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Harriet Lane

Plunging necklines! Bachelor President! Bralettes! Cocaine! These are just a few of the wonderful things we talk about as we finish up First Ladies month. Debbi brings us the fantastic story of First Lady Harriet Lane who was the niece to the 15th President, James Buchanan and the first to have the official title of “First Lady.”

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Show Notes & Extras

  • Gal-pals are Dr. Leah Leach, Katie Harris, Bonnie Fillenwarth and Debbi Sponsler. The gals have already talked about Michelle Obama & Florence Harding & Edith Wilson.
  • Get-to-know-you question – if you were First Lady what would your platform be?
  • Tangents of bralettes and cocaine
  • Debbi’s 1 Cool First Lady is Harriet Lane
  • First to have the official title of First Lady (First time in print anyway)
  • Lots of death in her early life
  • Her uncle James Buchanan always referred to her as “My adopted daughter”
  • Hostess with the most-ess. Picture of her at age 15.
Harriet Lane at age 15, along with James Buchanan, First Lady Sarah Polk, President James Polk, and former First Lady Dolley Madison via
  • Switching schools and test of faith
  • Ambassador to England
  • President Buchanan was the last prez before the Civil War and not remembered well regard in history
James Buchanan (1791 - 1868) *oil on canvas  *155.9 x 119.7cm  *1859
Presidential Portrait of James Buchanan. Artist George Peter Alexander Healy. (National Portrait Gallery)
  • First gay president?
  • Was his lover William Rufus DeVane King?
  • The Pretty Woman situation
  • A trendsetter with the plunge!
  • Concert nights at the White House
  • Navy and Coast Guard ships named after her
  • Harriet’s causes
  • Famous Visits – Prince Albert in a can joke!
Via the visit of Prince Albert to Mount Vernon
Harriet Lane Johnson (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Portrait Galley)

Podcast Cool Thing Squares (2)


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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