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
Helen Taft
First Lady: 1909 - 1913
Click the list to watch videos
  • Helen Taft program
  • Helen Taft's personal ambition
  • Breaking with Inauguration traditions
  • Biographical highlights
  • Running the White House
  • Creation of West Potomac Park
  • Political involvement
  • Her Inaugural Gown
  • 25th Wedding Anniversary in the White House
  • Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
  • Inauguration Day 1909
  • Life in the Philippines
  • Influence on her Husband
  • Nellie Taft's Stroke
  • Edith Mayo on Nellie Taft's Marriage
  • Influence on her Husband
  • First Visit to the White House
  • Marriage
  • Her Early Visit to the White House
  • Inaugural Ball Gown
  • Book Discussion on My Dearest Nellie
  • Book Discussion on Nellie Taft: The Unconventional First Lady


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...

First Ladies Book

Welcome to the White House