First Ladies Quiz

By: Beth Hendricks

First Ladies Quiz
Image: Wiki Commons by Cecil W. Stoughon

About This Quiz

Have you ever heard the saying, "Behind every great man there's a great woman?" Nothing could more accurately represent the women who are the subject of this quiz.

When we welcome a U.S. president into office — something we've done 45 times now — we inherit his wife as our first lady. It's kind of like the first stages of a dating relationship, right? She doesn't know us. We don't know her. But we learn about each other, and by the end of either a four- or eight-year term, we often find we like them a lot more than their husbands! (Just sayin'.) 

America's first ladies are an eclectic bunch. An Emmy winner, an actress, fashionistas, a Grammy winner and the woman to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude — the creator of Girl Scout cookie sales. Thin Mints ... yum! We see women who started traditions that are continued today, women who created the White House we all recognize today and women who fought for the rights of other women. Now, that's girl power.

So, it's time to see what you know about our first ladies. Field the questions and clues in this FLOTUS opus and match the facts to the faces. Just try not to think about Girl Scout cookies the whole time, we dare you!


Jacqueline Kennedy 2 Which of these first ladies was able to attend the inauguration of her husband's successor after her husband's death?
Martha Washington
Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy stayed by her husband's body after his assassination. Photos of her blood-stained dress have been widely circulated. A few days later, she was present when her husband's successor, Lyndon Johnson, took the oath of office.
Nancy Reagan
Betty Ford

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Eleanor Roosevelt 2 This first lady was something of a writer. Which of these women penned a regular newspaper column?
Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was known to write a column called "My Day," a look into the first lady's life and thoughts on political issues. The column was written up to six days per week and reached newspaper audiences all over the country.
Jacqueline Kennedy
Laura Bush
Michelle Obama

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Nancy Reagan Who was the first first lady to appear in a music video?
Nancy Reagan
A one-time actress who appeared in nearly a dozen feature films, Nancy Reagan was no stranger to being in front of the camera. Her music video appearance was part of her "Just Say No" campaign against drug use.
Michelle Obama
Laura Bush
Rosalynn Carter

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Lady Bird Johnson Have you ever noticed wildflowers blooming in the middle the the highways? You have this first lady to thank. Who was it?
Anna Harrison
Nancy Reagan
Lady Bird Johnson
Lady Bird Johnson, more formally known as Claudia, sought to pretty up miles of highway with some wild-growing and inexpensive flowers. These projects still exist today around the country, a result of her efforts.
Betty Ford

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Martha Washington Which of these first ladies had the honor of being the first to appear on a U.S. postage stamp?
Dolley Madison
Martha Washington
It stands to reason that the nation's "first" first lady should also be the first to grace a U.S. postage stamp. She also holds another distinction — being the last first lady to appear on U.S. paper currency.
Louisa Adams
Nancy Reagan

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Mamie Eisenhower Which of these first ladies so loved the color pink that a specific shade was created — and named — for her?
Barbara Bush
Louise Hoover
Edith Roosevelt
Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Eisenhower was a big fan of the color pink mostly as historians agree because she thought she looked good in the shade. She was also known to decorate the couples' various homes with it, earning her own shade known as "Mamie Pink."

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Melania Trump Which of these first ladies is proficient in at least five languages?
Louisa Adams
Melania Trump
Melania is not the first first lady to have been born outside the borders of the United States. Her worldliness has been to her benefit. She is fluent in five languages, including English, her native Slovenian, German, French and Serbian.
Laura Bush
Michelle Obama

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Abigail Adams Which of these first ladies spoke up for all women during her husband's work on the Declaration of Independence?
Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was quite the political intellect herself. In fact, her political savvy caused many to jokingly call her Mrs. President. Adams was quite vocal during her husband's work on the Declaration of Independence, advocating for women's rights.
Martha Washington
Martha Jefferson
Rachel Jackson

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Mary Todd Lincoln Which of these first ladies couldn't measure up to her husband — at least in terms of height?
Mamie Eisenhower
Barbara Bush
Mary Todd Lincoln
While her husband soared over most people at 6'4", Mary Todd Lincoln was what we'd call petite – a mere 5'2". Being a foot taller than his wife must've made it interesting to sneak a quick peck!
Lady Bird Johnson

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Helen Taft If you've ever had your breath taken away by Washington, D.C.'s, cherry blossom trees, you have this first lady to thank. Who was it?
Elizabeth Monroe
Nancy Reagan
Helen Taft
Helen Taft was so taken by the cherry blossoms on a trip to Japan that one of Japan's political leaders used that as an opportunity to extend some goodwill. Roughly 3,000 saplings were shipped to Washington, D.C., becoming the flowering trees we anticipate each spring.
Hannah Van Buren

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Grace Coolidge Which first lady's love of baseball earned her a prized seat in her favorite team's dugout?
Lou Hoover
Eleanor Roosevelt
Ellen Wilson
Grace Coolidge
Grace Coolidge wasn't one to shy away from her love of sports, even after her husband ascended to the highest office in the land. Her love of the Boston Red Sox earned her a seat in the team's dugout, at their invitation.

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Jacqueline Kennedy No autographs, please! Which first lady was also an Emmy Award winner?
Sarah Polk
Jane Pierce
Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy took television cameras on a tour of the White House in 1962 and earned a bit of entertainment hardware along the way. All of the major networks aired the tour to rave public reviews.
Laura Bush

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Pat Nixon This first lady was a trend-setting fashionista, making headlines as the first president's wife to wear pants in public. Who was this outlaw?
Pat Nixon
Pat Nixon dared to go where no first lady had gone before ... wearing pants in a public setting. Pants have obviously become a hugely popular article of clothing for first ladies since, but perhaps they have Pat to thank for blazing the trail.
Dolly Madison
Barbara Bush
Bess Truman

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Hillary Clinton She is the only first lady to ever be elected to her own public office. Who are we talking about?
Barbara Bush
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has had quite an illustrious political career herself, out of the shadow of her husband, Bill. Clinton has been a United States Senator as well as Secretary of State for President Barack Obama.
Laura Bush
Michelle Obama

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Dolley Madison When British soldiers set fire to the White House in 1814, which of these first ladies sprung into action and saved a rare painting of George Washington?
Frances Cleveland
Ellen Arthur
Dolley Madison
During the War of 1812, troops set fire to the White House, but not before Madison could get her hands on the iconic image of Washington known as "Gilbert Stuart’s Lansdowne Portrait" and spirit it safely away.
Florence Harding

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Edith Wilson Which of these first ladies was a direct descendant of famous Native American Pocahontas?
Julia Grant
Edith Wilson
Pocahontas only had one son, named Thomas, but his lineage was responsible for both first lady Edith Wilson and, later, Nancy Reagan. Wilson's lineage came from her father's side of the family.
Jane Pierce
Mary Todd Lincoln

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Lucy Hayes This first lady must have been a fan of Easter, being credited with having the White House's first Easter egg roll. Who was it?
Pat Nixon
Julia Grant
Lucy Hayes
Lucy Hayes started the White House's Easter egg roll tradition, which continues today. The event was said to have been developed when the grounds at the Capitol complex were ruled off-limits.
Ida McKinley

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Florence Harding Yikes! Which of these first ladies was accused of killing her own husband?
Ida McKinley
Florence Harding
Despite official reports that Warren Harding died of a heart attack, several people alive at the time of his death believed his wife, Florence, had a hand in his untimely demise. Her "weapon" of choice, they asserted, was poison, and that is what did in the 29th president.
Mary Todd Lincoln
Margaret Taylor

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Eleanor Roosevelt Bucket list alert: Which of these first ladies stole away with Amelia Earhart for a flight around Washington, D.C.?
Abigail Fillmore
Caroline Harrison
Eleanor Roosevelt
What happens when a guest of honor and the president's wife go missing? Apparently, nothing, as the two went on a "joy flight" over the Washington and Baltimore area from a plane they picked up where the Pentagon stands today.
Betty Ford

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Frances Cleveland Age is nothing but a number! Which of these women was the nation's youngest first lady?
Betty Ford
Anna Harrison
Frances Cleveland
Frances Cleveland was just 21 years old when her husband, Grover, took office ... for the first time. Frances also holds the distinction of being the only president's wife to give birth to a baby, Esther, in the White House.
Michelle Obama

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Julia Grant Call it women's intuition. Which first lady may have saved her husband's life by declining an invitation to Ford's Theatre?
Julia Grant
Julia Grant either had outstanding intuition or a skeptical nature when she encouraged her husband to decline an invitation to Ford's Theatre the night that President Lincoln was shot and killed.
Eliza Johnson
Lucretia Garfield
Mary Todd Lincoln

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Jane Pierce Which of these first ladies fervently prayed NOT to become the first lady, hoping her husband would lose the election?
Pat Nixon
Jane Pierce
To say Jane Pierce didn't want to take on the duties of first lady would be an understatement. It's believed she prayed daily for her husband, Franklin, to lose his bid for the presidency. Ouch.
Ellen Arthur
Barbara Bush

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Louisa Adams Not only did this first lady raise her own silkworms, but she also used the silk they produced in her sewing. Who was it?
Frances Cleveland
Louisa Adams
Louisa Adams was a woman of interesting hobbies. Between playing the harp and raising silkworms whose silk she used in her own sewing, Adams was never at a loss for something to do while her husband was working.
Abigail Fillmore
Rachel Jackson

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Letitia Tyler This first lady holds the heartbreaking distinction of being the first to die in the White House. Who was it?
Martha Jefferson
Letitia Tyler
Letitia Tyler, the first wife of John Tyler, was also the first first lady to pass away in the White House while her husband was president. She is said to have died of a stroke. President Tyler later remarried.
Grace Coolidge
Sarah Polk

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Sarah Polk They were married AND worked together. Which first lady served as her husband's secretary without taking a paycheck?
Sarah Polk
President James Polk's wife, Sarah, was both his secretary and a trusted political advisor during his stint as America's 11th president. Historians agree that Mrs. Polk was well-liked by the public and an asset to her husband's political career.
Frances Cleveland
Laura Bush
Caroline Harrison

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Eliza Johnson Which of these first ladies brought her farm roots — cows that grazed on the lawn — with her to the White House?
Abigail Adams
Lucy Hayes
Eliza Johnson
Eliza Johnson wasn't about to part with her cows when she took up residence in Washington, D.C. Instead, she opted to take them with her, where they went "out to pasture" in the White House lawn.
Ellen Arthur

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Lucretia Rudolph Garfield In sickness and in health. Which first lady took these vows seriously, caring for her husband for two months after he was shot?
Lucretia Garfield
James Garfield was shot only four months after taking office but did not immediately die. Rather, he lived for roughly 80 days, during which time his wife, Lucretia, was his full-time caregiver.
Mary Todd Lincoln
Martha Washington
Lou Hoover

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Ellen Arthur Which of these "almost" first ladies used to sing with a men's quartet?
Ida McKinley
Nancy Reagan
Ellen Arthur
We call her "almost" because Ellen Arthur never served as the first lady, having died sometime before her husband took office. She did, however, have a lovely singing voice, which she put to use in a variety of ways, including singing with a men's quartet.
Betty Ford

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Caroline Harrison Every first lady selects her own china pattern upon moving into the White House. Who started this tradition?
Caroline Harrison
Caroline Harrison was the first first lady to choose an official state dinner china of her liking, starting a tradition that is carried on more than 125 years later. China patterns used in the White House are available exclusively to current and future administrations.
Mamie Eisenhower
Julia Grant
Pat Nixon

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Bess Truman Which of these first ladies so detested Washington, D.C., that she even sent her laundry back to her home state to be cleaned?
Bess Truman
Bess, the wife of President Harry Truman, was no fan of Washington, D.C., suffering from a clear case of homesickness. Even the Trumans' clothing was shipped back to Missouri to be tended to.
Helen Taft
Hannah Van Buren
Ida McKinley

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Betty Ford A former dancer, which of these former first ladies tapped dance her way out of the White House during her husband's last days?
Rosalynn Carter
Betty Ford
Betty Ford may have bit her tongue, but she made her feelings about leaving the White House known through dance. Reports claim that Ford tap-danced on a conference table in celebration of her husband's final days in office.
Barbara Bush
Elizabeth Monroe

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Rosalynn Carter Which of these first ladies was the first to have her own office in a wing of the White House?
Martha Jefferson
Anna Harrison
Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter was a powerful influence on her husband, Jimmy, during his time in office. Whether the aid of her husband came before or after she secured her own office in the White House is unclear.
Barbara Bush

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Barbara Bush Which of these first ladies was both the wife and the mother of a United States President?
Louise Hoover
Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush served alongside her husband as the first lady during his presidency from 1989 to 1993, and then got a return trip to the White House when her son, George W. Bush, served as president from 2001 to 2009.
Hillary Clinton
Betty Ford

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Michelle Obama She might stand tall in the crowd: Which of these first ladies is tied for tallest of all?
Nancy Reagan
Jacqueline Kennedy
Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is the tallest of all of the first ladies, but she doesn't hold the title by herself. Eleanor Roosevelt was also a tall woman. Both were measured at a height of 5'11".
Lady Bird Johnson

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Laura Bush Which of these first ladies is the only to be the mother of twins?
Julia Grant
Laura Bush
Laura Bush and her husband, George W., are the parents of twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, who was named in honor of her paternal grandfather. The girls spent a good portion of their adolescence living in the White House.
Florence Harding
Rachel Jackson

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Ida McKinley A skilled crocheter, which of these first ladies was said to have created 4,000 pairs of slippers that benefitted charity?
Rosalynn Carter
Ida McKinley
Ida McKinley, the wife of President William McKinley, suffered from a variety of health conditions that kept her confined to her bed. She used her time wisely, though, crocheting 4,000 pairs of slippers that were used to raise money for charitable organizations.
Martha Washington
Martha Jefferson

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Margaret Taylor Which first lady was more likely to be found at the shooting range than hosting a tea?
Abigail Fillmore
Margaret Taylor
Margaret Taylor wasn't much of a party planner or hostess, instead preferring the comfort of shooting firearms outdoors. Taylor detested the formal White House hosting duties so much that she delegated the responsibility to someone else.
Dolley Madison
Florence Harding

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Abigail Fillmore This first lady loved to read! Who is credited with developing the White House's now-bursting-at-the-seams library?
Hannah Van Buren
Abigail Fillmore
Abigail Fillmore, the wife of President Millard Fillmore, helped develop the White House library, a perfect fit for her schoolteacher background. Today, the library boasts millions of volumes.
Martha Jefferson
Jacqueline Kennedy

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Lou Hoover Which of these first ladies served as the president of the Girl Scouts – twice?
Lou Hoover
Lou Hoover, the wife of President Herbert Hoover, was closely linked to the Girl Scouts organization, serving two terms as its national president. No word on whether she liked Thin Mints, though.
Nancy Reagan
Betty Ford
Hillary Clinton

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Lucy Hayes 2 Smart girls rule! Who was the first first lady to earn a college degree?
Lucy Hayes
Lucy Hayes, the wife of President Rutherford Hayes, was the first first lady in the White House to complete a college degree. She earned a liberal arts degree in 1850 from Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College.
Anna Harrison
Grace Coolidge
Mary Todd Lincoln

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