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The current First Family of the United States, the Obama family, whose members include Michelle, Sasha, Barack, and Malia. The mother of the first lady, Marian Shields Robinson is not shown.

The First Family of the United States consists of the President of the United States, the First Lady of the United States, and any of their children. The First Family is accorded Secret Service protection while the president occupies the Office. Amenities of the presidency, including the use of Air Force One, Marine One, Cadillac One, the White House, and Camp David, are at the full disposal and use by the First Family.

Contents

Obama Family, 2009–present

The Obama family

The Obama family is the current First Family of the United States, beginning on January 20, 2009. The First Family consists of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, First Daughters Malia Ann and Natasha (Sasha), and Barack Obama's mother-in-law Marian Shields Robinson. The Obamas' dog, Bo, is often referred to as the First Puppy.[1]

Bush Family, 2001–2009

The Bush family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009 consisted of President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and First Daughters Barbara and Jenna Bush. Barbara and Jenna, fraternal twins, were also the nation's First Granddaughters, from January 20, 1989-January 20, 1993. Barbara and Jenna were eight years old at the time of George H. W. Bush, their grandfather's, inauguration and twelve years old when he left office. The twins were both First Daughters of Texas from 1995, when they were fourteen, to 2001, when they were nineteen. Barbara and Jenna did not live in the White house, as both attended college while their father was President. Jenna was married on May 10, 2008.[2]

Clinton Family, 1993–2001

The Clinton family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001, consisted of President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton, and First Daughter Chelsea Clinton. Bill Clinton and his family moved into the White House on January 20, 1993. President Clinton regularly hosted friends at the White House and made frequent use of Camp David, particularly around Thanksgiving. Hillary was forty-five years old in 1993 when her husband was inaugurated and she became the First Lady of the United States. She drew heated criticism for expanding the traditional role of First Lady, in such ways as having offices in the West Wing (she remains the only First Lady to have done this). Chelsea was born a First Daughter of Arkansas. Until she left the White House in 2001, the two-year period between her father's first and second terms as governor would be the only time when she did not have an official title. She was thirteen years old on January 20, 1993, when she became the First Daughter of the United States. She had a bedroom in the back of the White House and was known to routinely have sleepovers on the third floor of the Mansion.

Bush Family, 1989–1993

The Bush family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 1993, consisted of President George H. W. Bush; First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush; First Sons George W., Jeb, Neil, and Marvin Bush; First Daughter Dorothy Bush (later Dorothy Bush Koch); and, arguably, First Grandsons George, Jeb Jr., Pierce, and Walker Bush; and First Granddaughters Barbara, Jenna, Noelle, Lauren, Ashley, and Dorothy Bush. George Bush liked entertaining his grandchildren in the White House Family Quarters, and made frequent use of the White House Movie Theatre. The President would put some slippers on with his business suit and sneak off to watch a flick with the First Lady and one of the children. More than many other First Ladies, Barbara Bush is said to have loved life in the White House.

George W. Bush was aged forty-three to forty-seven at the time that his father was President, and he never actually lived in the White House. He did, however, make frequent visits to the Executive Mansion with his wife and daughters. Mr. Bush worked with his father in the 1988 presidential campaign. In April 1989, just three months after his father took office, the First Son acquired a large share in the Texas Rangers baseball franchise and became managing general partner of the team. Mr. Bush also helped in his father's reelection campaign in 1992, but George H. W. Bush was defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton, and Bush ceased to be First Son on January 20, 1993. In 2001, George W. Bush became the 43 president.

Jeb Bush was aged thirty-five to thirty-nine when his father lived in the White House. Jeb Bush was a frequent visitor to the Executive Mansion, though not so much as his brother George. During much of his father's presidency, Jeb was involved in the IntrAmerica Investment Corporation in Miami, Florida, netting extensive real-estate profits for Cuban immigrant and self-made millionaire Armando Codina. The First Son soon became a partner in the firm, and received over 40% of its profits.

Neil Bush celebrated his thirty-fourth birthday just two days after his father became the 41st President of the United States. During his father's four-year presidency, Neil Bush was on the Board of Directors of Silverado Savings and Loan. As the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s escalated during the first Bush presidency, Neil found himself implicated in Silverado's financial failure, which cost the economy $1 billion. In the end, Neil was not indicted, but was fined $60,000.00 and forbidden to take part in any banking activity in the future. The scandal made Bush one of the most controversial of the recent First Children.

Marvin Bush was aged thirty-two to thirty-six during his father's presidency, and he never actually lived in the White House. Mr. Bush was involved in non-controversial business dealings during his father's presidency. He tended to enjoy visiting the Bush Compound more than he did the White House itself.

Dorothy Bush was aged thirty to thirty-four during her father's presidency. She became the sole First Daughter of the United States on January 20, 1989, and, like her successor, was kept largely out of the spotlight and did not generate much scandal. She and her two children were insistent on maintaining a private life. They spent a good deal of time at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

George P. Bush was aged twelve to sixteen when his grandfather was President. During this time, Bush attended the same Miami high school as Enrique Iglesias. As a half-Mexican, Bush was one of the few members of any First Family to be Hispanic. Jeb Bush, Jr. was only five years old when he became First Grandson on January 20, 1989. He was nine years old when his grandfather left office on January 20, 1993. During this time, Jeb, Jr. attended a private elementary school in Miami, Florida. He was one of the few Hispanic First Family members. Noelle was aged eleven to fifteen when her grandfather was President. She remained mostly out of the public eye during this time, when she was attending private middle and high schools. She was also one of the few Hispanic First Family members. Lauren was aged four to eight years old during her grandfather's presidency. During this time, Lauren attended the elite Houston-area Kinkaid school. She ceased to be First Daughter on January 20, 1993.

Reagan Family, 1981–1989

The Reagan family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989 consisted of President Ronald Reagan, children Maureen Reagan and Michael Reagan from his first wife Jane Wyman, and Patti Davis and Ron Reagan from second wife Nancy Reagan. All the children were adults during the presidency, with the youngest, Ron Reagan in his twenties when his father became president.

Carter Family, 1977–1981

The Carter family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981 consisted of President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, First Daughter Amy Lynn Carter, and three First Sons (all of them grown). Miss Carter, born on October 19, 1967, was the First Daughter of Georgia from 1971-1975, when she was aged three to seven years old. In 1977, at the age of nine, Miss Carter became the sole First Daughter of the United States. She was the only true child to occupy the White House since First Daughter Caroline Kennedy and First Son John F. Kennedy, Jr. roamed the Mansion's halls between 1961 and 1963. Miss Carter enjoyed having sleepovers in a tree house on the South Lawn--always supervised by the Secret Service, of course. Her cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, received notable fame during this time. The First Lady spent much of her tenure as an advocate for the rights of the mentally ill. She was heartbroken by her husband's 1980 defeat. First Daughter Amy, however, is said to have pined for her native Georgia and been uncomfortable with the media attention focused on her. She was happy to leave the White House on January 20, 1981. She was thirteen years old at the time.

Ford Family, 1974–1977

The Ford family

First Lady Betty Ford was known for her often-unintentional outspokenness, which once manifested itself in a remark to a reporter where she compared young people's use of marijuana to her generation's consumption of beer.[3]

First Daughter Susan Ford was a teenage high school student during her time in the White House. Her school's Senior Prom was held in the Mansion[4]

The President and Mrs. Ford also had three other children, First Sons Michael, John ("Jack"), and Steve, but only the First Daughter was a minor during her father's presidency.

Nixon Family, 1969–1974

The Nixon family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974 consisted of President Richard Nixon, his wife Pat Nixon, their two daughters Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower (who married David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower).

To many, Pat Nixon was seen as an example of the "American Dream".[5] Columnist Robert Thompson commented that Pat was an ideal balance for the 1970s, writing that she proved that "women can play a vital role in world affairs" while still retaining a "feminine manner".[5]

One of the most thrilling occurrences during Nixon's tenure was the marriage of his daughter Tricia. The First Daughter and Edward Cox were wed in a fairytale ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 12, 1971. The wedding was covered by many television news networks.[6]

Kennedy Family, 1961–1963

The Kennedy family

The First Family of the United States from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963 consisted of President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline Kennedy, their children Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (who was born prematurely and died shortly after birth). The president's brother, Robert F. Kennedy, was the Attorney General of the United States. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Jacqueline Kennedy was a fashion icon during her tenure in the White House. Many have since followed in her footsteps. In 1961, the year her husband entered the White House, Mrs. Kennedy began the renovation of the Mansion and in February 1962, she gave a televised tour to show the nation. Much of her work can still be seen today.

Roosevelt Family, 1901–1909

The Roosevelt family

The First Family of the United States from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909 consisted of President Theodore Roosevelt, his wife Edith Roosevelt, their children Theodore Roosevelt Jr.. Kermit Roosevelt, Ethel Roosevelt Derby, Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, and Quentin Roosevelt. Another daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, was another child from his previous marriage to Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt who died due to childbirth complications and the disease known as Bright's disease.

Among many of President Roosevelt's children, Quentin, his youngest son and favorite child, was a member of the "White House gang" with his childhood friends, such as Charlie Taft. Among these childhood pursuits, a baseball diamond was carved on the South Lawn without permission, official presidential portraits in the residence were defaced with spitballs, and snowballs were thrown from the White House roof at unsuspecting Secret Service agents below.

During Theodore Roosevelt's presidency, the White House interiors, under the direction of First Lady Edith Roosevelt, were renovated at a cost of $475,000. In 1906, President Roosevelt's oldest daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, was married to Nicholas Longworth inside the White House.

Theodore Roosevelt's fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, would become the 32nd President of the United States in 1933.

Garfield Family, 1881

The Garfield family

The First Family of the United States from March 4, 1881 to September 19, 1881 consisted of President James Garfield, First Lady Lucretia Garfield, their children Eliza Arbella, Harry Augustus, James Rudolph, Mary, Irvin, Abram, and Edward.

With the election of 1880 over and the new First Family settled into the White House, James Garfield's presidency was short-lived when he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. President Garfield would die on September 19, 1881 due to blood poisoning from the bullet wound and by complications brought on by pneumonia.

Grant Family, 1869–1877

The Grant family

The First Family of the United States from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877 consisted of President Ulysses S. Grant, First Lady Julia Grant, and their children, Jesse Root Grant, Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., Nellie Grant, Frederick Dent Grant.

Lincoln Family, 1861–1865

Abraham Lincoln had four children from his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, of whom only Robert Todd Lincoln survived into adulthood. The others were Edward (Eddie) Baker Lincoln (1846-1850), William (Willie) Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862) and Thomas (Tad) Lincoln (1853-1871).

Washington Family, 1789–1797

The Washington family

George Washington was married to Martha Washington. He did not have any children of his own, but adopted Martha's children John (Jack) Parke Custis (1754-1781) and Martha "Patsy" Parke Custis (1756-1773), and raised her two youngest grandchildren, Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis and George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 - October 10, 1857).

See also

References

  1. ^ Kantor, Jodi (November 6, 2008). "As first-family-to-be, the Obamas seek a balance". International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/06/america/family.php. Retrieved January 28, 2008.  
  2. ^ Henry and Jenna Hager photo, White House Press Release last accessed May 11, 2008
  3. ^ American President: An Online Reference Resource, American President: Elizabeth "Betty" Ford, retrieved 2009-01-17.
  4. ^ The White House Historical Association > Classroom
  5. ^ a b Anthony, Carl Sferrazza (1991). First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents' Wives and Their Power; 1961-1990 (Volume II). New York: William Morrow and Co.. p. 201.  
  6. ^ Tricia Nixon Wedding CBS News broadcast from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive
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