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First Ladies: Influence & Image - Helen Taft

Washington, DC
Monday, September 16, 2013

First Lady Helen Taft’s lasting influence can be seen each year in Washington DC, because she was the driving force behind Japan sending more than 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the U.S.

On C-SPAN's "First Ladies: Influence & Image," we follow the life and influence of Helen Taft, wife of America's 27th President, William Howard Taft.

Ever since her teenage years, Helen Taft wanted to live in the White House. To get there, she persuaded her husband William to turn down a job he always wanted – being a Supreme Court Justice – so that he could focus on running for President. To get him there she personally lobbied President Theodore Roosevelt to endorse Taft as his successor in 1909.

After just two months as First Lady she suffered a stroke, temporarily losing the ability to speak or move her arms. She eventually recovered enough to enjoy a huge party celebrating her and the President’s 25th wedding anniversary.

Join C-SPAN's look at First Lady Helen Taft by phoning in your questions and joining the conversation on Facebook.

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:29am (ET)

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