• George W. Bush Presidential Center

    Exhibits & Events

  • Through our three Impact Centers -- Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda -- we focus on developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

America's First Ladies: An Enduring Vision

March 5, 2012 - March 5, 2012

Throughout our Nation’s history, first ladies of the United States have played an influential role in American politics, domestic policy, and global diplomacy. The women who shared this unique experience have served as policy advisors, diplomats, hostesses, and national role models. They helped shape societal attitudes and have used their platform to advocate for important initiatives and policies affecting our country and people around the world.  


On March 5, 2012 the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted the First Ladies Conference at Southern Methodist University.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag: #usfirstladies


Event Video

Historian and Biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin moderates a conversation with Mrs. Barbara Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush with an introduction by President George W. Bush

Mark Updegrove (Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum) moderates a conversation between David Hume Kennerly (White House Photographer, President Gerald R. Ford), Carol Powers (White House Photographer, Mrs. Barbara Bush), and Susan Sterner (White House Photographer, Mrs. Laura Bush). 

Richard Norton Smith (Presidential Historian) moderates a conversation between Bess Abell (White House Social Secretary, Lady Bird Johnson), Catherine S. Fenton (Former Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary to Mrs. Laura Bush and Deputy Social Secretary to Mrs. Nancy Reagan and Mrs. Barbara Bush), and Laurie Firestone (White House Social Secretary, Mrs. Barbara Bush). 

Cokie Roberts moderates a conversation about the history of First Ladies with Catherine Allgor (Professor of History and UC Presidential Chair,University of California at Riverside), Allida Black (Executive Editor, fdr4freedoms Digital Initiative Founder, Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project), and Amity Shlaes (Director, The 4% Growth Project, George W. Bush Institute and Best‐Selling Author).