First Ladies have been social influencers long before there was a tech-y name for it. Often independent of their husbands, with and without the internet, their work advances American ideals and serves the Nation in perpetuity.
John and Abigail Adams were the first First Family to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home. Unfinished when they arrived Mrs.Adams converted the East Room of the White House into an unconventional laundry center. She used the rest of the White House as her domain to advocate for woman’s rights and the abolition of slavery . She was also in favor of setting limits on the press, who she felt treated her husband President John Adams and son President John Quincy Adams unjustly.
Although John Adams served only one term as President, First Lady Abigail Adams remained a social influencer throughout her lifetime. She corresponded eloquently and ofter with leaders in government and the press on behalf of all Americans.
First Lady Melania Trump also uses 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as her domain to influence social policy. Converting the White House Rose Garden into a press room she launched “Be Best” as a comprehensive service organization dedicated to all children. Her wide lens approach to child welfare focuses on their emotional, social and physical needs. Suggesting government officials, leaders in tech, and medical professionals find unconventional ways to invest in kids, she encourages children to see themselves as future politicians, entrepreneurs and heroes.
As an abstract the ambitious plan sounded grand, but Mrs.Trump showed how to personalize her ‘Be Best’ campaign in a fun way by welcoming the children of her Secret Service detail to be the first to play in the newly-restored White House Bowling alley. Originally installed in 1947 as a birthday gift for President Truman the lanes have been moved around the White House often. Last updated during the Clinton administration Mrs.Trump decided last year it was time to refresh the historic alley.
Underwritten by the Bowling Association of America the restoration project included new mechanics and a cozy interior. Historically, the lane has been used by First Families as a place to relax and entertain guests casually. It’s redesign will continue that tradition.
First Ladies serve the Nation’s legacy in both monumental and modest ways. Although President Trump second term is presently being contested and his policies may be overturned by future residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, First Lady Melania Trump’s work on half of children is evergreen. Like Abigail Adams, Melania Trump uses the White House to influence American social ideals that will reach beyond her husband’s administration and inspire generations of Americans to come. #BeBest
Official White House Photo Credits : Andrea Hanks