8 October 1845 Lucy Mack Smith was the first woman to speak in a conference general session on October 8, 1845. She spoke from 1 Timothy 2:12–14 about the importance of women keeping their minds and hearts open to the teachings of God's Spirit through his prophet.
She had been invited to speak by Eliza R. Snow, who at that time was the only other female teacher in the church. Lucy Mack Smith was the second wife of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). They married in 1827 when he was 24 years old and she was 19. Together they had nine children, five of whom lived past infancy. In 1844, Joseph Smith was murdered by an angry mob in Illinois. After his death, Lucy Mack Smith moved her family to Kirtland, Ohio, where she hoped to continue her husband's work. However, after two years there she too was killed by an angry mob. Her body was taken to Missouri for burial. Upon her death, Eliza R. Snow took charge of the families of both Lucy and Joseph Smith.
As the wife of the 31st President, Herbert Hoover, Lou Henry Hoover served as First Lady from 1929 until 1933. She was the first First Lady to make frequent statewide radio broadcasts, and she was an enthusiastic Chinese linguist and geology study.
These days, we usually think of the First Lady as being behind the scenes and out of public view, but that wasn't always the case. Since the beginning of the 20th century, every U.S. President has had a First Lady who has been very active in politics and policy making during their tenure in office. Some have been more visible than others, but all have had a role to play in shaping national affairs.
First ladies have often taken on causes close to their hearts. When Woodrow Wilson became president in 1913, he brought with him a reputation for being sickly and unable to perform his duties. His wife, Ellen, decided to change this image by taking up exercise and gardening. She also created a charity to help children get access to education.
The first lady's role has evolved over time. Today, they tend to focus on issues such as healthy living, women's rights, and literacy programs. They may also have a role in appointing officials to government positions or committees. However, not all first ladies take an active role in policy making; some prefer to leave this task to their husbands.
On July 9, 1848, five ladies gathered at the house of Jane and Richard Hunt in Waterloo, New York. That day, Jane Hunt was joined by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, and Mary Ann M'Clintock in arranging the first women's rights conference. The event was planned as a protest against the exclusion of women from the Buffalo Convention.
The aim of the meeting was to draw up a petition to be delivered to the men who ran the government affairs. They believed that giving this petition to them would cause them to recognize the need for including women in the political process.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was chosen to give the opening address at the conference. She began by saying that they had come together because "our silence does not represent our opinions." Then she went on to explain that their goal was to get the right to vote. Before they could vote, they needed equal treatment in the constitution. The only way to achieve this was through male action. No woman should be denied any right simply because she is a woman.
After Stanton spoke, other attendees gave speeches in support of women's rights. At the end of the day, the participants decided to continue their efforts by writing letters to politicians and newspaper editors. They hoped this letter writing campaign would help get them what they wanted: equality under the law.
Anne Newport, Royall First female journalist in the United States; first woman to interview a president; publisher and editor for Paul Pry (1831-1836) and The Huntress (1836-54) in Washington, D.C. Anne Newport was born on April 5, 1769 in Middletown, Connecticut. Her father was a wealthy merchant who owned much land. When she was eleven years old, her family moved to Philadelphia where she lived with her parents and four older brothers. She attended the prestigious Walnut Street School for Girls and then worked as an apprentice in a printing office before becoming one of the first women reporters when she traveled to West Point to cover the life of General George Washington for the Daily Advertiser in 1802. She returned home after only a few months and married William Henry Newport, a wealthy young lawyer, but the marriage did not last long because he had many affairs with other women. Anne went back to reporting and this time she traveled with her husband to his posts as U.S. Minister to Russia and Mexico. When her son was born in 1809, she stopped writing about current events and focused on personal stories about children, mothers, and wives. In 1816, she covered the trial of James Monroe for the Daily National Intelligencer. After her husband was appointed judge by President Monroe, they traveled together to their new post in Virginia.