WUOMFM

first lady of the united states

First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter stand during dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in 2013.
Public Domain

 

A recent Boston Globe piece from Mark Peters takes a look at the title “first lady,” calling it an “archaic term.”

We don’t use the term “lady” very often these days, he argues, save for when referring to the wife of the president.

How did we arrive at the title “First Lady” in the first place, and why do we still use it?

First Lady Edith Wilson acted as de facto President of the United States for over a year after her husband's stroke
Library of Congress / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

One of the big questions of the 2016 presidential race is whether we’ll finally see a woman in the White House.

But there’s a little-known secret that’s finally coming to light: It wouldn’t be the first time a woman has run the country.

From late 1919 until March 1921, first lady Edith Galt Wilson was the de facto president of the United States.