Sunday, April 26, 2015

First Lady Notties

So, we've got our First Lady hotties right here (and some presidential ones here). Now, let's take a look at some from the other extreme.


Hey, it’s Aunt Jenny, from Spry Shortening (thanks, James Lileks) … albeit a much more serious version.

Okay, so it’s not Aunt Jenny. Here are some clues as to who it really is though:
  • A real cougar, she was five years older than her hubby
  • He referred to her as “The Duchess”
  • He cheated on her right and left
  • There are rumors that she did him in

Wow! These two were …

Warren G Harding and Florence Kling DeWolfe Harding


Zontra – the thing with two brains!

Actually, no. This is merely the wife of the 25th president of the United States. The things on her head are just a hairdo – all the rage in, oh, 1900 or so.

So, if that wasn’t enough to give it away, here are some more clues (primarily of a medical nature):
  • She had a nervous breakdown after the death of the couple’s two daughters
  • She had epilepsy
  • She took barbiturates, laudanum, and other drugs
  • She was largely an invalid as First Lady
  • Everyone liked how solicitous the president was of her

Give up? They were …

William McKinley and Ida Saxton McKinley.


Hard to believe, but this elderly-looking frumpster also made the First Lady hotties list as well. 

How can that be? Oh, subtract 40 years or so. Here are some more hints:
  • She was a cougar too – by about eight months
  • She could read and write (unlike most women of her date, place, and class)
  • She was 5 feet “tall,” more than a foot shorter than her spouse
  • His nickname for her was “Patsy”

Got it yet? Well, this will give it away.

She was married to this fellow:

And her name was Martha Washington.


Double feature!

This president was married to these two lovely ladies. The first was named Abigail; the second, Caroline. The first one was actually the First Lady, but died less than a month after leaving office. The second would marry the ex-president five years later.

As for the first one, she’s another cougar, being a year older than her hubby. You won’t believe where they met though. It was in school, but – get this! – she was actually his teacher

As for the second one, she was much wealthier than her hubby, and actually had him sign a prenup.

Clueless? I don’t blame you. So, he was …

Millard Fillmore. And they were Abigail Powers Fillmore and Caroline Carmichael McIntosh Fillmore.



Here’s another guy who knew how to pick ‘em.

The first one was named Ellen, and she died while First Lady. The second was named Edith, and the president married her after the shockingly short mourning period (for then) of a little more than a year.

Ellen was noted for being an accomplished artist. She died of Bright’s disease, at age 53. 

Edith was basically the chief executive while her husband recovered from a stroke.

Him? Well, he wasn’t anything special himself – a lanky, bespectacled academic with absolutely horrible teeth. I’m talking about …

Woodrow Wilson. And his two wives were Ellen Axson Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.


Hard to believe, but here’s another president who was “hot for teacher.”

In this case, it wasn’t a formal relationship though. Turns out he was basically illiterate, she was not, and she tutored him in the early days of their marriage.

Like a surprising number of First Ladies, Eliza here was an invalid through most of her husband’s presidency. She would eventually die of TB, five months after her husband passed away.

Give up? They’re …

Andrew Johnson and Eliza McCardle Johnson.


Needless to say, this lady did look a lot more attractive at one time – say, 40 some years before this portrait was made. As it turns out, she was also quite smart and accomplished as well. She had no trouble keeping up with her equally smart husband, and their voluminous correspondence is quite fascinating.

She also played a major role in her husband’s administration, being called “Mrs. President” behind her back. She had very enlightened views on women’s rights, slavery, and religion.
So, I guess looks aren’t everything, huh?

Have you guessed who we’re talking about here yet? He was …

John Adams. And she was Abigail Adams.


When I said looks aren’t everything, I wasn’t kidding.

This First Lady, for example, may be the most impactful one we’ve ever had (if Hilary doesn’t get elected president next year, that is).

For one thing, she was First Lady longer than anyone else. She also spent a good deal of her “time in office” constantly travelling the country to tout her husband’s agenda (as well as her own). And, after “stepping down,” she took on the job of US ambassador to the UN.

Who is it? It’s …

Eleanor Roosevelt!


Holy cow!

I was worried that this one was a mistake. This particular First Lady wasn’t especially attractive, but all her other shots are a whole lot better than this.

Well, I did notice a couple of things about those other shots:
  • They were typically posed
  • She almost never smiled

So, maybe there was a reason for those two things. Anyway, here are a few more clues:
  • She and her POTUS met in childhood
  • They had only one child, a very talented daughter named Margaret
  • She hated being a public figure, and did as little being seen in public as she could get away with
  • She was the longest living FLOTUS, passing away at age 97

Who are we talking about here?

Bess and Harry Truman


Short, fat, and with crossed eyes, this poor thing takes the cake / steals the show / wins the blue ribbon / grabs the brass ring …

Julia here was actually quite a popular FLOTUS. She thoroughly enjoyed being First Lady, entertaining lavishly and relishing being the belle of the ball.

She and her hubby were also quite devoted to each other. Interestingly, though, their marriage was initially opposed by both families. On her side, they thought this future president would never amount to anything. On his side, they did not want their boy to marry into a family of slaveholders. 

Here is one last hint … She is buried in this guy’s tomb:

And she is Julia Dent Grant.

Alright, now how about some presidential mugs?

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