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25 Things You Should Know About America's First Ladies

“The first lady is, and always has been, an unpaid public servant elected by one person: her husband.” -Lady Bird Johnson

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1. The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is a role that's traditionally filled by the wife of the President.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

2. She also traditionally serves as an advisor to the President of the United States and is the hostess of the White House.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

3. The First Lady does not get financially compensated for her job.

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Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

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4. There are currently five living former first ladies.

Not featured: Nancy Reagan.
White House / Lawrence Jackson / Via Flickr: whitehouse

Not featured: Nancy Reagan.

5. The term First Lady was created by the press when they referred to Martha Washington as "Lady Washington."

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6. When John Adams was writing the Declaration of Independence, Abigail Adams encouraged him to “remember the ladies."

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7. Dolley Madison was the first American to respond to a telegraph message.

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8. Sarah Polk worked as her husband's secretary without taking a salary.

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9. Julia Grant owned slaves during the Civil War, even though her husband was the general of the Union Army.

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10. Rachel Jackson married Andrew Jackson before she was divorced from her first husband.

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11. Abigail Fillmore, a former teacher, was the first presidential wife to work for a salary before getting married.

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Bettman/CORBIS / Via history.com

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12. Mary Lincoln was the first First Lady to hold séances in the White House.

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13. Eliza Johnson taught her husband, Andrew, how to correctly pronounce and spell words.

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14. Lucy Hayes hosted the first Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn.

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15. Florence Harding was the first First Lady to cast a vote.

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16. Helen Taft was first First Lady to ride in the carriage with her husband during the Inaugural Parade.

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17. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first First Lady to hold regular press conferences and write a daily newspaper column.

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18. Bess Truman never gave an interview as First Lady.

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19. Jacqueline Kennedy won an Emmy Award for her television tour of the White House.

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20. Pat Nixon was the first First Lady to ever wear pants in public.

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21. She was also the first First Lady to visit a combat zone when she joined President Nixon on his 1969 trip to South Vietnam.

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22. Barbara Bush is the only First Lady to ever write a memoir from her dog's point of view.

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Jason Reed / Reuters

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23. Hillary Clinton is the only First Lady who was elected into office in the U.S. Senate and to run for president.

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AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

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24. Chelsea Clinton fulfilled First Lady duties for 3 weeks in 2000 when Hillary went into office as New York Senator before Bill was sworn out.

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Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

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25. Laura Bush is the only First Lady who worked as a librarian.

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AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

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Happy Presidents Day, and don't forget: "remember the ladies."

Scott Olson / Getty Images

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