By Mary N. DiZazzo

First Ladies

Ciao bella,

In just a few days we will have a new First Lady in the White House. Again history will be made.

Our First Lady is a representative of our country in beauty, grace, style, tradition and champions of causes. So here are some interesting facts on past First Ladies I hope you enjoy.

MARTHA WASHINGTON (1789-1797)—our very First Lady was quoted in a written letter to her niece “many younger and gayer women would be extremely pleased” in her place; she would “much rather be at home.” Abigail Adams (also a First Lady and a fascinating women) described her as “one of those unassuming characters which create Love and Esteem.”

When DOLLEY PAYNE MADISON (1809-1817) married James Madison he was seventeen years her senior. Dolley’s social graces made her famous. She was blessed with a desire to please and a willingness to be pleased. Her gracious tact soothed many a quarrel from hostile statesmen, warrior chiefs from the west to flustered children. Her manners, said a contemporary, “would disarm envy itself.”

ELIZABETH KORTRIGHT MONROE (1817-1825) was described by one of her guests at Monroes’ last levee, on New Years Day in 1825 as “regal looking.” “Her dress was a superb black velvet; neck and arms bare and beautifully formed; her hair in puffs and dressed high on the head and ornamented with white ostrich plumes; around her neck an elegant pearl necklace. Though no longer younger she is still a very handsome women.”

FRANCES FOLSOM CLEVELAND (1893-1897) She was the first bride of a President to be married in the White House and earned nation wide respect as a charming hostess, a loyal wife, and a capable mother. It was said that an editor of a newspaper decided to broadcast that “Mrs. Cleveland has decided to abolish the bustle.” Naturally Mrs. Cleveland didn’t consider the statement a worthwhile contradiction. So she immediately ordered a gown with out a bustle!!!

EDITH KERMIT CAROW ROOSEVELT (1901-1909) An absolutely stunning woman with assured, cultivated taste she approved decor for a renovated White House in 1902. There she designed a new ground-floor corridor displaying likenesses of “all the ladies—including myself.” Her firmness and prudent advice earned a deep respect from her exuberant husband. To this day the corridor has served as a gallery for portraits of recent First Ladies.

This column reflects just a small portion of the illustrious and interesting lives these ladies led. Many were widowed or some divorced before marrying their soon to be Presidents. Many lost children at birth or passed at a young age. The travesties and glamour of any public position is something worth telling.

Buona giornata, Felice Anno Nuovo, and God bless the United States of America!

--Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull

Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or