis of the Great Depression, we often forget the man Herbert Hoover was. The authors write:

Usually cast as a President defined by his failure to contain the Great Depression, Hoover's story is far more complex and more interesting. To begin with, Hoover was an activist reformer, albeit one without the political skills needed to sell himself and his programs to Congress and the public. A shy man, he insisted on keeping much of his life and good deeds out of the public eye. Only in politics is this a character flaw, yet it prevented those around Hoover from portraying him as a compassionate leader, or warding off portrayals of him as a cold, uncaring figure responsible for nearly everything that was going wrong in the American economy. As a result, Hoover's presidency remains largely an untold story.

So take a moment and read this fascinating article about Herbert Hoover!

For more information Hoover check out:
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Herbert Hoover Historic Site

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. I was helping a patron today try to verify a quote from a 2002 President Bush speech. I wound up at this site. It is not very fancy but it is easy to use. Almost every speech and statement by President George W. Bush during the years 2001 to 2006 is available here, courtesy of the Government Printing Office.

From the site:

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published every Monday and is the official publication of presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary. The browse feature is available from 2001 forward.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why Did Truman Really Fire MacArthur?

We've all heard stories about Truman firing MacArthur. What really happened? Well, it turns out to be much more pragmatic than the stories....so here's the boring truth!

From an article by Bruce Cumings on the Korean War:

The US came closest to using atomic weapons in April 1951, when Truman removed MacArthur. Although much related to this episode is still classified, it is now clear that Truman did not remove MacArthur simply because of his repeated insubordination, but because he wanted a reliable commander on the scene should Washington decide to use nuclear weapons; Truman traded MacArthur for his atomic policies.

From the Truman Library:

In 1951, President Truman and his advisors were preparing to engage North Korea and China in peace negotiations, in an attempt to resolve the ongoing conflict. General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, issued an unauthorized statement containing a veiled threat to expand the war into China if the Communist side refused to come to terms. When MacArthur continued to support an expansion of the war, communicating directly with a like-minded Republican congressman, Truman, with the backing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the Secretaries of State and Defense, felt they had no alternative but to replace MacArthur with a military commander who would act in concert with the administration’s foreign policy.

From PBS, you can visit the primary documents on this topics as well.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What are we to call her?

The office of First Lady
First Lady: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and Their Power, 1789-1961, vol. 1 by Carl Sferrazza Anthony

The office of President was new in 1789 and the nation was unsure what to call him. Of course, this also meant that no one knew what to call the President’s wife either. The new Americans came from Great Britain where everyone important had a title, so they felt that their officials should as well. While the mode of address for the President was soon fixed, the one for his wife took much longer.

At first, the President’s wife was called “Lady,” in the British tradition. Lady Washington was followed by Lady Adams. Dolley Madison brought into use a new term – she was called the Lady Presidentress (which would later be used derogatively for Edith Wilson, but for now it was a compliment). Elizabeth Monroe got her own nickname – Queen Elizabeth. With Louisa Adams, the mode of address reverted to simply Mrs. Adams and this was used for the next few women. Julia Tyler’s youthful appearance and sudden marriage earned her the nickname the Lovely Lady Presidentress.

Dolley Madison’s funeral brought into use a new term. President Taylor called her the “first lady of our land” in his address and this became the unofficial address for the President’s wife. In 1860 Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper used this in print for the first time in reference to Harriet Lane. While many of the ladies avoided this term at first, it has stuck and is what we still call the President’s wife today.