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From the Publisher

From the NFH Team

When we think of March, many of us think of wild and crazy Colorado weather with hopes of spring in the air ñ soon! But March is also National Womenís History Month. I canít help but think of the cigarette commercial tagline, ìWeíve come a long way, baby.î With women still fighting for equal pay, birth control and being underrepresented in government, itís hard to believe weíve come a long way. But itís all a matter of perspective.A rather interesting look at the history of women in our country is through the lives of Americaís first ladies.Talk about a tough job, what about the first lady of the United States? These ladies are brought into public life by their husbands and have high expectations placed on them. From the first to recent wives of presidents, the No. 1 responsibility of these women is to run the social calendar and act as the official hostess of the White House and its events. Then, there are the little things like raising children and providing support to their husbands. Itís practically a thankless job, and there certainly is no pay involved. Barbara Bush said, îThe first lady is going to be criticized no matter what she does. If she does too little. If she does too much. And I think you just have to be yourself and do the best you can. And so what? Thatís the way it is.îNonetheless, first ladies have made an impact ñ some small, some big ñ but all notable.Starting with Martha Washington who saw her life as the keeper of the family and didnít particularly care for political life, she still established traditions. One may have been the social gatherings she hosted every Friday evening for anyone who would like to come by the Presidentís home, enjoy refreshments and talk about whatís happening in the country.Most first ladies took up causes while their husbands served as president. Early on, Mary Todd Lincoln visited wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and Edith Roosevelt sewed in a needlework club that provided clothing for the needy. There was Abigail Adams who championed womenís rights, followed by Louisa Adams, Caroline Harrison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford. Eleanor Roosevelt was also a vocal civil rights activist and helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She led in the formation of the United Nations and was the first chairwoman of its Human Rights Commission.Lucy Hayes was one of the leaders of the temperance movement; Lady Bird Johnson was an environmentalist; Ellen Wilson took up the cause for better urban housing; Rosalyn Carter established a council on mental health; Nancy Reagan started the ìJust Say Noî campaign to fight drug and alcohol addiction in children; both Barbara and Laura Bush worked on increasing literacy; Hillary Clinton was active in health care as well as womenís and childrenís issues; and our current first lady, Michelle Obama, is focusing on childhood obesity.The difference these women have made in our lives cannot be understated. Yes, we have come a long way!The NFH is adding a lady to our staff, and we hope you will welcome Christel Blaylock when you see her around town representing our publication. Christel is joining our advertising sales team after her retirement from the State Bank in Falcon. Welcome, Christel; we look forward to having you on our team!Have a great March and weíll see you in April.– Deb, Michelle and the NFH team

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