As we approach this July 4th, Americans have a lot to celebrate in not only their elected presidents but also their first ladies who represent bipartisan commitment to empowering women and improving the health and well-being of the people of Africa and around the world.
For the most part first ladies seldom falter, which is why it was disappointing to read about the wife of a self-described "compassionate conservative" former president fumble on an issue of equal rights.
Former Michigan First Lady, Helen Wallbank Milliken quietly passed away in her Traverse City home this week, leaving behind a passionate legacy for women's rights that I sometimes fear will fall on the deaf ears of subsequent generations, including my own.
Every visit to the White House is special, but there is something very exciting about witnessing this event. Perhaps it is because I am a painter and I understand the years of work that went into what they have achieved and I can rejoice with them in their successes.
The types of jewelry the various first ladies wore and what they spent on their adornments gives an interesting lens through which to view a presidency as well as a specific time period in our country's history.