The First Spouse

Date Posted: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Categories:  Delaware Public Archives

Eleanor Roosevelt with Governor J. Caleb Boggs

Eleanor Roosevelt is shown here with Delaware Governor J. Caleb Boggs (right). The man on the left is unidentified.

(Dover, DE) Are American First Ladies a cultural mirror reflecting the role and popular perceptions of women of their eras? What happens when they are too outspoken or unconventional? On Saturday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Cynthia Newton will present a program about the women who have served as First Ladies to the United States. This presentation examines these questions with reference to the White House tenure of Abigail Fillmore, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Betty Ford. Naturally, this program leads to speculation of what will happen to the role of First Spouse when the roles may be reversed and the individual in the position/role is a male.

Dr. Cynthia Newton is Associate Professor in Political Science at Wesley College in Dover. Her areas of expertise are American governmental institutions and public policy. Her research includes substantial work on obesity as an emerging public policy area, and more recently the oversight role of Congress concerning issues affecting Major League Baseball. Dr. Newton is a strong advocate of civic and experiential education, student government, and students’ rights.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Delaware Public Archives (DPA,, an agency of the State of Delaware, is one of the oldest public archives programs in the United States. DPA serves the citizens of Delaware by identifying, collecting, and preserving public records of enduring historical and evidential value; ensuring access to public records for present and future generations; and advising and educating interested parties in the creation, management, use, and preservation of public records.

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