A C-SPAN Original Series
February 2013 – February 2014

Biography

Helen Taft

William Howard Taft
I had always had the satisfaction of knowing almost as much as he about the politics and intricacies of any situation. I think any woman can discuss with her husband topics of national interest. I became familiar with more than politics. It involved real statesmanship.

Born - January 2, 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Parents - John Williamson Herron & Harriet Collins Herron

Married - June 19, 1886 to William Howard Taft

Children - Robert Alphonso (1889 – 1953),
Helen Herron (1891 – 1987),
Charles Phelps (1897 – 1983)

Education – Miami University in Oxford, Ohio

Firsts - 1st First Lady to ride with the President during the Inauguration parade. 1st First Lady to write a commercially published book: “Recollections of Full Years.” 1st First Lady to own and drive a car.

Died - May 22, 1943 in Washington, D.C.

Click here to see full bio of Helen Taft

**Click here to to read Helen Taft’s memoir "Recollections of Full Years"**

 
Did You Know IconDid You Know...
  • Mrs. Taft visited the White House as a guest of President and Mrs. Hayes when she was 17 years old.
  • Mrs. Taft suffered a stroke two months after the inauguration but recovered and resumed her hostess duties in one year.
  • The Tafts celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in 1911 with an evening garden party at the White House.
  • Mrs. Taft led a fundraising effort to create a memorial for the victims of the Titanic.
  • After her husband’s presidency, the Tafts returned to Washington when her husband became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • Nellie Taft was the 1st First Lady to ride with the President during the Inauguration parade.
  • Nellie Taft was the 1st First Lady to write a commercially published book: “Recollections of Full Years.”
  • Nellie Taft was the 1st First Lady to own and drive a car.

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