A 2013 - 2014 original C-SPAN feature series telling the stories of America's First Ladies - from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama -
through conversations with top experts, video tours of historic sites, and questions from C-SPAN's audience.

America's First Ladies — from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama

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 read Helen Taft's memoir "Recollections of Full Years"

 
Did You Know Icon Did 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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