Barbara Bush was the only woman besides Abigail Adams to be both a wife and a mother to a president of the United States. She was born in New York City on June 8th, 1925. In 1945, she married George H.W Bush, who became Vice President in 1981 and president in 1989, the same year she started the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. In 2001, her son George W. Bush was inaugurated president. On April 17th, 2018, Barbara Bush passed away leaving a legacy behind that will continue for years to come. Here are some facts about the former First Lady that you may or may not have known.
Barbara Bush was born Barbara Pierce on June 8th, 1925, in New York City , as the third child of Pauline and her husband, Marvin Pierce. Her father later became the president of McCall Corporation, the publisher of the popular women’s magazines, ‘Redbook’ and ‘McCall’s.’
Love At First Sight
She met George Herbert Walker Bush, a student at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts during a dance over Christmas break when she was 16. The two began dating and they eventually married in 1945 while George was on leave during his deployment as a naval officer in World War II.
The young couple moved frequently during the initial years of their marriage due to George’s naval career. They were blessed with six children over the next few years, and Barbara settled into a hectic life as a wife and a mother.
As a politician’s wife, she became involved in various charities and Republican women’s groups in Washington, D.C. She followed her husband’s appointment as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She became acquainted with prominent diplomats and developed friendships with them.
As First Lady, Barbara Bush intensified her involvement with literary organizations and served on many literary committees. She supported programs where parents were encouraged to read along with their young children, and stressed the importance of reading aloud to them. She eventually developed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Barbara Bush was very actively involved with charities. When she received the Henry G. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund of $36,000, she gave most of it to her favorite charities.
Barbara Bush received the ‘Award for Greatest Public Service Benefitting the Disadvantaged’ from the Jefferson Awards, in 1995. She was then honored with ‘The Miss America Woman of Achievement Award’ for her work with literacy programs, in 1997.
Because of her love and responsibility towards children, several schools have been named in her honor. The Barbara Bush Library in Harris County, Texas and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, are also named after her.
Barbara Bush was given the nickname of ‘The Enforcer.’ She was the matriarch of the family and told everyone what to do, and made sure it was done.