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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Changing Role Of First Lady

An 1878 portrait of Martha Washington (Wikimedia Commons), a 1949 photo of Eleanor Roosevelt (AP) and a 2009 official portrait of Michelle Obama (AP).

An 1878 portrait of Martha Washington (Wikimedia Commons), a 1949 photo of Eleanor Roosevelt (AP) and a 2009 official portrait of Michelle Obama (AP).

The role of the First Lady has changed dramatically depending on the woman in the office and the times in which she served.

Martha Washington said that she felt like a prisoner in the White House, while Eleanor Roosevelt relished the opportunity to advocate for women and the poor.

We talked with Dr. Myra Gutin of Rider University about the highly visible and often controversial role of First Lady.

Guest:

  • Dr. Myra Gutin, professor of communications at Rider University, and an authority on American first ladies.

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  • Paul

    A gentle correction:  Martha and George Washington didn’t actually live in the White House.  It was under construction at the time.  John and Abigail Adams were the first “First Couple” to inhabit it.
    –Paul in Billings

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