Women’s History Month – First Ladies: American Heroes

White House Official Photo

Former First Lady of the United States Nancy Reagan
1921 - 2016

 

With the passing of former First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan last week, the nation's attention turned briefly to reflect on the role that America's First Ladies have played in building our country -- a position, I might add, that pays no salary. First Lady Pat Nixon once commented that, "Being first lady is the hardest unpaid job in the world." And President Obama brought up the subject a few years ago, mentioning that First Lady Michelle Obama does not get paid for all her work on behalf of the Executive Branch and the country, especially her work to eliminate childhood obesity and encourage Americans to live healthier lives, which in turn can reduce workplace absenteeism and healthcare costs.

Woman’s History Month – Path to the White House

The 2016 theme of the U.S. National Women's History Month is
Working to Form a More Perfect Union:
Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.

"...it's...a very unique American experience...It's such a great adventure...If the experiment in human living doesn't work in this country, in this age, it's not going to work anywhere." 

~ Hillary Rodham, Student Commencement Speech,
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, May 31,1969

“I would argue that right now we have rationed care throughout this country. There are literally millions of Americans who don’t have access to the same quality or quantity of healthcare as millions of others. I heard Dr. Koop say the other day that an uninsured person who enters a hospital with the same problem as an insured person is three times more likely to die than the insured person. And that’s a shocking statistic.”
~ First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Testimony to Congress
on the President’s Healthcare Reform Proposal,
September 28, 1993 

"If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be
that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all."
~ First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Remarks to the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing, China
September 5, 1995

 

The echoes of women's voices throughout history -- or herstory, as some feminists would say with a smile -- include one that resonates today. That is the voice of Hillary Clinton, who has managed to wear more hats in service to her government and various communities than just about anyone in the nation's history -- woman or man. And now she is poised to become the first female Presidential nominee of a major political party. If she succeeds, it will only have taken 240 years for an American woman to accomplish this feat.