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Welcoming the First Ladies to Mount Vernon

Nearly every United States president has paid a visit to George Washington's home. But especially in recent years, Mount Vernon has welcomed many First Ladies, too.

First Lady Melania Trump

February 2017

First Lady Melania Trump and Karen Pence, the Second Lady of the United States, visited the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

During the visit, the ladies were greeted by Mount Vernon's president Curt Viebranz and Vice Regent Gail Berry West. The FLOTUS delivered remarks and dined with the governors' spouses in the Library's Rubenstein Hall.

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First Lady Melania Trump in the Washington Library (MVLA)

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson, visited the Mount Vernon estate in early August 2009, following in the footsteps of presidential family members who have paid their respects to George Washington over a period of some 200 years.

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First Lady Laura Bush


First Lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush traveled to Mount Vernon on the federal holiday commemorating George Washington's 275th birthday.

Comparatively speaking, Mrs. Bush is a "Mount Vernon regular." When the Bush family lived in Northern Virginia in the late 1980s, Mrs. Bush and her daughters brought out-of-town friends to the estate "five or six times."

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The First Family celebrates George Washington's 275th Birthday (MVLA)

First Lady Hillary Clinton

February 1999

First Lady Hillary Clinton hosted a luncheon at Mount Vernon for the spouses of governors who had come to Washington D.C. for the annual meeting of the National Governors’ Association.

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First Lady of the United States (1993-2001) with Mount Vernon President Jim Reese (MVLA)

In Memory of James C. Rees (1952 - 2014)

Guided by Rees’ vision, Mount Vernon expanded its mission to educate the wider public about the singular leadership and unparalleled legacies of our nation’s first and greatest president. During his 1994-2012 term, Rees oversaw fundraising efforts totaling more than a quarter billion dollars for projects designed to bring George Washington back into the national spotlight.

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First Lady Barbara Bush

June 1992

First Lady Barbara Bush accompanied Naina Yeltsin, wife of Russian president Boris Yeltsin, during the Yeltsins' official state visit to Washington on June 17, 1992.

While viewing the Washington bedroom, Mrs. Yeltsin was particularly interested to learn that it was Martha Washington, not her husband, who ordered the extra-long bed. And in the study, after Miss Meadows pointed out the table on which George and Martha Washington had their wedding breakfast.

Mrs. Bush remarked to Mrs. Yeltsin "I read in the paper that when you were married, you didn't have a table." Mrs. Yeltsin nodded, and Mrs. Bush added, "They were lucky."

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First Lady Barbara Bush and Naina Yeltsin (MVLA)

First Lady Rosalynn Carter

September 1977

First Lady Rosalyn Carter accompanied a group of wives of Latin American dignitaries to Mount Vernon on September 8, 1977. The ladies and their husbands were in Washington for the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty.

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First Lady of the United States (1977-1981) (MVLA)

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy

1961 and 1962

President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon in Honor of Muhammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan.  It was Jacqueline Kennedy's idea to host the dinner at Mount Vernon. The heads of state and guests dined under a tent overlooking the Potomac, in the first and only state dinner to take place outside of Washington, DC.

Mr. President, we feel a special satisfaction because you are our guest tonight and because we feel that what Mount Vernon stands for is understood by you. Mount Vernon means to us not merely a beautiful home, but it also is, we hope, the symbol of the United States--in the past, the present, and we hope the future.

John F. Kennedy's Toast to President Ayub Khan of Pakistan

In addition to her much-heralded state dinner at Mount Vernon for Pakistani President Ayub Khan in 1961, she also came out to the estate the following year, just to have a peaceful place to ride her horse.

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President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy with President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan and his daughter, Begum Nasir Akhtar Aurangzeb (MVLA)

Martha Washington, The First First Lady

Just as her husband realized that his every action might set a precedent for future presidents, so was Martha Washington aware that her behavior as first lady would become the template for the wives of future chief executives.

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First Lady Claudia Johnson

"Lady Bird" Johnson came to Mount Vernon on several occasions as First Lady, and at least once prior to that.

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First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Mrs. Roosevelt came out to Mount Vernon many times during her husband's presidency. One highlight was her 1939 visit with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

First Lady Lou Henry Hoover

President Herbert Hoover and Mrs. Hoover commemorated Washington’s birthday in 1930, motoring down and placing a wreath in the Tomb.

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First Lady Edith Roosevelt

During the last year of President Theodore Roosevelt's term, his youngest son, Quentin, attended school near Alexandria, Virginia. His mother, Edith planned various excursions for him to places of historic interest, including Mount Vernon.

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First Lady Ida McKinley

President and Mrs. McKinley visited Mount Vernon 1898. It distressed all present to note the frail physique of Mrs. McKinley who was actually carried from room to room, but withal was cheerfully intent on seeing everything of interest.

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First Lady Caroline Harrison

President and Mrs. Harrison accepted the invitation of the Regents and Vice-regents of Mount Vernon to attend the Council of the Mount Vernon Association in 1890, and appeared to enjoy greatly the entertainment tendered them.

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First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln came to Mount Vernon with some friends on March 26, 1861. She and her guests were given a tour by Superintendent Upton Herbert, and enjoyed lunch of bread, butter, and ham.

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First Lady Sarah Polk

James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States, came to Mount Vernon with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk, and former First Lady, Dolley Payne Madison in June 1845.

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First Lady Dolley Madison

Madison was invited to visit Mount Vernon in 1805, prior to becoming First Lady, but was unable to go. She later did go to Mount Vernon in 1845, after her time as First Lady.

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First Lady Abigail Adams

The second First Lady of the United States visited with Martha Washington in early 1800 after George Washington’s death in December 1799.

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First Lady Martha Washington

George and Martha Washington were married on January 6, 1759. They moved to his family home, Mount Vernon, several months later.

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