The First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE) hosted a virtual program on the far-reaching achievements of Pat Nixon. The program “Pat Nixon: Unheralded First Lady” was hosted by FLARE Vice President Nancy Kegan Smith and featured presentations from three women who offered unique insights into the often-overshadowed First Lady.

Linda Hobgood, a member of First Lady Pat Nixon’s staff, shared firsthand experiences of Mrs. Nixon’s warmth and intentionality with people. She recalled favorite memories of Mrs. Nixon and described how she embodied a “distinctly genuine grace and generosity of spirit” that she shared with everyone she met.

Dr. Mary Brennan, author of Pat Nixon: Embattled First Lady, presented on Pat Nixon’s subconscious agenda of making government accessible to everyone. Her supporting examples were the way Pat Nixon performed duties of foreign travel and during her White House restoration project. The First Lady always remembered that people are part of the government and made efforts to include the excluded. 

Historian and Pat Nixon Biographer Heath Hardage Lee presented on the behind the scenes efforts of Pat Nixon to advance women’s equality. She shared how the First Lady’s frontier upbringing contributed to her conviction that women can do anything they set their minds to. During her time in the White House, she achieved many firsts for a First Lady and advocated for women to be appointed in government positions—laying  groundwork that continues to be built upon today.

Full of many personal anecdotes and inspirational accomplishments, the panel shines light on the unheralded career of one of America’s “most admired women.” 

View the presentation here: