A few weeks ago a random video popped up on YouTube of Ronald and Nancy Reagan celebrating St. Patrick's Day. I thought it was sweet and started to actually pay attention to the video.
A few minutes in, I realized this was just another case of me admiring a U.S. First Lady.
Being the First Lady of the U.S. is such a unique and important role that can easily be overlooked. I believe it is important to remember that the women that have held this prestigious title never sought it out or ran a campaign for it. Instead, they were put into the position simply because their spouses became the presidents of the United States.
One of the main jobs that comes with being the First Lady is to be the main "hostess" for the White House. Having this title means organizing state dinners, and other White House events such as the Easter Egg Roll and Christmas at the White House.
Aside from this, many First Ladies have taken up certain causes in their time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. First Ladies have played an important role since the beginning of American politics. In fact, one of the things Dolly Madison is best known for is saving the famous portrait of George Washington during the War of 1812.
Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving First Lady, is credited with being a fierce activist for both civil and women's rights. She was known for being outspoken and controversial.
Years later, we would have who many deem to be the greatest FLOTUS, Jackie Kennedy. As First Lady, Mrs. Kennedy was dedicated to preserving White House history. Air Force One even has the notable "Jackie Kennedy blue" emblazoned all over.
Next, let's highlight Nancy Reagan. The admiration the Reagans had for each other never ceases to amaze me. They were so in love, and there was simply no hiding it. Mrs. Reagan started the "Just Say No" campaign that sought to bring awareness to the dangers of drug use. More than anything, Nancy was known for her strong influence on her husband.
Then there were the Bushes. Both Barbara and Laura Bush devoted their time in the White House to childhood literacy. After Hurricane Katrina hit, the Laura Bush Foundation sent money to schools in New Orleans to help them rebuild their libraries.
More recently, Michelle Obama served in the role of U.S. First Lady, where she knocked down barriers. Mrs. Obama's main priority during her tenure was her "Let's Move!" initiative, which sought to reduce childhood obesity. The former First Lady even planted a garden on the White House grounds. Near the end of her husband's administration, some called for Mrs. Obama to run for office.
For the last four years, the First Lady of the U.S. has been Melania Trump, whose elegance and sense of fashion is truly unmatched. Mrs. Trump is only the second foreign-born First Lady. Remarkably, she speaks five languages. Her primary mission throughout her time in this role was the "Be Best" campaign, which aimed to bring awareness to online safety, opioid abuse and general well-being, and is being continued outside of the White House.
Currently, Dr. Jill Biden is serving as America's First Lady. Dr. Biden is still teaching at Northern Virginia Community College while also serving as First Lady. It will be interesting to see what programs the newest First Lady seeks to highlight.
When these women are not working in their official capacity as First Lady, they are playing the role of wife, mom or mentor. Often, it seems there is no greater advocate for the president than the First Lady.
When you are the First Lady, it seems like all eyes are on you. There are many expectations for you to meet, yet there is no rulebook on how things need to be done. Each First Lady has handled her role differently, and perhaps that is what makes it so special.
Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans.