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Symbols of Patriotism

Symbols of Patriotism

Laurence L. Cook 

ISBN 978-0-918339-84-3 -  Trade- Paper -  6 x 9, 160 pages - Acid Free Paper - Index - $19.95 

Symbols of Patriotism is the story of the evolving role of First Lady of the United States as seen through the actions of the twelve women profiled in this book. These women served without pay and often without recognition of their contributions, yet their service has been invaluable not only to the advancement of the Office of the First Lady but often to the smooth functioning of the executive branch of government.

Unbeknownst to everyone except perhaps Martha Washington, the position of First Lady began on April 30, 1789, when George Washington took the oath of office to become the first President of the United States. Upon completion of taking the oath of office, George was president, but there was no title given to Martha. Out of respect for her position as the wife of the president, she soon became known as "Lady Washington". Despite not having an executive mansion in Washington, D.C., Lady Washington began the traditional role of hostess for official events both in New York City and Philadelphia. The title of First Lady would not be used for more than fifty years after George Washington left office, and even then, it was not commonly used for another thirty-five-plus years. For almost 100 years, the president's wife was referred to by a variety of names ranging from her first name to "Mrs. President".   

Along with no title, there was also no job description or salary. Although First Ladies now have an official office, staff, and budge, no official job description and no salary remains the case. The sustained lack of formal objectives, boundaries, and function for a First Lady has allowed the wives of presidents to customize the duties of the position to best serve the nation during their tenure, and to best fit their individual skills and interests.

The women in this book have worked to preserve the history of the White House, assisted their husbands in a variety of ways, and taken on causes that benefited the entire nation. America's First Ladies are glowing symbols of patriotism, who have served their country with pride and resourcefulness.

About the Author

Laurence Cook is a nationally-recognized presidential historian, specializing in the personal side of the presidency. He is a lifelong collector of presidential memorabilia and has a museum-quality collection which exceeds 8,000 pieces. He is the author of Presidential Coincidences, Amazing Facts, and Collectibles. He has lectured at numerous events and historic sites, including programs for the National Park Service. At his presentations, he engages the audience with his vast knowledge and display of historic presidential artifacts.

The author has worked on several projects with President Jimmy Carter and has been a historical memorabilia consultant for the former President. He has developed a close friendship with the president, as well as making several appearances with him, including an historic interview. He has appeared in various media outlets including: CSPAN, History TV, and US News and World Report, as well as local television, newspaper, and radio stations around the country. He is an active member of the American Historical Association and Luzerne County Historical Society. Recently, he was appointed to the Board of Directors for the future National First Families Library and Museum in Marshfield, Missouri.

What they're saying about Symbols of Patriotism

Laurence L Cook is a presidential historian, he is a collector of rare presidential memorabilia, a prolific speaker, and an author... Symbols of Patriotism: First Ladies and the Daughters of the American Revolution is fascinating, entertaining, and informative.

  -   Louis L. Picone in Our America Magazine

 Larry Cook has an uncanny ability to capture and humanize history in a way we can all understand. Knowing and loving Mamie Doud Eisenhower as I did, I was especially touched and gratified of his recount of her. She was devoted to her country, loved the preservation of our Country's heritage, as in DAR, and championed the human heart, figuratively and literally. Thank you Larry for this wonderful illustration of her.

  -   Mary Jean Eisenhower

Larry and I are always looking for ways to get into trouble together. He's a great partner in that he approaches every subject, indeed, history in general, with curiosity, diligence and respect. He's a class act and I trust him with my family's legacy.

  -  Clifton Truman Daniel


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