Lectures on Presidents, First Ladies & their Families

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.

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.

Lectures on the First Ladies

The Founding Mothers – (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, & Dolley Madison) Learn about the women who stood behind the founding Fathers. Who were they and how did they contribute to the cause of American independence?

Wartime 1st ladies – (Mary Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, & Laura Bush) Wartime tests First Families like no other time. How did these 1st ladies handle the pressures of life in the White House and the stress of wartime?

Style Icons – (Mary Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy, Frances Cleveland, & Nancy Reagan) First Ladies have been admired for many reason. For some, their sense of style defined their image. Learn how some first ladies influenced fashion trends and defined the style of their time.

Lesser-Known First Ladies -(Jane Pierce, Abigail Fillmore, Sarah Polk, & Florence Harding) Like their husbands, these first ladies are less well known then women like Martha Washington or Eleanor Roosevelt. Learn about these “forgotten” first ladies and their families, and see why they should be remembered.

Accidental First Ladies– (Eliza Johnson, Edith Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, & Betty Ford) When their husbands were suddenly elevated to the Presidency by tragedy or scandal, how did these first ladies cope? How did they make a role for themselves in uncertain times?

The Turn of 20th century First Ladies– (Ida McKinley, Helen Taft, Ellen & Edith Wilson) The early 20th century was a time of rapid change in the United States. How did these first ladies respond to the changes? HOw did the role of first lady change during their time in Washington?

The late 20th Century First Ladies -(Roslyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush & Hillary Clinton) You may think you know these “modern” first ladies, but do you? This lecture will try to give new insight on some of the more recent First Ladies & their families.

Presidential Wives who were not First ladies -(Rachel Jackson, Martha Jefferson, & Eleanor Arthur) Some Presidents came to the office as widowers. Their late wives were never “First Ladies”, but they are still Presidential wives. Hear the stories of these women, and how their deaths affected their husband and family.

1st “Hostesses” – (Martha Jefferson Randolph, Emily Donelson, Angelica Singleton Van Buren, Patricia Cooper Tyler, & Harriet Lane) Presidents who were either bachelors or widowers needed someone to handle hostess duties at the Executive Mansion. They turned to their daughters, daughter-in-laws, and nieces. Learn about these official hostesses and how they handled the job.

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.

Lectures about First Families

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.

**New for 2023 ** White House Brides

There have been 19 weddings held at the White House over the last 200 years. In this lecture we will look at their history, from the 1812 wedding of Dolley Madison’s sister Lucy to the 2022 wedding of Naomi Biden, grandaughter of Joe Biden. We will see where the ceremonies were held, how they were celebrated and learn a little about each couple.