First Ladies Picture Gallery

01
of 66

Martha Washington

Martha Washington
Picture of First Lady Martha Washington, wife of President George Washington Martha Washington. Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images

Martha Washington was America's first First Lady, though never known by that title.   She also managed the estate of her first husband and, while George Washington was away, Mount Vernon.

02
of 66

Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams
Picture of First Lady Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams Abigail Adams. Stock Montage/Getty Images

 Abigail Adams was the wife of President John Adams, one of the founding revolutionaries, and mother of President John Quincy Adams.

03
of 66

Martha Jefferson

Martha Jefferson
Wife of Thomas Jefferson Martha Jefferson. MPI/Getty Images

Martha Jefferson (Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson) married Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1772. Her father was an English immigrant and her mother the daughter of English immigrants. They had only two children who survived more than four years; Martha died months after their last child was born, her health damaged from that last childbirth. Nineteen years later, Thomas Jefferson became President.

Martha (Patsy) Jefferson Randolph, daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Jefferson, lived at the White House during the winters of 1802-1803 and 1805-1806, serving as hostess during those times.

04
of 66

Martha Jefferson Randolph

Martha Jefferson Randolph
Daughter of Thomas Jefferson Martha Jefferson Randolph. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Known as Patsy, Martha Jefferson Randolph lived with her father at the President's House over two winters, and served as his public hostess during those times.

Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, wife of Thomas Jefferson, died nineteen years before he became president. During his presidency, Jefferson often asked Dolley Madison to be his hostess at public events at the President's House. Dolley Madison was the wife of James Madison, at that time Secretary of State and Jefferson's ranking cabinet member. Aaron Burr, the vice president, was also a widower.

05
of 66

Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison
Picture of First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison Dolley Madison. Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty Images

Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, is known for her part in saving treasures from the White House when the British successfully invaded Washington, DC.

06
of 66

Louisa Adams

Louisa Catherine Adams
Picture of First Lady Louisa Adams, wife of President John Quincy Adams Louisa Catherine Adams. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

John Quincy Adams met his future wife, Louisa Johnson Adams, in London.  She was, until the 21st century, the only First Lady born in another country.

07
of 66

Hannah Van Buren

Hannah Hoes Van Buren
A portrait of Hannah Van Buren, wife of President Martin Van Buren Hannah Hoes Van Buren. MPI/Getty Images

Hannah Van Buren died in 1819 and her husband, Martin Van Buren, never remarried, and so was single during his time in office.  Angelica, married to his son, served as hostess and First Lady during Van Buren's presidency.

08
of 66

Rachel Jackson

Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson
Wife of Andrew Jackson Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson. MPI/Getty Images

Rachel Jackson died before her husband, Andrew Jackson, took office as President. Her niece, Emily Donelson, served as First Lady during Jackson's presidency.

09
of 66

Anna Harrison

Anna Harrison
A portrait of First Lady Anna Harrison, wife of President William Henry Harrison Anna Harrison. Courtesy US Library of Congress

She never even entered the White House -- she had delayed coming to Washington, and had not yet traveled there when her husband, William Harrison, died a month after his inauguration.  She was the last First Lady to be born before the United States became independent of Britain.

10
of 66

Sarah Polk

Sarah Childress Polk
A portrait of First Lady Sarah Childress Polk, wife of President James K. Polk Sarah Childress Polk. Kean Collection/Getty Images

 Wife of James Polk.

11
of 66

Abigail Fillmore

Abigail Powers Fillmore
A portrait of First Lady Abigail Fillmore, wife of President Millard Fillmore Abigail Powers Fillmore. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

 Wife of Millard Fillmore.

12
of 66

Jane Pierce

Jane Pierce
A portrait of First Lady Jane M. Pierce, wife of President Franklin Pierce Jane Pierce. MPI/Getty Images

 Wife of Franklin Pierce.

13
of 66

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln
Picture of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln Mary Todd Lincoln. Buyenlarge/Getty Images

 Mary Todd Lincoln was the controversial wife of Abraham Lincoln.

14
of 66

Eliza McCardle Johnson

Eliza McCardle Johnson
Wife of President Andrew Johnson Eliza McCardle Johnson. MPI/Getty Images

 Wife of Andrew Johnson.

15
of 66

Julia Grant

Julia Dent Grant
A portrait of First Lady Julia Dent Grant, wife of President Ulysses S. Grant Julia Dent Grant. MPI/Getty Images

 Married to Ulysses Grant.

16
of 66

Lucy Hayes

Lucy Ware Webb Hayes
A portrait of First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes Lucy Ware Webb Hayes. Brady-Handy/Epics/Getty Images

 Wife of Rutherford B. Hayes.

17
of 66

Lucretia Garfield

Lucretia Garfield
A portrait of First Lady Lucretia Garfield, wife of President James A. Garfield Lucretia Garfield. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

 Married to James Garfield.

18
of 66

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur

Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur
A portrait of First Lady Ellen Arthur, wife of President Chester Alan Arthur Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur. MPI/Getty Images

 Wife of Chester A. Arthur.

19
of 66

Frances Cleveland

Frances Cleveland
Picture of First Lady Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland Frances Cleveland. Fotosearch/Getty Images

 Wife of Grover Cleveland.

20
of 66

Wedding of Frances Folsom and Grover Cleveland

A picture of the wedding in the White House of Frances and Grover Cleveland
A picture of the wedding in the White House of Frances and Grover Cleveland Wedding of Frances Folsom and Grover Cleveland. (c) Jone Johnson Lewis, adapted from an illustration courtesy of the US Library of Congress

Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom, the daughter of his law partner, while he was in the White House.

21
of 66

Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison

Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison
A portrait of First Lady Caroline Harrison, wife of President Benjamin Harrison Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

Married to Benjamin Harrison, she helped found  the Daughters of the American Revolution.

22
of 66

Mary Lord Harrison

Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison
A portrait of Mary Lord Harrison, wife of former President Benjamin Harrison Mary Scott Lord Dimmick Harrison. MPI/Getty Images

Second wife of Benjamin Harrison -- he married her after his term in office so she was never a First Lady.

23
of 66

Ida McKinley

Ida Saxton McKinley
A portrait of First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley, wife of President William McKinley Ida Saxton McKinley. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images

Married to William McKinley, she helped create his memorial after his assassination.

24
of 66

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

Edith Roosevelt
A portrait of First Lady Edith Roosevelt, wife of President Theodore Roosevelt Edith Roosevelt. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Married to Theodore Roosevelt, she raised her stepdaughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and the five children of her marriage.

25
of 66

Helen Taft

Helen Herron Taft
A portrait of First Lady Helen Herron Taft, wife of President William H. Taft Helen Herron Taft. Library Of Congress/Getty Images

 Wife of William Howard Taft.  She's known for bringing cherry trees to Washington, DC.

26
of 66

Ellen Wilson

Ellen Axson Wilson
A portrait of First Lady Ellen Wilson, first wife of President Woodrow Wilson Ellen Axson Wilson. Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

First wife of Woodrow Wilson, she died in his second year in office.

27
of 66

Edith Wilson

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson
A portrait of First Lady Edith Wilson, second wife of President Woodrow Wilson Edith Bolling Galt Wilson. MPI/Getty Images

Second wife of Woodrow Wilson, she married him during his first term of office. When he had a stroke in his second term, she worked to hide his illness and may have acted in his stead.

28
of 66

Florence Kling Harding

Florence Harding
A portrait of First Lady Florence Harding, wife of President Warren G. Harding Florence Harding. MPI/Getty Images

 Wife of Warren G. Harding.

29
of 66

Grace Goodhue Coolidge (1930)

Grace Coolidge
A portrait of First Lady Grace Coolidge, wife of President Calvin Coolidge Grace Coolidge - about 1930. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Wife of Calvin Coolidge.

30
of 66

Grace Goodhue Coolidge, About 1920

Grace Coolidge
A portrait of First Lady Grace Coolidge, wife of President Calvin Coolidge Grace Coolidge. MPI/Getty Images

 An earlier photograph of Grace Coolidge, wife of  Calvin Coolidge.

31
of 66

Lou Henry Hoover

Lou Henry Hoover
A portrait of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, wife of President Herbert Hoover. Lou Henry Hoover. MPI/Getty Images

 Wife of Herbert Hoover, she was a geologist.

32
of 66

Eleanor Roosevelt: White House Portrait

Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House
A portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosev Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House. Bachrach/Getty Images

Official White House portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife and herself an active writer and support for her husband's presidency.

33
of 66

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt
A portrait of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosev Eleanor Roosevelt. MPI/Getty Images

 Another photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR's First Lady.

34
of 66

Bess Truman

Bess Truman
Photograph of First Lady Bess Truman, wife of President Harry S Truman Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman, about 1940. MPI/Getty Images

Wife of Harry S Truman.

35
of 66

Bess Truman, About 1950

Bess Truman
Photograph of First Lady Bess Truman, wife of President Harry S Truman Bess Truman, about 1950. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Another photograph of Bess Truman, Harry S Truman's First Lady.

36
of 66

Mamie Doud Eisenhower: Second Inaugural Ball Gown

Mamie Eisenhower - Second Inaugural Ball Gown
Picture of Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower Mamie Eisenhower - ball gown from her husband's second inauguration. PhotoQuest / Getty Images

 Mamie Eisenhower at the second inaugural ball honoring her husband, Dwight Eisenhower.

37
of 66

Mamie Eisenhower

Mamie (Marie Geneva Doud) Eisenhower
Picture of Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady, wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower Mamie (Marie Geneva Doud) Eisenhower. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Another portrait of Mamie, Dwight Eisenhower's First Lady.

38
of 66

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy
A picture of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy First official White House photograph of US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Washington DC, 1961. Mark Shaw/Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Jackie Kennedy, the young wife of the first president born in the 20th century, John F. Kennedy.

39
of 66

Jackie Kennedy in Paris, 1961

Jacqueline Kennedy during her official visit to Paris 1961
A picture of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy Jacqueline Kennedy during her official visit to Paris 1961. RDA/Getty Images

Jackie Kennedy accompanied her husband, John F. Kennedy, on a trip to Paris.

40
of 66

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird, wearing a pearl necklace and a rose brooch on her sweater
Picture of Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson Lady Bird Johnson, 1962. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, Lyndon Johnson's First Lady.

41
of 66

Lady Bird Johnson: Formal Portrait in White House

Lady Bird Johnson in a yellow gown and long white gloves, at a window - view of Washington Monument
Picture of Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson Lady Bird Johnson: Formal Portrait in White House, 1965. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 White House portrait of of Lady Bird JohnsonLyndon Johnson's wife.

42
of 66

Pat Nixon

Pat Nixon
A portrait of First Lady Pat Nixon, wife of President Richard Nixon Pat Nixon. Adapted from an image courtesy of the US Library of Congress

 Pat Nixon was married to Richard Nixon.

43
of 66

Pat Nixon, 1955

Pat Nixon 1955
A portrait of Pat Nixon, wife of then Vice President Richard Nixon 1955: American Second Lady Thelma Catherine Ryan 'Pat' Nixon. Bachrach/Getty Images

Pat Nixon, Richard Nixon's wife, during his time as Vice President.

44
of 66

Pat Nixon, 1968

Pat Nixon, 1968
A portrait of First Lady Pat Nixon, wife of President Richard Nixon Pat Nixon, 1968. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Pat Nixon, Richard Nixon's wife, shortly before he assumed office.

45
of 66

Pat Nixon, 1980s

Pat Nixon - 1980s
A portrait of former First Lady Pat Nixon, wife of President Richard Nixon Pat Nixon - 1980s. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

 Pat Nixon, Richard Nixon's wife, in the 1980s.

46
of 66

Betty Ford

Betty Ford about 1975
Portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, wife of President Gerald R. Ford Betty Ford about 1975. Tom Gates/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Gerald Ford's First Lady, Betty Ford, publicly battled breast cancer and drug dependence, and came out for the Equal Rights Amendment and women's right to abortion.

47
of 66

Betty Ford

Betty Ford, 1976
Portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, wife of President Gerald R. Ford Betty Ford, 1976. Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 Betty Ford during her time as First Lady.

48
of 66

Betty Ford

Betty Ford Campaigning 1976
Portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, wife of President Gerald R. Ford Betty Ford campaigning in the presidential election of 1976. Chris Hondros/Liaison/Getty Images

 Betty Ford campaigning for her husband's election.

49
of 66

Rosalynn Carter

First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Portrait of First Lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of President Jimmy Carter First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Adapted from an image courtesy of the White House

 Wife of Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter took an active role in his presidency.

50
of 66

Rosalynn Carter's Inaugural Ball Gown

Rosalynn Carter's Inaugural Ball Gown
1977 Presidential Inauguration Rosalynn Carter's 1977 inaugural ball gown and 1971 gubernatorial gown, designed by Mary Matise for Jimmae. Courtesy National Museum of American History

Rosalynn Carter's 1977 inaugural ball gown and 1971 gubernatorial gown, designed by Mary Matise for Jimmae.

Gold embroidered sleeveless coat over a blue chiffon gown with gold trim at neck, center front, waist, and cuffs. In the collection of the National Museum of American History.

51
of 66

Nancy Reagan

A portrait of First Lady Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan.
A portrait of First Lady Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan. Nancy Reagan. (c) Jone Johnson Lewis, adapted from an image courtesy of the US Library of Congress

 She was Ronald Reagan's First Lady.

52
of 66

Nancy Reagan's Inaugural Ball Gown

Nancy Reagan's Inaugural Ball Gown
1981 Presidential Inauguration Nancy Reagan's Inaugural Ball Gown. Courtesy National Museum of American History

Nancy Reagan's 1981 inaugural ball gown, designed by James Galanos.

White, one-shoulder sheath gown of lace over silk satin; fern pattern of lace accented with crystal and chalk beads and raise bugle bead stems. In the collection of the National Museum of American History.

53
of 66

Barbara Bush

A portrait of First Lady Barbara Bush, wife of President George H. W. Bush
Official White House Portrait of Barbara Bush Barbara Bush. Adapted from a portrait courtesy of the White House

Barbara Bush was married to George H. W. Bush, and mother of George W. Bush.

54
of 66

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Bill Clinton's First Lady, and later herself a Senator and candidate for United States President.

55
of 66

Laura Bush

Laura Bush with her namesake rose, October 2, 2006
A portrait of First Lady Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush Laura Bush with her namesake rose, October 2, 2006. Getty Images / Alex Wong

 Wife of George W. Bush.

56
of 66

Laura Bush Presents Gown to the Smithsonian

Laura Bush Presents Gown to the Smithsonian
A portrait of First Lady Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush Laura Bush Presents Gown to the Smithsonian. Alex Wong/Getty Images

 Laura Bush presents historical gown to the Smithsonian.

57
of 66

Laura Bush Portrait

Picture of Laura Bush, from the National Portrait Gallery, by Aleksander Titovets
National Portrait Gallery Picture of Laura Bush, from the National Portrait Gallery, by Aleksander Titovets. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of friends of President & Mrs. Bush

Laura Bush's portrait was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on December 19, 2008.

This is the first time that the National Portrait Gallery has displayed portraits of a sitting president and first lady. The portrait of Laura Bush is by the artist Aleksander Titovets. Her portrait and that of her husband were privately funded.

58
of 66

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Holds Bible for Oath of Office
Michelle Obama Holds Lincoln Bible for Swearing-In Ceremony Michelle Obama Holds Bible for Oath of Office. Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Michelle Obama, following a tradition begun by Lady Bird Johnson, held the Bible at her husband's swearing-in. This photo taken minutes before that moment.

The Lincoln Bible, used for the swearing-in, had not been used for such an occasion since Abraham Lincoln had used it for his swearing-in.

59
of 66

Michelle Obama's Inaugural Ball Gown

Michelle Obama Inauguration Gown - 2009
Michelle Obama in Inauguration Gown, January 20, 2009 Michelle Obama Inauguration Gown - 2009. Getty Images / Mark Wilson

Michelle Obama in her inauguration gown, January 20, 2009. The dress was designed by Jason Wu.

In early 2010, Michelle Obama donated this gown to the Smithsonian's collections.

  • More About This Dress

60
of 66

Michelle Obama Presents Inaugural Gown

First Lady Michelle Obama Presents Inaugural Gown
March 2010: Added to New Gallery at National Museum of American History First Lady Michelle Obama presents her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History March 9, 2010. Hugh Talman, Smithsonian Institution

In March of 2010, Michelle Obama presented her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian's First Ladies Collection.

First Lady Michelle Obama's presentation of her inaugural gown continued an old tradition and at the same time introduced a new museum gallery at the musuem, one focusing on first impressions of First Ladies, at inaugurations or at the beginning of presidencies.

In presenting the gown, Obama said "“When we look at the dress that Jackie Kennedy wore 50 years ago, or the one that Mary Todd Lincoln wore 100 years before that, it takes us beyond the history books and the photographs and helps us understand that history is made by talented people.

She continued, "The dress I donated today, made by Jason Wu, is a masterpiece. It’s simple, it’s elegant and it comes from the brilliant mind of someone who is living the American Dream." The white silk chiffon one-shouldered gown includes organza flowers with Swarovski crystals.

The earliest First Lady in the new gallery, "A First Lady's Debut," is Mamie Eisenhower, and features each first lady in the 50 years since that inauguration.

"The First Ladies at the Smithsonian" gallery was reopened in December 2008, and this new gallery, "A First Lady's Debut," in March 2010, and are both part of the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, located on the National Mall. The original gallery focused on First Ladies was opened in 1914 and was the first Smithsonian display to feature women so prominently. The First Ladies collection remains one of the most popular exhibits at the Smithsonian.

  • More About This Dress

61
of 66

Melania Trump

Melania Trump at her husband's 2017 inauguration
Melania Trump at her husband's 2017 inauguration. Alex Wong / Getty Images

 Melania Trump at her husband's 2017 inauguration.

62
of 66

Six First Ladies

Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson
At President Bush Library Dedication, 1997 Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, and Lady Bird Johnson, November 6, 1997. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Six first ladies attended the November 6, 1997, dedication of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

63
of 66

Lady Bird Johnson and Hillary Clinton

Lady Bird Johnson and Hillary Clinton, 2000
2000 First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the White House, 2000. Getty Images / Michael Smith

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the White House, 2000.

64
of 66

Five Former First Ladies

Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton
Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Betty Ford Center Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton, at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Betty Ford Center. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the Betty Ford Center in California, on January 17, 2003.

65
of 66

Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan

Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan with Heart Truth's First Ladies Red Dress Collection, May 12, 2005
Heart Truth's First Ladies' Red Dresses Collection Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan with Red Dresses from Seven First Ladies, May 12, 2005. Getty Images / Brendan Smialowski

First Lady Laura Bush and Former First Lady Nancy Reagan with Heart Truth's First Ladies Red Dress Collection, May 12, 2005

66
of 66

Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton Honor International Women of Courage

Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton honor Norma Cruz
March 11, 2009 Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton honor Norma Cruz. Win McNamee / Getty Images

First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Secretary of State -- and former First Lady -- Hillary Clinton team up at the White House to give the Secretary of State's Award for International Women of Courage on March 11, 2009 in Washington, DC. Eight women, including Norma Cruz of Guatamala, were honored in 2009 for their leadership in the struggle for human rights and social justice.