First Lady Dr. Jill Biden is the oldest First Lady to enter the White House, with Barbara Bush at age 63 the oldest First Lady until 2021. And today, June 3, is her 71st Birthday!
Dr. Jill Biden adds dignity, intelligence, compassion, and empathy to the First Ladyship, just as her husband, President Joe Biden, does to the Presidency.
She is the first First Lady to continue to work while First Lady, as she is a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College since 2009, after having been an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical and Community College for fifteen years, and before that, an English and reading instructor at the high school level for thirteen years. So she has taught for more than 40 years, an amazing record of accomplishment.
She has a bachelors degree, two masters degrees, and a doctorate in education, with the bachelors and doctorate from the University of Delaware.
She has had more years of experience high in government, with only Barbara Bush and Pat Nixon having been both Second Lady and First Lady before her in modern times for an extended period of years.
The position of “First Lady” has become a role of growing significance in the past century since The New Deal years of Franklin D. Roosevelt, with all scholars agreed upon that Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest serving First Lady (1933-1945), was by far the most active and engaged of all First Ladies, and setting a standard for the century since the Great Depression.
We have had 13 First Ladies since Eleanor Roosevelt.
If one were to rank First Ladies in significance after Eleanor Roosevelt, the list, while debatable, would likely be in the following order:
Lady Bird Johnson
And now, we have Dr. Jill Biden about to become First Lady, and assuredly would be high on the list, based on her past activities as “Second Lady” and her credentials as an educator, and a very supportive wife and mother.
One thing is certain, that the First Lady position, which has been in total collapse under Melania Trump, will be restored with dignity under Dr. Jill Biden, just as Joe Biden will restore the dignity of the Presidency, which has been in total collapse under Donald Trump!
A Siena College poll has ranked First Ladies and their historic role as we celebrate Presidents Day.
The highest ranking in order are:
Lady Bird Johnson
Laura Bush, Pat Nixon, Mamie Eisenhower, and Bess Truman were all judged to have played an inadequate role as First Lady, although many First Ladies stayed in the background, and only since the 1960s has the role expanded, with the earlier major exception of Eleanor Roosevelt, who stands way above the rest of the list.
Surprisingly, Mary Todd Lincoln, Lucy Hayes, Frances Cleveland, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, Grace Coolidge, and Barbara Bush were not listed as among the most influential, while one could argue that at least Edith Bolling Galt WIlson and Barbara Bush belonged in the top ten, more so than Martha Washington and Dolley Madison.