Lectures on Presidents and First Ladies

All lectures include a Q&A session and have a companion PowerPoint presentation.

All lectures can be presented remotely via zoom or another virtual platform.

Lectures on Presidential History

 President Who? Lesser-Known Presidents in American History 

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy. These are familiar names to most Americans. But have you heard of Millard Fillmore, Chester A. Arthur, or Benjamin Harrison? These and other lesser-known Presidents will be discussed in these PowerPoint presentations. We will discuss who these men were, how they became President, and what they did once they had achieved that office. We will also touch on their wives, families, and life after the Presidency. Each lecture can stand alone, or they can be presented as a series.

  • Part 1: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler & Millard Fillmore
  • Part 2: John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, & James K. Polk
  • Part 3: Chester A Arthur, Calvin Coolidge, & James Buchanan
  • Part 4: Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, & Warren Harding

Presidential Birthplaces

Which state has seen the most future Presidents born? Who was the first President born an American citizen? (Hint: Its not George Washington!) Humble or lavish, in a large town or out in the wilderness, in this 1 1/2 hr presentation, we will virtually travel to Presidential birthplaces across the country.

Who is Buried in Grants Tomb? Presidential gravesites

An old joke is, “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?” Do you know the answer? You will understand after this lecture. We will virtually tour the graves of the 39 Presidents who have died and talk about their markers, burial spots, and more.

Children in the White House: The lives of America’s “1st kids.”

What is it like to be the child of the United States President? In this lecture, we will find out. Some Presidential kids were already grown when their father was elected, and others were small. Some were happy & excited to move into the White House, and others were not. Starting with George Washington’s stepchildren, we will discuss their life before, during, and after their father’s term of office.

Presidential Pets

Presidents have always had pets. Today they are usually dogs and sometimes cats. There have been many other kinds of animals in the White House. We will look at the first families’ pets and learn which families kept the most exciting pets.

Lectures on the First Ladies

The Founding Mothers – Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, & Dolley Madison

Wartime 1st ladies – Mary Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, & Laura Bush

Style Icons – Mary Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy, Frances Cleveland, & Nancy Reagan

Lesser-Known First Ladies -Jane Pierce, Abigail Fillmore, Sarah Polk, & Florence Harding

Accidental First Ladies– Eliza Johnson, Edith Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, & Betty Ford

The Turn of 20th century First Ladies– Ida McKinley, Helen Taft, Ellen & Edith Wilson

The late 20th Century First Ladies -Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush & Hillary Clinton

Presidential Wives who were not First ladies -Rachel Jackson, Martha Jefferson, & Eleanor Arthur

1st “Hostesses” – Martha Jefferson Randolph, Emily Donelson, Angelica Singleton Van Buren, Patricia Cooper Tyler, & Harriet Lane

Inaugural Gowns of the 1st Ladies

What a First Lady chooses to wear to her husbands inaugural Balls can say a lot about her. In this lecture we will look at the gowns chosen by some of our 19th and 20th century first ladies. We will also look at some dresses of early first ladies.