Learning Lincoln On-line

Topic Fifty-eight:  Our Nation's First Ladies


First Lady,
Martha Washington


First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady,
Michelle Obama


 "Mary, Mary, We are elected!"

. . . As a jubilant Abraham Lincoln, now President-Elect shouted at his wife, Mary.  Mary Lincoln would be called the "First Lady" First, by many in our nation.  This title had not been used before, and is the theme of this activity.


  • Name at least five First Ladies and describe something important each did.
  • State five traditional duties of First Ladies.
  • Discuss some untraditional things First Ladies have done.
  • Hypothesize about why some First Ladies are better remembered than others.

Guiding Questions for Student Research and Reporting:

         What does a First Lady often do in her position?

         Which First Ladies were considered the most active and most controversial?

         What kind of background did some of the First Ladies come from?

         How did the First Ladies help to shape the social history of our country?