All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

The Role of the First Lady

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson

Little Rock, Arkansas
Saturday, July 5, 2014

We hear from White House social secretaries who worked in the Johnson, Ford, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations. They discuss various national programs promoted by individual first ladies, including Lady Bird Johnson's beautification efforts and Michelle Obama's fitness campaign. They also give a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to work for a first lady. This panel was part of a conference on presidential sites hosted by the American Association for State and Local History, and was held at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Updated: Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:14pm (ET)

Related Events

Lectures in History: Modern First Ladies
Saturday, February 19, 2011     

The next “Lecture in History” is with University of Arkansas professor Peggy Scranton.  C-SPAN viewers may be familiar with Professor Scranton from her sixteen-week class on the Clinton Presidency which aired in 2003.  Today’s class focuses on the role of the modern First Lady.

Social Secretaries to First Ladies
Saturday, August 25, 2012     

Social Secretaries working for American First Ladies help set the tone of presidential administrations.  Bess Abell, Catherine Fenton and Laurie Firestone served First Ladies from Lady Bird Johnson to Laura Bush. In this conversation at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, they recall their duties and life inside the White House.

The Presidency: First Lady Betty Ford
Monday, April 29, 2013     

Two of Betty Ford's four children -- Susan Ford Bales and Steve Ford -- remember her as a wife, mother and first lady. They offer a family perspective on their parents' marriage and their own upbringing as well as the difficulties of their mother's alcohol and prescription drug addictions -- and their pride in how she overcame those addictions and eventually helped others. This conversation was part of a conference held at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was the fourth such gathering focusing on the legacies of America's first ladies. The previous events were in Texas at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the George Bush Presidential Library and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

President Warren Harding’s Love Letters
Saturday     

We hear from a panel about the personal and political consequences of Warren Harding’s long term love affair. The affair predated the 29th president's administration. Surviving love letters detailing the relationship were until very recently kept under seal by the Library of Congress, which hosted this event. The former president’s grandnephew, Richard Harding, explains why his family insisted on keeping the letters sealed and how the family continues to deal with the fallout from the affair and its impact on Warren Harding’s legacy.

National World War I Memorial
Saturday     

Edwin Fountain of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission discusses efforts to re-develop Pershing Park in Washington, DC as a site to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives during World War I. Currently the park is the site of a memorial to General John Pershing, who commanded the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Establishment of Religious Freedom in U.S.
Saturday     

Author Thomas Buckley discusses the establishment of religious freedom in the U.S. Mr. Buckley focuses on Virginia’s groundbreaking statute on religious freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson and its role in bringing freedom of religion to the newly independent United States. Buckley also describes how the statute’s influence has extended into the 20th century and the Supreme Court’s modern interpretation of the separation of church and state.

The Life of Westerner Tom Horn: 1860 - 1903
Saturday     

Author Larry Ball discusses the life and legacy of westerner Tom Horn, who lived from 1860 to 1903. Ball describes Horn’s work as a gunman for the Pinkerton Detective Agency and Wyoming Cattlemen's Association, as well as his murder conviction and execution in 1903. The New Mexico History Museum hosted the event.

History Bookshelf: Jim Crow Laws & School Integration
Saturday     

Author Rawn James describes Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s early career and profiles his mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston. The two lawyers led the NAACP’s legal office in challenging Jim Crow laws with a focus on school integration.

Atomic Bomb Survivors & President Truman’s Grandson
Saturday     

President Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, joins atomic bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to discuss the lasting legacy of the nuclear attacks that ended World War II in the Pacific. It was President Truman who ordered the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities. We’ll hear the survivors describe the attacks as they experienced them – and the lasting emotional and physical effects of the bombings. This event was hosted by the Japan Society. 

Lectures in History: 1960s & 1970s Popular Music and Feminism
Thursday     

Indiana University professor Michael McGerr discusses feminism and its impact on popular music in the 1960s and ‘70s. The class is part of a course called “Rock, Hip Hop and Revolution: Popular Music in the Making of Modern America, 1940 to the Present.”

Share This Event Via Social Media
American History TV