March 29th, 2017

book cover - rtfl

First Lady Lou Hoover

On this date in 1874, Louise "Lou" Henry was born in Waterloo, Iowa. As a freshman, and the only female geology major at Stanford University, she met Herbert Hoover (who was a senior) in 1894. They waited until she graduated, and then married in February 1899. Lou accompanied her husband to China (where they experienced the Boxer Rebellion), helped him with his Belgian relief efforts during World War I (and she was decorated by King Albert I of Belgium in 1919), and then served as national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA while her husband was in the Cabinet. They lived in the White House during his one term as President (1929-33), and she died in January 1944.
book cover - tpbol

President John Tyler

On this date in 1790, John Tyler, Jr., was born in Charles City County, Virginia. Tyler was a President of many firsts: the first Vice President to succeed to the Presidency, the first President to be widowed while in office, the first President to marry in office (his first wife died in 1842, and in 1844, he married his second wife), the first President to have children after leaving office, and the first deceased President to go unmourned in Washington, DC (he died in 1862, after having been elected to the Confederate House of Representatives).

On this date in 1813 (John Tyler's 23rd birthday), he married Letitia Christian, who was eight months younger than he. The Tylers had eight children -- seven of whom lived to adulthood -- and were married for 29 years. Mrs. Tyler avoided the limelight during her husband's political rise, and in 1839, she suffered a paralytic stroke, which left her an invalid. She avoided public appearances as First Lady (indeed, her first official function as First Lady came on New Year's Day, 1842, after living in the White House for eight months). She died in her sleep in September 1842.