Betty Ford

Betty Ford (1918-2011) was 'n Amerikaanse presidentsvrou (1974-77) en die vrou van Gerald Ford, die 38ste president van die Verenigde State. Ford besef vroeg reeds die krag van haar posisie as presidentsvrou, toe borskanker by haar gediagnoseer is kort nadat haar man die amp aangeneem het. Haar openbaarmaking van 'n voorheen taboe -onderwerp het duisende vroue aangemoedig om mediese behandeling te soek. Ford het voortgegaan om openlik oor 'n aantal sosiale en politieke kwessies te praat, waarvoor sy kritiek en lof ontvang het. In 1982, nadat sy haar afhanklikheid van alkohol en voorskrifpille oorkom het, stig sy die Betty Ford -sentrum, 'n fasiliteit vir die behandeling van dwelmmisbruik en verslawing.

Vroeë lewe

Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Bloomer was die derde kind, en enigste dogter, van William Bloomer, Sr. en Hortense Neahr. Elizabeth se pa het vir die Royal Rubber Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, gewerk. Haar ma was familie van 'n welgestelde familie van Grand Rapids -meubels.

Betty se ma het gedink dat sosiale genade belangrik is, so in 1926 het die agtjarige Betty ingeskryf by Calla Travis Dance Studio in Grand Rapids, waar sy ballet, tap en moderne beweging bestudeer het. Dans het 'n passie geword, en binnekort het Betty besluit om dit as 'n loopbaan te volg. Op 14 leer sy jonger kinders danse soos die foxtrot, wals en "The Big Apple". Terwyl sy nog op hoërskool was, het sy haar eie dansskool geopen wat kinders en volwassenes leer.

Toe Betty 16 was, is haar pa verswelg deur koolstofmonoksiedvergiftiging terwyl sy aan die gesinsmotor in 'n geslote motorhuis werk. Dit is nooit bevestig of sy dood per ongeluk of selfmoord was nie. Terwyl die hoofbroodwenner weg was, het Betty se ma die gesin ondersteun deur as eiendomsagent te werk. Haar sterkte en onafhanklikheid in die lig van die tragedie het Betty baie beïnvloed en haar siening oor gelyke loon en gelykheid vir vroue gevorm.

Na die hoërskool studeer Bettys twee somers aan die Bennington School of Dance in Vermont en studeer onder die legendariese choreograaf en danser Martha Graham. Om vir haar lesse te betaal, het sy gedurende die jaar as model by 'n Grand Rapids -winkel gewerk. In 1940 word Betty aanvaar om saam met Martha Graham se hulptroep in New York te studeer en saam te werk. Sy het as danser talle optredes gemaak, waaronder 'n optrede in Carnegie Hall.

Werk en eerste huwelik

Hortense Bloomer het nooit haar dogter se beroepskeuse heeltemal aanvaar nie en het Betty aangespoor om huis toe te kom. Uiteindelik, nadat sy besef het dat sy waarskynlik nie 'n voorste danser sou wees nie, het Betty in 1941 na Grand Rapids teruggekeer om voltyds by die winkel van Herpolscheimer te werk. Na 'n reeks promosies het sy 'n mode -koördineerder vir die winkel geword. Sy het haar sterk belangstelling in dans voortgesit, onderrig gegee by Travis Dance Studio in Grand Rapids en die organisering van haar eie dansgroep. Sy bied ook weekliks dansklasse aan Afro-Amerikaanse kinders aan, en leer ballroomdans vir kinders met gesig- en gehoorgestremdhede.

In 1942 ontmoet Betty Bloomer en trou met William C. Warren, 'n meubelverkoper wat sy sedert sy twaalf jaar geken het. Warren het 'n reeks werksgeleenthede in verskillende stede gehad, dikwels as reisende verkoper, en Betty het soms as 'n afdelingswinkel verkoop en modelleer in stede waar hulle gewoon het. Na drie jaar besef Betty egter dat die huwelik nie gaan werk nie. Sy wou 'n huis, gesin en kinders hê en het moeg geword vir die egpaar se lewenswyse. Maar voordat sy 'n egskeiding kon bespreek, het Warren siek geword van akute diabetes. Terwyl hy oor die volgende twee jaar herstel het, het Betty gewerk om hulle albei te ondersteun. Hierdie ervaring het haar 'n sterk indruk gelaat van die ongelykhede in vergoeding tussen geslagte vir dieselfde werk. Nadat Warren herstel het, het die egpaar hul huwelik beëindig.

Huwelik met Gerald Ford

In Augustus 1947 ontmoet Betty Warren die 34-jarige prokureur Gerald Ford, 'n Amerikaanse luitenant. Ford het teruggekeer van sy plig om sy regspraktyk te hervat en vir die Amerikaanse kongres te hardloop. Die egpaar het 'n jaar lank uitgegaan voordat Ford in Februarie 1948 voorgestel het, en die egpaar trou twee weke voor die November -verkiesing. Hy het hierdie datum gekies omdat hy bekommerd was dat die kiesers in sy konserwatiewe distrik moontlik sou dink dat hy met 'n geskeide eks-danser trou. Tydens die trou -repetisie -ete moes Gerald vroeg vertrek om 'n veldtogrede te hou. . Drie weke later wen Gerald die verkiesing en lei Betty die politiekwêreld in.

In Desember 1948 verhuis die Fords na 'n voorstad van Virginia buite Washington, DC. Betty verdiep haarself vinnig in die politieke proses. Sy leer ken die name en posisies van kragtige wetgewers, dien as haar man se nie -amptelike adviseur en skakel met ander eggenote van die kongres. Terwyl Ford sy loopbaan in die kongres bou, 13 keer herverkiesing wen en die posisie van leier van die minderheid in die huis bereik, aanvaar Betty die tradisionele verantwoordelikhede van 'n vader sowel as 'n ma vir hul vier kinders. Sy het ook betrokke geraak by liefdadigheidsorganisasies en vrywilligerswerk.

Eerste dame

Op 6 Desember 1973 is Ford aangestel as vise -president onder Richard Nixon, nadat vise -president Spiro Angew bedank het. Toe, op 9 Augustus 1974, in 'n ongekende stap, bedank Richard Nixon uit die amp onder druk van die Watergate -skandaal. Ingevolge die Amerikaanse wet word Gerald Ford die 38ste president van die Verenigde State. Betty Ford was amptelik die First Lady.

Kortom, het dit duidelik geword dat die nuwe First Lady 'n impak gaan maak.

Betty het bekend geword vir die dans op disko -musiek tydens informele Withuis -geleenthede, en was veral goed in die dansoptrede, "The Bump." Sy gesels op haar CB -radio onder die oproepnaam "First Mama." Maar Betty Ford kan ook baie ernstig wees oor onderwerpe soos gelyke regte vir vroue, aborsie en egskeiding. Soms het haar uitgesprokenheid afkeuring veroorsaak van die meer konserwatiewe elemente van die Republikeinse Party. Na 'n verskyning van 60 minute, waar sy openlik bespreek het hoe sy haar kinders sou adviseer as hulle betrokke was by seks voor die huwelik en ontspanningsmedisyne, het sommige konserwatiewes haar 'No Lady' genoem en geëis dat sy bedank. Maar die nasie as 'n geheel vind haar openheid aantreklik, en haar goedkeuring het 75 persent bereik.

Politieke wil

Weke nadat Betty Ford die presidentsvrou geword het, is tydens 'n roetine -ondersoek met haar kwaadaardige borskanker gediagnoseer. Ford het 'n mastektomie ondergaan, en haar openheid oor haar siekte het die sigbaarheid verhoog vir 'n siekte wat Amerikaners voorheen huiwerig was om te bespreek. Tydens haar herstel het sy besef watter invloed en mag 'n First Lady het op die invloed van beleid en die skep van verandering. Sy het die ERA (Wysiging van Gelyke Regte) gesteun, en hard daaroor geliefd vir die verloop daarvan. Sy het ook 'n sterk voorstander geword van 'n vrou se reg op vrye keuse in baie besluite wat hul lewens geraak het. As gevolg van haar pogings het die tydskrif Time in 1975 haar vrou van die jaar aangewys.

In 1976 toon Betty Ford haar aangebore politieke vaardighede toe haar man vir die presidentskandidaat teen die Demokratiese uitdager en die voormalige goewerneur van Georgia, Jimmy Carter, uitdraf. Die First Lady het 'n baie sigbare rol gespeel tydens die veldtog. Sy pleit nie net vir haar man nie, maar staan ​​ook as 'n simbool van 'n gematigde Republikein namate die konserwatiewe Republikeinse vleuel van die party begin ontstaan ​​het. Betty het radioadvertensies opgeneem, tydens byeenkomste gepraat en hard geveg, ondanks die geweldige druk op haar gesondheid. Alhoewel die meeste van haar aktiwiteite spontaan was, was die veldtogpersoneel dikwels beperk tot stilstand in matige tot liberale state, wat soms bekommerd was dat Betty Ford meer liberaal lyk as Rosalynn Carter, die vrou van die Demokratiese kandidaat. Sy was egter baie gewild onder die publiek, en baie ondersteuners van president Ford het knoppies gedra wat sê: 'Stem vir Betty se man'. Toe Gerald Ford in die verkiesing met Jimmy Carter verloor het, was dit Betty Ford wat sy toegewingsrede gelewer het weens haar man se stryd met laringitis in die laaste dae van die veldtog.

Sukkel met verslawing

Sedert die vroeë 1960's het Betty Ford opioïede pynstillers geneem vir pyn van 'n geknypte senuwee. Haar afhanklikheid van hierdie middels het tydens haar tyd in die Withuis verdwyn, maar nadat sy Washington, DC, verlaat het, het sy meer alkohol gedrink - net soos die gebruik van voorskrifmedisyne. In 1978 het die Ford -gesin 'n ingryping uitgevoer en Betty gedwing om haar toevoeging tot alkohol en pynpille te konfronteer. Na haar aanvanklike woede oor die inbraak in haar lewe, het Betty 'n week tuis gebly en 'n gemonitorde ontgifting ondergaan. Sy het toe die Long Beach Naval Hospital ingegaan vir rehabilitasie van dwelms en alkohol. Daar het die voormalige presidentsvrou 'n kamer met ander vroue gedeel, toilette skoongemaak en deelgeneem aan emosionele terapie sessies. In ooreenstemming met haar gevoel van egtheid, het Betty kort ná haar vrylating uit die hospitaal haar verslawing en gevolglike behandeling volledig aan die publiek bekend gemaak.

Die ervaring met dwelmrehab het 'n groot invloed op Betty gehad. Sy besef tydens haar herstel dat sy as voormalige presidentsvrou die mag gehad het om verandering teweeg te bring en gedrag te beïnvloed. Sy het ook besef dat daar geen herstelfasiliteit is wat spesifiek ingestel is om vroue te help met die unieke probleme wat verband hou met dwelms en alkoholmisbruik nie. In 1982, na haar volle herstel, het Betty gehelp om die Betty Ford -sentrum op te rig, wat daarop gemik was om alle mense, maar veral vroue, met chemiese afhanklikheid te help. Deur haar werk by die Betty Ford -sentrum het Betty die verband tussen dwelmverslawing en mense wat aan MIV/VIGS ly, begin verstaan. Sy het spoedig haar steun vir homoseksuele en lesbiese regte op die werkplek uitgespreek en haar uitgespreek ter ondersteuning van die huwelik van dieselfde geslag.

Laaste jare

In 1987 publiseer Betty Ford 'n boek oor haar behandeling getiteld Betty: A Glad Awakening. In 2003 vervaardig Ford nog 'n boek, Healing and Hope: Six Women from the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journeys of Addiction and Recovery. In 1991 verwerf sy die Presidential Medal of Freedom deur George H.W. Bush; ontvang toe die kongresgoue medalje in 1999; en is vereer met die Woodrow Wilson -toekenning vir staatsdiens.

Gerald Ford, Betty se man van 58 jaar, is op 26 Desember 2006 oorlede op 93 -jarige ouderdom. Die egpaar het vier kinders saam: Michael, John, Steven en Susan. Na haar man se dood, het Betty van alle openbare optredes afgehou, maar bly aktief as voorsitter van die Betty Ford-sentrum.

Op 8 Julie 2011 sterf Ford aan natuurlike oorsake in die Eisenhower Mediese Sentrum in Rancho Mirage, Kalifornië. Na haar dood is haar kis na die Grand Rapids, Michigan, gevlieg, waar dit in die nag van 13 Julie 2011 in die Gerald Ford Museum gelê het. Sy is begrawe langs haar man tydens 'n roudiens op 14 Julie 2011, op wat sou haar man se 98ste verjaardag gewees het.

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Betty Ford

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Betty Ford, née Elizabeth Anne Bloomer, (gebore 8 April 1918, Chicago, Illinois, VS - oorlede 8 Julie 2011, Rancho Mirage, Kalifornië), Amerikaanse presidentsvrou (1974–77) - die vrou van Gerald Ford, 38ste president van die Verenigde State - en stigter van die Betty Ford -sentrum, 'n fasiliteit wat daarop gemik is om mense te help herstel van dwelm- en alkoholafhanklikheid. Sy was bekend vir haar sterk opinies oor openbare aangeleenthede en haar openhartigheid oor intieme aangeleenthede.

Betty Bloomer was die enigste dogter van William Bloomer, 'n verkoopsman, en Hortense Neahr Bloomer. Toe sy twee jaar oud was, verhuis die gesin, insluitend haar twee ouer broers, na Grand Rapids, Michigan, waar sy openbare skole bywoon. Op agtjarige ouderdom het sy met danslesse begin, wat 'n belangstelling weerspieël wat sy gedurende haar hele lewe sou behou. Om geld te spandeer, het sy ander kinders dans leer. Nadat sy in 1936 die hoërskool voltooi het, het sy twee somers 'n dansloopbaan aan die Ooskus deurgebring.

Sy studeer aan die Bennington College in Vermont, waar sy onder die invloed van die legendariese moderne danser, onderwyseres en choreograaf Martha Graham kom. Soos Betty later geskryf het, het Graham "meer as enigiemand anders ... my lewe gevorm." Toe Graham haar in haar New York -groep aanvaar, verhuis Betty na Manhattan se West Side. Om haar skraal verdienste as danser te vergroot, het sy 'n model by die John Robert Powers -agentskap gemaak. Alhoewel sy nooit 'n hoofdanser geword het nie, het Betty opgetree as een van Graham se hulpverleners en was sy verheug oor die moderne danstegniek wat Graham se handelsmerk geword het.

Op aandrang van haar ma, het Betty die groep van Graham verlaat en teruggekeer om in Grand Rapids te woon, waar sy as mode -konsultant gewerk het en vir gestremde kinders dans geleer het. In 1942 ontmoet sy en trou met William Warren. Die besonderhede van die huwelik is vaag, aangesien Betty later daarop aangedring het dat sy baie min daarvan kon onthou. Na vyf jaar skei sy van hom.

Kort na haar egskeiding ontmoet Betty Gerald R. Ford, 'n plaaslike prokureur en vennoot in die regsfirma Butterfield, Keeney en Amberg. Gerald en Betty het in Februarie 1948 verloof geraak, maar hulle het die seremonie vertraag sodat hy meer tyd kon bestee aan sy veldtog vir 'n sitplek in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers. Hy arriveer vir die troue op 15 Oktober 1948, na 'n oggend van die groet van kiesers. Sy oorwinning in November het die jong egpaar na Washington, DC gestuur, waar hulle die volgende drie dekades gewoon het. Van 1950 tot 1957 het Betty geboorte geskenk aan vier kinders, drie seuns en een dogter.

Omdat Gerald die meeste van die tyd weg was met die veldtog of met Republikeinse groepe gepraat het, het die verantwoordelikhede van ouerskap meestal op Betty geval. Sy het soms 'n grap gemaak dat die gesinsmotor so gereeld na die noodkamer gegaan het dat dit die rit alleen kon maak. In die middel van die 1960's, toe sy 'n geknypte senuwee en ruggraatartritis ontwikkel het, het dokters pynmedisyne voorgeskryf waaraan sy verslaaf geraak het, soos sy later erken het. Haar eie liggaamlike ongemak, tesame met die stres van die grootmaak van jong kinders, het haar aangespoor om psigiatriese behandeling te soek, wat sy later as baie nuttig beskryf het.

Haar lewe as die onopvallende vrou van 'n kongreslid het in Oktober 1973 geëindig toe vise -president Spiro Agnew bedank het en president Richard Nixon Gerald Ford aangestel het, die eerste keer dat die 25ste wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet, wat die president toegelaat het om 'n vakature te vul. in die kantoor van vise -president (onderhewig aan bevestiging deur 'n meerderheid van stemme van albei huise van die kongres), ingeroep. Op 9 Augustus 1974, nadat Nixon bedank het oor sy betrokkenheid by die Watergate -aangeleentheid, word Gerald die eerste president wat nog nooit tot president of vise -president verkies is nie.

Betty het altyd 'n reputasie as openhartigheid gehad, maar sy het later gesê dat die omstandighede waaronder sy presidentsvrou geword het, die voorliefde beklemtoon. Sy het besef dat Amerikaners in die nasleep van Watergate meer eerlikheid van hul openbare amptenare eis. Haar verbintenis tot openheid is gou getoets. Op 28 September 1974, enkele weke nadat sy in die Withuis ingetrek het, het haar dokters 'n mastektomie uitgevoer en haar kankeragtige regterbors verwyder. Vorige presidente se vroue het hul siektes verberg, veral dié wat eie is aan vroue, maar sy en haar man het besluit om die feite bekend te maak. Onder die indruk van haar voorbeeld, het vroue regoor die land na hul dokters gegaan vir ondersoeke. Hoewel chemoterapie gevolg het, het sy haar pligte as presidentsvrou bly uitvoer.

Betty het soms gesê dat sy Bess Truman bewonder vanweë haar aardse styl en Eleanor Roosevelt vir haar onafhanklikheid, en sy wou albei navolg. Slegs dae nadat sy in die Withuis ingetrek het, ontmoet sy verslaggewers en verras hulle deur aan te kondig dat sommige van haar sienings - insluitend haar steun vir Roe v. Wade, die beslissing van die Hooggeregshof wat aborsie gewettig het - meer gelyk het aan dié van liberale Republikeine as dié van haar man. Sy het ook die wysiging van gelyke regte (ERA) kragtig gesteun, waarna dit in verskeie staatswetgewers bekragtig sou word, terwyl hulle steun aan wankelrige verteenwoordigers in telefoonoproepe en vergaderings maak. Die wysiging het egter misluk toe die vereiste aantal state dit nie op die toegestane tyd kon bekragtig nie. Haar kritici het beswaar gemaak dat sy nie moes ingryp nie, hoewel haar ondersteuners haar betrokkenheid prys.

Betty het nasionale aandag gekry vir haar verskyning in die TV -nuusprogram 60 minute in Augustus 1975. Toe sy uitgevra is oor haar siening oor voorhuwelikse seks, het sy gesê dat sy nie verbaas sal wees om te hoor dat haar 18-jarige dogter 'n verhouding gehad het nie. Sy het gesê dat sy as ma haar dogter sou raadpleeg en iets oor die 'jong man' wou uitvind. Toe die program uitgesaai word, haal die gedrukte media haar uit verband, wat haar heel anders laat klink as wat sy in die onderhoud gedoen het. Gerald het gesê dat hy, toe hy die program gekyk het, bereken het dat dit hom 10 miljoen stemme sou kos, maar hy het die skade verdubbel toe hy die gedrukte weergawe lees. Sy pessimisme was egter ongegrond. Betty se gewildheid het die hoogte ingeskiet, en Tyd tydskrif het later haar Vrou van die Jaar aangewys. Knoppies verskyn wat haar kandidatuur vir die nasionale amp bevorder het, hoewel sy geen steun aan sulke pogings gegee het nie.

Nadat Gerald Ford die verkiesing van 1976 na Jimmy Carter amper verloor het, het die Fords teruggetrek na Rancho Mirage, Kalifornië, waar Betty se afhanklikheid van voorskrifmedisyne voortgeduur het. Vroeg in 1978 het sy onder druk van haar gesin ingestem om 'n behandelingsentrum in Long Beach te betree. Na haar suksesvolle behandeling daar, stig sy in 1982 die Betty Ford -sentrum om ander met soortgelyke verslawings te behandel en was die voorsitter van die direksie tot 2005. Die sentrum het gewild geword en het kliënte uit alle lewensterreine gelok. In 1991 ontvang sy 'n presidensiële medalje van vryheid deur die Amerikaanse president George H.W. Bush vir haar pogings om die openbare bewustheid en behandeling van alkohol- en dwelmverslawing te bevorder, het sy en Gerald Ford in 1999 'n goue medalje van die kongres ontvang.

Haar lewe is beskryf in die 1987-gemaak-vir-televisie-fliek Die Betty Ford -storie. Sy publiseer twee boeke, Betty: 'n blye ontwaking (1987) en Genesing en hoop: Ses vroue van die Betty Ford -sentrum deel hul kragtige reise van verslawing en herstel (2003). Alhoewel baie van haar lewe tradisioneel was, het Betty Ford 'n buitengewone onafhanklike rekord as presidentsvrou opgestel, en sy het baie gewild geword vir haar eerlikheid en openhartigheid.


Betty Ford, danser

Betty Ford was bekend as 'n lewendige aktivis vir vroueregte. Wat baie nie weet nie, is dat sy ook 'n talentvolle moderne danser was.

Die toekomstige First Lady, gebore as Elizabeth Bloomer, het altyd geweet dat sy 'n danser wou word. Op 8 -jarige ouderdom het Betty klassieke balletklasse begin neem in haar tuisdorp, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Toe sy 12 was, het sy begin om dansklasse aan jonger studente te gee en klere te modelleer, gedeeltelik om haar gesin tydens die depressie te help onderhou.

Sy het 'n paar jaar later die moderne danschoreograaf Martha Graham ontmoet, wat haar belangstelling in moderne dans gewek het. In 1992 het sy aan die Desert Sun -koerant van Palm Springs, Kalifornië, gesê: 'Ek was 'n jong vrou, miskien 16 jaar oud. Ek het na 'n konsert gegaan wat sy in Ann Arbor, Michigan, gehou het, en toe ek Martha saam met haar groep in Ann Arbor sien, het my hele idee van dans verander. Dit het 'n groot beroep op my gemaak, of dit nou die bewegingsvryheid was [of] die energie wat die groep meegebring het. "

Die hoof van Miss Bloomer se dansgeselskap het gereël dat sy met Graham sou praat. Toe Bloomer vir Graham sê dat sy saam met Graham se geselskap wil dans, het die choreograaf geantwoord: "Ons wil jou graag hê."

Nadat hy in 1936 aan die hoërskool gestudeer het, het Bloomer die Bennington School of Dance in Vermont bygewoon. Daar studeer sy onder verskeie moderne danschoreograwe, waaronder Graham, Louis Horst, Doris Humphrey en Charles Weidman.

Bloomer het uiteindelik saam met Graham se geselskap in New York gedans as 'n 'onderstudent of in die hulp as sy meer mense nodig gehad het'. In 1938 tree sy op in Carnegie Hall.

In die Withuis was Betty Ford nie net 'n voorstander van gelyke regte nie, maar ook vir die kunste. In 1976 oortuig sy president Ford om moderne dans te eer deur Martha Graham 'n Medal of Freedom toe te ken tydens 'n groot onthaal en optrede.

Sy het haar hele lewe lank gedans.

Lees meer oor First Lady Ford op die webwerf van die Ford Presidential Library. En Vir meer inligting oor die Betty Ford 100, besoek die Presidential Libraries -bladsy.


Betty Ford

In 25 jaar van die politieke lewe het Betty Bloomer Ford nie verwag om die presidentsvrou te word nie. As vrou van verteenwoordiger Gerald R. Ford het sy uitgesien na sy uittrede en meer tyd saam. Aan die einde van 1973 was sy keuse as vise -president vir haar 'n verrassing. Sy het net gewoond geraak aan hul nuwe rolle toe hy president word toe president Nixon in Augustus 1974 bedank.

Sy is gebore as Elizabeth Anne Bloomer in Chicago, het grootgeword in Grand Rapids, Michigan, en studeer daar aan die hoërskool. Sy studeer moderne dans aan die Bennington College in Vermont, besluit om daarvan 'n loopbaan te maak en word lid van Martha Graham se bekende konsertgroep in New York, en ondersteun haarself as 'n modemodel vir die John Robert Powers -onderneming.

Noue bande met haar gesin en haar tuisdorp het haar teruggeneem na Grand Rapids, waar sy mode -koördineerder vir 'n warenhuis geword het. Sy organiseer ook haar eie dansgroep en leer dans vir gestremde kinders.

Haar eerste huwelik, op 24 -jarige ouderdom, het vyf jaar later op 'n egskeiding geëindig op grond van onverenigbaarheid. Nie lank daarna nie begin sy met Jerry Ford, sokkerheld, gegradueerde aan die University of Michigan en Yale Law School, en gou 'n kandidaat vir die kongres. Hulle is getroud tydens die veldtog van 1948 wat hy sy verkiesing gewen het en die Fords het daarna byna drie dekades in die Washington -omgewing gewoon.

Hul vier kinders - Michael, Jack, Steven en Susan - is in die volgende tien jaar gebore. Namate haar man se politieke loopbaan meer veeleisend geword het, het Betty Ford baie van die gesinsverantwoordelikhede onderneem. Sy het toesig gehou oor die huis, gekook, vrywilligerswerk onderneem en deelgeneem aan die aktiwiteite van "Huisvroue" en "Senaatvroue" vir kongres- en republikeinse klubs. Boonop was sy 'n effektiewe kampvegter vir haar man.

Betty Ford het haar nuwe lewe as eerste dame met waardigheid en kalmte tegemoet gegaan. Sy het dit as 'n uitdaging aanvaar. 'Ek hou baie van uitdagings,' het sy gesê. Sy het die selfvertroue gehad om haar met humor en eerlikheid uit te druk, hetsy met vriende of met die publiek. Sy moes in 1974 'n ingrypende operasie vir borskanker ondergaan, en sy het baie ontsteld vroue gerusgestel deur haar beproewing openlik te bespreek. Sy het verduidelik dat "miskien as ek as eerste dame openhartig en sonder verleentheid daaroor sou kon praat, baie ander mense dit ook sou kon doen." So gou as moontlik hervat sy haar pligte as gasvrou by die Executive Mansion en haar rol as 'n openbare gees. Sy het nie geskroom om haar standpunte te stel oor omstrede kwessies soos die wysiging van gelyke regte, wat sy sterk ondersteun het nie.

Vanuit hul huis in Kalifornië was sy ewe eerlik oor haar suksesvolle stryd teen die afhanklikheid van dwelms en alkohol. Sy het gehelp om die Betty Ford -sentrum vir verslawing te vestig in die Eisenhower Mediese Sentrum in Rancho Mirage.

Terugskouend beskryf Betty die rol van die eerste dame as 'veel meer 'n 24-uur-werk as wat iemand sou raai' en sê sy oor haar voorgangers: 'Noudat ek besef wat hulle moes verduur, het ek nuwe respek en bewondering vir elkeen van hulle. ” Betty Ford is in 2011 op 93 -jarige ouderdom oorlede en word saam met haar man begrawe in die Gerald R. Ford Presidensiële Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


5 dinge wat jy nie van Betty Ford geweet het nie

Dit was 'n Saterdag in 1978. Selfs twee jaar tevore het Betty Ford nie in die Withuis gewoon nie, maar ook die titel van die eerste vrou. Nou vergader haar man, voormalige president Gerald Ford, vier kinders en dokters in haar woonkamer in Kalifornië om nuus te lewer wat sy nie wou hoor nie - of glo.

Een vir een het haar geliefdes haar gekonfronteer oor haar middelmisbruikprobleme. Jack het vertel hoe hy nooit vriende huis toe wou bring nie, uit vrees vir watter 'vorm' Ma was. Susan het vertel hoe sy die dans van haar ma bewonder het, maar nou was sy altyd 'val en lomp'. Toe sy 19 jaar oud was, organiseer sy die hele ingryping.

'Ons wil hê dat u moet luister, want ons is lief vir u,' het Gerald Ford aan sy vrou gesê.

'My grimering is nie besmeer nie, ek was nie ontsteld nie, ek het my beleefd gedra en ek het nooit 'n bottel klaargemaak nie, so hoe kan ek 'n alkoholis wees?' dink sy.

Skrywer Claudia Kalb beskryf Betty Ford se dekades lange stryd met alkoholisme en dwelmmisbruik in "Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities" (National Geographic, 2016). Die New York Times-topverkoper kyk na 12 hoë profiel historiese figure en hul geestesgesondheid.

Sommige, soos Ford, was uitgesproke oor hul toestande. Ander het simptome gehad wat volgens kundiges in geestesgesondheid vandag gediagnoseer is, waaronder Albert Einstein, wat gedrag toon wat verband hou met outisme, en George Gershwin, wie se onbegrensde energie moontlik verband hou met aandaggebrek-hiperaktiwiteitsversteuring.

Kalb, 'n voormalige senior skrywer van Newsweek, sal Maandag om 11:00 op die Joodse gemeenskapsentrum in Metropolitan Detroit 'n toespraak hou oor die ontwikkeling en behandeling van geestesgesondheidstoestande en hoe dit ander raak.

"My oorhoofse doel was om die kwessie van stigma deur middel van storievertelling aan te spreek en om mense te laat weet dat niemand immuun is nie," sê Kalb oor die skryf van die boek.

In 'n telefoniese onderhoud uit die Washington, DC, gebied waar sy woon, sê Kalb dat Ford slegs 'n voorbeeld is. Alhoewel sy altyd 'n "Midde-Westerse sjarme en eerlikheid" was en voor haar mede-borskankerpasiënte gepleit het, het die presidentsvrou gesukkel met selfbeeldprobleme en eensaamheid toe haar man van die werk af was.

'Ons onthou haar as baie sterk en dapper en vol selfvertroue, maar sy was nie so selfversekerd toe sy in die vroeë dae van die politieke lewe in Washington was nie. . Sy het in daardie stadium werklik gely met onsekerheid en gevoelens van 'n lae selfbeeld, en die dwelms en alkohol het die kwesbaarheid beïnvloed, 'sê Kalb.

Ford het begin om voorskrifmedisyne te gebruik, oorspronklik om 'n geknypte senuwee te behandel. Sy het dit gehaat om 'kreupel te voel', en daarom het sy meer dwelms geneem - tot op die punt dat sy tot 25 pille per dag gedruk het en 'alkohol 'n kalmerende eliksir geword het', skryf Kalb in die hoofstuk.

'Ek het 'n fynproewersversameling medisyne gehad-ek het 'n bietjie self-voorgeskryf as een pil goed is, twee moet beter wees-en toe ek vodka by die mengsel voeg, verhuis ek na 'n wonderlike, fuzzy plek waar alles goed was, ek kon hanteer, ”onthou Ford.

Kalb sê dat sy gekies het om Ford uit te lig oor talle bekendes wat met verslawing gesukkel het, omdat die inwoner van Grand Rapids in baie opsigte meer verwant en 'van die mense' is.

'Toe sy in Michigan grootgeword het, het sy in 'n winkelsentrum gewerk, tyd saam met vriende deurgebring, en sy is getroud,' sê Kalb, 'sy was soos baie mense wat hul pad in die lewe probeer maak het, en toe sy begin worstel met verslawing, was sy toevallig saam met haar man na die presidentsvrou. ”

Betty Ford sterf in 2011 op 93 -jarige ouderdom, nadat sy haar verslawing oorkom het en die Betty Ford -sentrum in 1982 gestig het om ander verslaafdes te help herstel. Kalb deel 'n paar dinge wat u dalk nie weet van die 38ste presidentsvrou wat sy tydens haar navorsing oor die boek geleer het nie.

Betty Ford het saam met die danser en choreograaf Martha Graham opgelei

By die Bennington School of the Dance in Vermont ontmoet Ford (toe Elizabeth Ann Bloomer) die legendariese moderne danser Martha Graham. Daarna studeer sy saam met haar in New York en tree op in optredes in Carnegie Hall. Maar Graham was streng, sê Kalb, en tugtig Ford, 'n sosialiseerder, omdat hy nie volle aandag aan dans gegee het nie. Intussen het haar ma, Hortense Bloomer, die vriende van haar dogter sien trou en by mans in Grand Rapids gaan aanklop. 'Haar ma het begin smeek dat sy terug moet kom huis toe,' sê Kalb, 'en uiteindelik het haar ma gewen.'

Betty Ford was getroud met 'n man voor Gerald Ford

Sy naam was William Warren, en hy het Betty vir haar eerste skooldans op 12 -jarige ouderdom gevra. Maar dit het nie uitgewerk nie. Warren was in die versekeringsbedryf en het meer daarvan gehou om saam met sy vriende te kuier as met haar. Na vyf jaar se huwelik het Ford aansoek gedoen om egskeiding. Sy trou toe met Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids in 1948. 'Dit lyk nie asof Gerald Ford 'n probleem het nie', sê Kalb, 'ondanks die feit dat dit 'n era was toe egskeiding baie minder algemeen was, miskien omdat Ford se eie ouers geskei het toe hy was 'n baba. " Nadat Ford vise -president geword het, het 'n verslaggewer van die tydskrif People gevra waarom sy nooit oor die egskeiding gepraat het nie. Haar antwoord: 'Wel, niemand het my ooit gevra nie.'

Dit het nog 'n rehabilitasie -pasiënt geneem voordat Ford erken het dat sy 'n probleem het

'Hier was sy skaars uit die Withuis, die titel van die eerste dame was skaars weg, en sy bevind haar in 'n rehabilitasie -omgewing met mense wat sukkel met verslawing,' sê Kalb. 'Dit was vir haar so moeilik om dit te aanvaar.' Toe Ford, omstreeks haar 60ste verjaardag, rehabilitasie toe gaan, erken sy aanvanklik dwelmmisbruik - maar nie alkoholisme nie. 'Sy kon die dwelms erken omdat dit vir 'n mediese doel voorgeskryf is, en dit het nie dieselfde stigma as' jy drink te veel en maak 'n slegte keuse nie ',' sê Kalb. Dit was die ontkenning van 'n ander pasiënt, wat gesê het dat haar drink nie haar gesin leed veroorsaak nie, wat Ford beïnvloed het om te erken dat sy 'n drankprobleem het. 'Skielik was ek op my voete, en ek het gesê:' Ek is Betty, en ek is 'n alkoholis, en ek weet dat my drank my gesin seergemaak het, 'onthou sy. 'Omdat ek deur God gedink het, as sy nie lef genoeg is om dit te sê nie, sal ek dit doen. Dit het my verbaas om myself te hoor, maar tog was dit 'n verligting. ”

Ford het Mary Tyler Moore oortuig om terug te keer na rehabilitasie

Toe pasiënte dreig om die Betty Ford -sentrum te verlaat, het sy ingeskuif en hulle oortuig om te bly, sê Kalb. Dit was die geval met die aktrise Mary Tyler Moore, wat in 1984 by die fasiliteit ingegaan het om vir alkoholafhanklikheid behandel te word. Moore had a similar reaction to the first lady when she arrived in rehab. “She didn’t want to be there at all,” Kalb says. Moore felt she was above the mundane tasks of cleaning and abiding rules. So she snuck out in a taxi to a Marriott. The next morning, Ford gave her a ring. “That phone call saved my life,” Moore wrote in her memoir “After All.” “I returned on my knees, pleading for reentry.”

Ford didn’t want her name on the rehabilitation center

“She didn’t want the center to be about her. She wanted it to be about recovery,” Kalb says. But she was convinced otherwise. In a 2002 NPR interview, Gerald Ford said it was “fortuitous” that the center included her name. “It had a certain attractiveness to people who needed help,” he said. Decades later, over 90,000 people — from actress Elizabeth Taylor, singer Johnny Cash and actress Drew Barrymore, to parents who want to sober up for their families — have sought treatment at the facility.

“The Betty Ford Center, everybody knows that name,” Kalb says, and having “Betty Ford” in the title is, in part, why it’s so significant.

“It indicates that anybody can have a problem with addiction, even somebody as high level as the first lady,” she says. “It reinforces the reality that you’re not alone — Betty Ford has been there, too. She really struggled, she got through it and she turned her own experience around to save lives.”


The Partnership of Betty and Gerald Ford

Yanek Mieczkowski is Professor of History at Dowling College in New York. The author of The Routledge Historical Atlas of Presidential Elections (2001) and Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s (2005), he is finishing a new book, The Great Cold War Moment: Eisenhower, Sputnik, and the Race for Space and World Prestige.

In February 1948, Gerald Ford, then a Grand Rapids lawyer, told Betty Bloomer, the fashion designer he was dating, “I’d like to marry you, but we can’t get married until next fall and I can’t tell you why.” Those cryptic words began a partnership that spanned nearly sixty years. At its core was their love, but it also represented a political bond that lasted a quarter century on Capitol Hill and transformed the White House during their 895 days as First Couple.

What Ford could not divulge to Betty in 1948 was his plan to run for Michigan’s Fifth District congressional seat. That fall his life changed dramatically. In October he married Betty, and the next month he won a seat in Congress, marking the first of thirteen consecutive terms.

Ford’s marriage to Betty coincided with the start of his political career, and she became not just a housewife but a “House wife,” as the harried spouses of congressmen were called. During Ford’s first campaign, she already tasted the sacrifices of political life. On their wedding day, Ford showed up late, his shoes muddied from campaigning on a farm. Betty joked that if she had to wait longer, she would have run off with the best man.

She showed the same good nature as the tandem demands of family life and Ford’s career increased. The couple had four children—Mike, Jack, Steve, and Susan—and when Ford worked even on Saturdays, his family often accompanied him to his office, with Betty reading and the children frolicking in Capitol Hill’s Statuary Hall (where in May 2011 a new statue of Gerald Ford was unveiled).

In 1965, when Ford became House minority leader, his responsibilities multiplied. With her husband traveling two hundred days a year on speaking engagements, Betty became a political widow, often left alone to raise a family. Ford admitted, “She has been not only a mother to the children, but in many respects, a father as well.” Betty handled the dual roles with equanimity and her trademark humor. One morning, when she awoke to find her husband lying next to her, she asked, “What are you doing here?”

In 1974, when Ford became president following Richard Nixon’s resignation, he paid tribute to Betty in his inaugural address, saying, “I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman—my dear wife—as I begin this very difficult job.”

Betty’s personality helped to define the new administration. Ford strove to establish an “open” White House, freed from Nixon’s bunker mentality. He granted frequent interviews and invited members of Congress from both parties to the Oval Office. Betty did her part. After learning that Nixon’s White House staff had received instructions to be silent and inconspicuous, she urged them to chat freely with the First Family. She was pleased once to see the White House butler comparing golf scores with the president.

At a time when Americans felt the aftereffects of the often combative, truculent leadership styles of Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, Betty reduced the White House’s imperial overtones. In the Oval Office, where Nixon had an imposing-looking bald eagle staring out from a cold blue rug, Betty had a warm, yellow rug installed. She complained that the military battle scenes on the dining room wallpaper were grim soon, yellow paint replaced them.

Reducing the regal hue of the White House had a functional purpose, too. A dominant issue of mid-1970s America was high inflation, and reducing it was one of Gerald Ford’s foremost goals—and his notable legacy—as president. Betty tried to focus attention on this scourge by stressing simplicity, which fit her husband’s down-to-earth nature. The White House Christmas tree was simple, with “no tinsel, no sequins,” as she requested, and she sometimes asked the chef to prepare no-frills meals for her family, such as tuna casseroles. Yet in adding these modest touches, she still maintained the presidency’s majesty. As Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s wife Nancy praised her, “Betty is uniquely able to create an atmosphere of warmth and relaxation without losing the dignity of the occasion—and that’s a hard balance to hit.”

Betty made other substantive contributions to Ford’s presidency on the era’s important issues. After South Vietnam collapsed in 1975, a flood of refugees entered the U.S ., prompting xenophobic protests that the Fords considered shameful and un-American. To demonstrate a more humane spirit toward the newcomers, Betty visited a South Vietnamese refugee center at Camp Pendleton, California.

As many First Ladies have, Betty championed special causes. Having once taught children dance in Grand Rapids, she supported federal arts funding and projects for deaf and handicapped children. Since she studied dance under Martha Graham and called her “the first lady of dance,” Betty lobbied hard to see that Graham receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

Ford valued his wife’s political instincts, and Betty liked to engage in “pillow talk,” badgering the president on issues just before bedtime, when he was tired and likely to give in. One priority was female appointments to the executive branch and Supreme Court, and she proudly pointed to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Carla Hills and Anne Armstrong, the ambassador to Britain. Had she been more persistent with her husband, she said, the first woman on the Supreme Court might have come during the Ford presidency.

That sort of candor won Betty the greatest attention. She took liberal positions on many social issues, favoring the Equal Rights Amendment, gun control, and abortion rights. During a 1975 interview on “60 Minutes,” she praised Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, as a “great, great decision,” words that elicited outrage from conservatives. The angry reaction, she later recalled, “terrified me. I was afraid I might have become a real political liability to Jerry.” Gearing up to run for a full term in 1976, Ford threw a pillow at her in mock anger when they watched the program together. He said that when he first heard about her remarks, he thought he’d lose ten million votes. “Then when I read about it,” he quipped, “I raised that to twenty million.”

A health scare one month into the Ford presidency also put Betty’s candor on view, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. The frank disclosure of her illness prompted thousands of women nationwide to undergo breast cancer screenings and led to a spike in donations to the American Cancer Society. Among those women who sought an examination was Happy Rockefeller, wife of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who learned she, too, had breast cancer and received treatment for it she credited Betty with saving her life.

Betty recovered from cancer and loved being First Lady. She actually got to see more of her husband than while he was a congressman, and she had the White House staff to cook and tend house for her, luxuries she never enjoyed as a congressional spouse. She especially enjoyed communing with average Americans, writing, “I loved it when we’d ride down the streets in a motorcade and people would yell, ‘Hi, Betty’….Those people identified with me, they knew I was no different from them, it was just that fate had put me in this situation.”

By 1976, polls showed Betty was the most popular First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt, prompting Ford to say she should travel the country to boost his own approval ratings. She campaigned gamely for him in the presidential race, even communicating by means of the 1970s fad, citizens’ band radio, using the handle “First Momma.” After her husband lost the election by two percentage points to Jimmy Carter, the couple retired to Rancho Mirage, California, where the desert warmth eased the pain of her arthritis.

But her candor and public crusades were not over. Beginning in the 1960s , Betty had turned to drugs and alcohol to seek relief from pain and loneliness, and her dependency alarmed family members. In 1978, they staged an intervention, urging her to seek help, and she checked into the Long Beach Naval Hospital for treatment. In 1982, her battle against chemical dependence inspired her to found the Betty Ford Center, which remains one of her lasting legacies, where 90,000 patients have sought aid in ridding themselves of drug and alcohol addictions.

Like all married couples, the Fords had their idiosyncrasies and tripwires for irritation. Betty was chronically late for important appearances, which annoyed her husband. Once, when he had an evening political function scheduled for 7:30, he told her the event was at 6:30. The stratagem worked: Betty was ready at 6:55, and a relieved Ford said, “For once we’ll be on time.” On January 20, 1977, the Fords’ last morning at the White House, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were to arrive at exactly 10:30 for the traditional pre-inaugural coffee. Betty was running late, giving warm embraces and farewells to the White House staff. Ford boomed out, “Let’s go, Betty! You can’t be late this time!”

Through it all, Gerald and Betty remained a devoted couple, supporting each other steadfastly. In late 2006, as Ford’s health deteriorated, his study at their Rancho Mirage home became, in effect, a hospital room. Although bedridden and frail, he still brightened when Betty walked into the room.

Decades earlier, as newlyweds, Betty had given Ford a lighter inscribed, “To the light of my life.” To the end, the partnership between Betty and Gerald Ford remained the light of their lives. In the mid-1970s , by working together, they also made the White House a lighter, more cheerful place when Americans needed just that.


The History of First Ladies’ Memoirs

The release this week of Michelle Obama’s memoir, Word, in which the former First Lady shares her personal stories, including some from her time in the White House, continues a decades-long tradition. Beginning with Betty Ford in 1978, the six First Ladies who preceded Obama each published their own unique versions of an autobiography sometime during their first few years out of office.

These offerings grant American citizens unrivaled access to the human lives inside the country’s highest office, often in ways more genuine and compelling than other histories or biographies on their husbands. What unites the books are that these impressive women unveil personal challenges and political motivations, all while writing American history from inside the White House.

“When First Ladies are liberated from their public role and can operate much more as a private citizen, they simply have more scope for what they talk about and how they can behave,” says Lisa Kathleen Graddy, a curator of political history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “They’re not representing, at all times, the United States of America.”

Nellie Taft, the smoking, prohibition-hating, car driving and suffragist-supporting wife of President William Howard Taft was the first First Lady to publish a memoir during her lifetime. In Recollections of Full Years, Taft shared her pride at becoming the first First Lady to ride alongside her husband down Pennsylvania Avenue on the day of his inauguration. She wrote, “perhaps I had a little secret elation in thinking I was doing something which no woman had ever done before.” In total, 11 of America’s 42 official First Ladies, not including those whose personal correspondence was published following their deaths, have authored personal memoirs during their lifetime, often outselling their husbands.

“First ladies still tend to be more mysterious than the presidents,” Graddy says. “We’re always hoping once the First Lady is out of office she’s going to let us in a little more.”

Here’s a taste of the most fascinating and honest stories from these memoirs:

United States First Lady Michelle Obama with former First Ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, and Rosalynn Carter. (White House/Lawrence Jackson)

Word

As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—Michelle Obama helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history.

Michelle Obama’s Word for Women on Fertility

In Becoming, Michelle for the first time shares the difficulty she and President Obama faced conceiving their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Michelle writes candidly about the failure she felt following a miscarriage and her discomfort with self-administering IVF shots while Barack was off at work as a state legislator. As Michelle told ABC’s Robin Roberts, “I think it's the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work, and how they don’t work.”

Spoken from the Heart

In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story.

Laura Bush’s Car Accident Confession

The 2010 autobiography Spoken From the Heart by Laura Bush revealed more detail about her involvement in a tragic car accident. On November 6, 1963, two days after her 17th birthday, Bush and her friend Judy made plans to head over to the local drive-in theater. Bush, driving her father’s Chevy Impala, became distracted as she spoke with her friend. She drove through an unnoticed stop sign and crashed into the less sturdy car of classmate and close friend, Mike Douglas. He was killed, and for years Laura Bush was wracked with guilt. In the memoir, Bush writes about how that tragedy uprooted her life-long faith, something that took years to gain back.

Living History

Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey.

Hillary Clinton and Chinese Censorship

“If there be 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,” Hillary Clinton told an appreciative crowd at the September 1995 Fourth Women’s Conference in Beijing. Throughout that same speech, Clinton threw jab after jab at the Chinese government for their policies that discriminated against women and girls. The Chinese government blocked the broadcast.

To date, Clinton has written three memoirs. Her first, Living History, published in 2003, caused mass uproar in China. In the officially licensed Chinese edition of Living History, nearly all of Clinton’s disapproving references to the country were cut or otherwise cleansed of any biting criticism. Clinton’s 2014 memoir Hard Choices on her time as Secretary of State includes similarly negative opinions of China. As Hillary’s U.S. publisher put it Hard Choices is “effectively banned” by the People’s Republic.

Barbara Bush: A Memoir

Former First Lady Barbara Bush recounts the exciting and often poignant events in her life, from her secret engagement to George Bush, to the loss of her three-year-old daughter to leukemia, to daily life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Barbara Bush on her Mental Health and Abortion Policy

In her eponymous memoir, Barbara Bush wrote candidly about her battle with mental health and personal political opinions. She shared that her bouts with depression in the 1970s would push her to park on the highway’s shoulder, terrified she would purposefully put herself in harm’s way. At the time, she sought no medication and no help, beside from her husband, President George H.W. Bush. Barbara wrote “I almost wonder why he didn’t leave me.”

In a noticeable departure from her husband’s abortion policies, Barbara wrote “let me say again. I hate abortions, but just could not make that choice for anybody else.”

“First ladies tend to stay in line with the administration, they bolster the administration,” Graddy says. “Everyone is always wondering if that’s what they’re really thinking. So, when you get a glimpse at something that says that it wasn’t, it’s interesting.”

First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Pat Nixon, Barbara Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Betty Ford (©Diana Walker/gift of Diana Walker, NMAH)

My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan discusses her life, the Reagan administration, her shaky relationship with her children and key White House personnel, her husband’s involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, and her bout with cancer.

Nancy Reagan’s Vindication

Sally Quinn of the Washington Post wrote in 1989 that, “First Lady books should be primarily anthropological. They don't need to be literary, historical or political, although that would be fine too. What they should tell you is what it's like to live in the White House, what it's like to be First Lady. If that is the case then Nancy Reagan has failed: My Turn tells you what it's like to be Nancy Reagan.”

And, being Nancy Reagan was not always, or even often, pretty.

My Turn, Reagan’s 1989 memoir, was met with little to no fanfare. Nearly every reviewer was turned off by the unapologetic anger and frustration Reagan openly vented. Chief amongst Nancy’s targets was Donald T. Regan, her husband’s Treasury Secretary. One critic went so far as to say My Turn is, “in fact, a book with nothing to commend it.” In addition to going after critics, in the book Reagan defended her fondness for astrology and addressed the assassination attempt against her husband. She wrote that while the near fatal gun-shot wound had no effect on Mr. Reagan’s gun policy it left her “not sure” she agreed with him.

First Lady from Plains

"What ought to be a continuing legacy is Rosalynn's Carter's success in breaking new ground as a First Lady, without uprooting the traditions of the past." --Minneapolis Tribune

Rosalynn Carter’s Unapologetic Influence

As First Lady, Rosalynn Carter viewed herself as a political partner and equal to her husband, President Jimmy Carter. She took more than 200 pages of personal notes at the Camp David summit, which brokered a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel and garnered the President the Nobel Peace Prize. In her 1984 memoir, First Lady from Plains, Rosalynn explains how history would have been different had Jimmy only listened to her advice and reconsidered the 1980 grain embargo against the U.S.S.R, a policy that devastated American agriculturalists and likely contributed to Carter’s failed second-term bid. The American public and press had been critical of Rosalynn’s direct influence on her husband’s policy, yet in her memoir Rosalynn gave no indication that she cared.

Betty Ford the Times of My Life

"The Times of My Life" is Betty Ford's memoir of life, with all its successes and failures, joys and heartaches.

Betty Ford on Addiction

During her tenure as First Lady, Betty Ford was known to be unapologetic. In 1975, during an interview with CBS’s Morley Safer, Ford spoke openly about her pro-choice political stance, her time seeing a psychiatrist and whether she would or would not try marijuana. Protestors took to the streets, calling her “No Lady.” Yet, soon public opinion flipped as Americans began praising her breath-of-fresh-air honesty, particular in regards to the mastectomy she underwent a year prior. Betty’s memoir The Times of My Life was as telling, raw and engaging as expected.

“When she was out of office, Ford was very forthcoming about her battle with prescription drugs,” Graddy says. In The Times of My Life, Mrs. Ford details the intervention her family held in 1978 to help curb her dependence on pills and alcohol.

“Not being in that public eye in the same way anymore, not being official,”Graddy says, “gave her a freedom to talk about things like that.” The Times of My Life was meet with esteem. Betty followed it up with two more memoirs.

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary (Autographed Copy)

"A White House Diary" is Lady Bird Johnson's intimate, behind-the-scenes account of Lyndon Johnson's presidency from November 22, 1963, to January 20, 1969.

Lady Bird Johnson and JFK’s Assassination

“It all began so beautifully,” reads Lady Bird Johnson’s diary entry from the November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The words open her memoir, A White House Diary, and before you could turn the first page, the shots ring out. “I cast one last look over my shoulder and saw in the President’s car a bundle of pink, just like a drift of blossoms, lying on the back seat. It was Mrs. Kennedy lying over the President’s body,” she wrote. Just a few hours later, she would become the First Lady.

In the same entry, Johnson recalls Jackie Kennedy’s famous words, “I want them to see what they have done to Jack.” In later entries, she takes the reader inside the silent limousine ride to President Kennedy’s funeral, where she and now-President Lyndon Johnson sat beside Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and her children. Mrs. Johnson wrote, “the feeling persisted that I was moving, step by step, through a Greek tragedy.”

Jackie Kennedy never authored a memoir, neither did Lyndon B. Johnson or Bobby Kennedy, Lady Bird’s diaries of the assassination’s aftermath offered reader’s the earliest and most riveting retelling published in print.

About Bianca Sánchez

Bianca Sánchez is an editorial intern at Smithsonian magazine, as well as a senior at Northwestern University, where she studies Journalism, Latino and Latina studies and Political Science.


Betty Ford

Many of Betty Ford’s Grand Rapids friends-men and women in the generation who lived through the depression years as children and young teenagers and later were involved in World War II- think of her fondly as an attractive and vital woman, and they recall her early years in Grand Rapids with her many friends and activities.

She attended Central High School, one of those excellent Midwestern high schools with the kind of demanding faculty one remembers for a lifetime. As her autobiography, The Times of My Life, points out, she enjoyed learning and those high school years were happy ones.

At the time of life when many young people are still wondering which path to take, Betty Ford knew exactly what she wanted to do: her goal was to become a professional dancer. Later she studied with Martha Graham in New York and became a member of the Martha Graham dance troupe. On the home front she occasionally assisted a dynamic dancing teacher, Calla Travis, who instructed young women and men in what was then called “social dancing”. As Calla Travis’s pupils stumbled self-consciously through the approved dance steps, the waltz and the fox trot, little did they dream that the young woman who demonstrated the dance steps so gracefully was to become the First Lady of the 38th President of the United States and was to be recognized by the whole world for her own accomplishments.

In more recent years, widely known for her broad civic interests, Betty Ford was honored by the Michigan Hall of Fame in 1987 with the following commendation:

As the wife of Michigan Congressman (later Minority Leader, Vice-President and President) Gerald Ford, Betty Ford’s life has been constantly mirrored in the national press. Under the circumstances, she might have confined herself to a social-cultural leadership role (a role for which she was especially qualified as a former member of the Martha Graham dance troupe), but she opted instead to devote herself to public causes such as the Equal Rights Amendment, which she strongly supported. In addition, Betty Ford has been very much involved with the American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation and national programs for mental health and underprivileged children,

Betty Ford has become best known, perhaps, for her courage and candor in coping with personal crisis. When stricken with breast cancer, she faced the situation openly, and in so doing she gave courage to others. Her public acknowledgment of cancer not only called attention to the dangers of the disease for women, but also to its means of detection and treatment.

It is for her personal snuggle with alcohol and drug abuse that Betty Ford has become most widely known and appreciated in later years. She overcame a serious problem of dependency through an exercise of will and courage. The overcoming of her personal problem was not alone sufficient for her, however. As with her cancer, Betty Ford sought ways in which to share her experience with others in a very public and beneficial way. Not only has she devoted her life over the past nine years to the helping of others with drug dependency problems, the funds she has raised through her speaking engagements and ocher public appearances have served to build the Betty Ford Center for Drug Rehabilitation at the Eisenhower Medical Center in California (dedicated October 3, 1982). As President of the Betty Ford Center, she has become a lay expert on the problems of drug abuse and has provided courage, understanding and treatment for countless thousands of individuals who have taken the personal example to heart. And, for this the California Medical Society and numerous other organizations have given her personal citations.


Advocate for Women's Health

A month after moving into the White House, Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She became an advocate for breast cancer research and early detection.

Asked about her illness, she said, "I'm very glad that I brought cancer to the forefront."

She was also outspoken on women's rights issues. She supported the equal rights amendment and the legalization of abortion.

She became famous for her candor. In an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," she talked about marijuana, equal rights for women, abortion and the possibility of a premarital affair for her daughter, Susan.

Went Public With Addiction Battle

After leaving the White House, Betty Ford publicly acknowledged her addiction to alcohol and painkillers.

"This is not a lack of willpower, this is a disease," she said at the time.

In 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center in California. Her candor in talking about and dealing with substance abuse and treatment helped led to an improvement in how Americans talk about such matters.

Helping others overcome addiction became her chief cause.

"I'm not out to rescue anybody who doesn't want to be rescued," she once said. "I just think it's important to say how easy it is to slip into a dependency on pills or alcohol, and how hard it is to admit that dependency."

By not being the "political wife" of self-sacrificing legend, she both reflected and advanced public views about women in politics.

"In the end, simply by being herself, she made it easier for millions of American women to be themselves," Smith told ABC News.

ABC News' David Reiter and Michael S. James contributed to this report.


Why This Model Left the Glitzy World of Fashion for the Gritty Life of Bullfighting

There are many kinds of multihyphenates in Hollywood: actress-singer, director-producer. In the 1950s Bette Ford turned heads and raised eyebrows when she became a model-actress-bullfighter.

Bette Ford came to New York City from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA, with big dreams: The 18-year-old was going to be a model.

Considered too petite for the runway, the 5-foot-4 beauty was quickly turned down by two leading agencies of her day. But a third major agency, Huntington Hartford, took a chance on her, and soon she was landing jobs by capitalizing on her slender yet athletic build and sensual aura. She modeled for Maidenform, sat for magazine illustrators, even snagged a few covers, but her greatest success was with Jantzen as a swimsuit model. Her narrow hips and powerful shoulders made her convincing as a stylish swimmer, despite not knowing how.

Then an assignment came along that changed Ford's life: a photo shoot in Bogotá, Colombia&mdashher first trip abroad. She was so sheltered and unwordly that when she checked in at the hotel, she asked whether her room had been made safe from boa constrictors. Roy Pinney, the photographer for the shoot, who was worldly, learned that the renowned matador Luis Miguel Dominguín would be fighting in Bogotá during the shoot. He arranged for Ford to meet Dominguín at his hotel room.

In the early 1950s, bullfighting was the epitome of glamour, danger, and masculine bravado. Hollywood A-listers followed the bulls in Spain and fraternized with matadors like Dominguín, an international celebrity in his own right. He even stole Ava Gardner from Frank Sinatra for a bit&mdashthe two had an affair while the actress was married to the crooner. (Perhaps it was role prep: Gardner later would star in The Sun Also Rises as the seductress of the story's fictional bullfighter, Pedro Romero.)

Smitten with Dominguín, Ford returned to New York, papered her walls with bullfight posters, and began daydreaming of Mexico. She landed the role of understudy in the Broadway drama The Time of the Cuckoo, but told MarieClaire.com she "wasn't prepared metaphysically" to settle for understudy. Instead, she and her extra-marital boyfriend at the time, Lewis Allen, drove south to follow the bulls.

In a small arena outside Mexico City, Ford encountered some novilleros (fighters who only battle young bulls) who invited her, half in jest, to train with them. Soon she was spending her mornings at a practice ring, learning the rudiments of cape work as a way of keeping fit.

Ultimately, she was "discovered" by chance: a newspaper sent a reporter and photographer for a column on a promising novice at the ring. Ford caught their eye, and the piece instead became a two-page spread on her. The article captured the attention of Dr. Alfonso Gaona, organizer of the Plaza Mexico, the largest bullfight arena in the world. The next week, Gaona approached Ford and said, "So you're the girl who wants to become a bullfighter?"

Gaona, recognizing Ford's potential as an alluring alternative to the straightforward nature of the handful of other American toreras fighting at the time, brought the empresario of the bullring in Juarez, Juan de Bilbao&mdasha.k.a Don Juan&mdashto manage Ford.

From the beginning, the climate was intensely competitive. Ford was immediately compared to prominent, more experienced female bullfighters, like the American Patricia McCormick, whom the press described as having a "deathly presence" in the ring. McCormick dressed for fights in black or tan suits, her hair in a knot beneath her wide-brimmed black hat. Over her pants she wore plain leather chaps. Juanita Aparicio, whom Ford had encountered on that first trip to Mexico, wore chaps as well.

In contrast, Ford dazzled in white. Her first trajes&mdashthe suits that she fought in&mdashwere tailored from fine white wool to emphasize her lithe physique. Setting off her dark black hair were a pair of diamond earrings. And she kept her hair loose and tousled, a stunning touch when she doffed her hat and bowed for the audience.

Fighting mainly along the border, in Mexican arenas across the Rio Grande from small Texas towns, Ford gained a reputation for flair and determination. Soon she became a reliable draw, with a following from as far away as Houston and San Antonio. While the other American toreras barely eked out a living, at times sleeping in their cars, Ford earned enough to stay at the same hotels as full-fledged matadors. At first, Don Juan drove her to fights later, Ford flew in a private plane.

Don Juan promoted her relentlessly, leading the press to cover her every move, such as when she'd cross the border for a makeover at a local salon (both as a model and a bullfighter she occasionally went platinum blonde). Her popularity wasn't always a positive. In the border bullrings the Texas fans were rowdy and not necessarily supportive. They came to see the "Broadway TV star and model turned bullfighter" or "petite Broadway brunette who looks like Elizabeth Taylor." If a bull knocked her down, the fans cheered, yelling "Kill her, bull! Kill her!"

"They want blood, your blood&mdashwhy else would they come to a bullfight?" says Ford today. "I knew that no one would run in and save me."

Ford's relationship with Don Juan was complex and stormy. In his role as manager, he oversaw her rigorous training regimen, putting her on a boxer's diet that included drinking the blood-rich juices from expensive cuts of beef. He called her each night at 9 p.m. to confirm that she was home and preparing for bed, and he cautioned her against sex in the days leading up to a fight. ("It weakens the leg muscles" Ford remembers him saying). After fights, he massaged the deep bruises left by bulls' horns.

They argued often&mdashabout bullfighting, training, her technique, publicity. Ford once slammed a hotel door so hard that it split down the middle, a spillover from her constantly curated aggression in the ring.

"I was angry with the world," says Ford of her rigorous training coupled with the growing animosity in the stands. "I was a fighter. I literally was a killer. I perceived myself as dangerous. "

The tempestuousness of the relationship culminated one Sunday afternoon during a Juarez booking, when Ford argued with Don Juan about a risky maneuver that he wanted her to try. Ford was sipping from a glass of water as the two exchanged words, and when the argument escalated, Ford dashed the water into Don Juan's face&mdashin full view of the crowd. The hometown audience was outraged, and clubs along the border circulated a petition denouncing Ford and calling for her to be suspended.

When Ford returned to Juarez a month later, she was awakened on the morning of her fight by sirens. The arena had been set on fire, evidently the work of arsonists protesting her return. But the fight went on, a burned section of bleachers still smoldering throughout the afternoon.

The ultimate dream of the American toreras, and of all Mexican bullfighters, was to fight in the Plaza Mexico. Patricia McCormick had been fighting longer than any of the women, and though she was widely lauded for her bravery and skill, even she had yet to land a booking in the Plaza.

Ford and McCormick were seen as rivals, and by early in 1955, Ford's second year fighting, the press floated tantalizing rumors of their appearing together in the capitol: "A program with these two toreras in competition would fill the Plaza Mexico." The Plaza held nearly 50,000 spectators most of the arenas along the border were less than a 10th of its size.

In May of that year, Ford was training for the big showdown when she was thrown by a bull. She fractured several of her ribs and bruised her spine badly.

Injuries of this severity were common. In one fight, Pat Hayes, another American torera, suffered a concussion and three broken ribs. Patricia McCormick once almost died in a particularly gruesome incident. She turned her back on a bull who charged, impaling her. Hoisted into the air and unable to free herself, she was rescued by her manager who raced out into the ring and pried her off the horn.

Ford recovered and was well enough to fight again that summer in Juarez, billed as "The Incomparable Beauty of the Bullring." Late in July, a surprising decision was announced: the debuting American at the Plaza Mexico would be Ford alone. But the notion of a woman fighting in the venerable Plaza&mdashan Amerikaans woman&mdashwas met with resistance by the elite Mexican bullfight critics. In their opinion an American had no business competing in the Plaza, no matter her prowess.

Their antagonism didn't stop her. Ford made her historic debut on August 21. She fought well and was awarded an ear from each of her bulls. She went on to fight at the Plaza Mexico four more times that fall, once against Aparicio&mdashFord in her white suit, Aparicio in chaps. Aparicio was the hometown favorite, Ford the stylish outsider. The critics grudgingly praised Ford for her elegance and courage&mdashand for her skill with the sword.

Ford's fights in the Plaza created a backlash from the matadors and matadors' union, effectively banning women fighters. Ford never fought at the Plaza Mexico again. And none of the other American women fighting at the time ever got their chance there either.

The bookings kept coming, though.

Don Juan finally arranged the long-anticipated showdown between Ford and McCormick in Tijuana. But while watching from the stands, he suffered a heart attack. His doctors sent him to Acapulco to recuperate. A year later he died unexpectedly. Ford was devastated.

More hardship would come. Ford was gored badly for the first time in her career. Her hand was ripped open by a bull's horn and she recalls waiting on the operating table, seeing "little white strands twitching inside my hand." The nurse told her they were her tendons, slipping in and out of her flesh because they had been severed by the horn. She lost the full range of motion in three of her fingers permanently.

After the goring, she became romantically involved with, and then was stalked by, the son of the doctor who operated on her hand. Ford no longer had Don Juan to protect her against such threats. She hired a friend as pistolero and lent him the use of a gun she'd inherited from Don Juan.

By 1958, Ford's busy calendar had begun to take a physical toll. She'd been training six hours a day for half a decade&mdashand fighting as often as she could get bookings. Between the physical strain and the struggles in her personal life (she was divorcing), she decided it was time to return to New York and make another go at stage acting. Then Hollywood intervened.

MGM was considering doing a biopic about her career and brought her to Los Angeles to meet with writers. One of them was John Meston, who'd co-created the radio series Gunsmoke, soon to become the long-running television series. Meston and Ford carried on a whirlwind romance and were married in Las Vegas after Ford agreed to Meston's stipulation that she cease risking her life in arenas. It was an easy promise to make&mdashshe was finished with bullfighting anyway.

Eventually Ford reinvented herself again, this time as a film and television actress, and made regular appearances, usually as a dark-haired temptress, on network dramas such as L.A. Law en Cheers. Her most recent feature film was the indie comedy Valley of the Sun (2011). She continues to act, mostly doing voiceover for animation.

When Ford reflects about her bullfight career now, she emphasizes her sense of accomplishment above all else. "I look back now and I think, I did daardie. But I never thought about grace and elegance and beauty when I was in the ring. I thought like a bullfighter."

Fortunato Salazar is a Los Angeles-based writer whose most recent writing about bullfighters appears in Amtrak's Die Nasionale.

Motion Graphics: Crystal Law

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