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First Lady Helen “Nellie” Taft born in Cincinnati, Ohio

June 2, 2023

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 2 of June, repeating indefinitely

On June 2, 1861, First Lady Helen “Nellie” Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Taft was enthusiastic about music and travel. She had a degree in music from the Cincinnati College of Music and founded the city’s orchestra association. 🎼🎺🎻

Even before her time as First Lady, she had close presidential ties. Taft’s parents were close friends with President Hayes both during and after his time in office.

Perhaps most famously, she worked with the Japanese embassy to bring cherry blossom trees to Washington, D.C. The trees, gifted as a sign of friendship between the two countries, are still enjoyed by visitors every spring. In return, the Taft administration sent a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. 🌸🌸🌸

Did you know? Privately, Taft enjoyed gambling, drinking, and smoking. 🃏🥃🚬 She also held a great interest in politics and her husband’s political career. In an unprecedented move, she rode along with the president in the Inaugural Parade following his swearing-in. She was the first First Lady to do so.

Official portrait of First Lady Helen Taft, Karl Bror Albert Kronstrand, 1910


June 2, 2023
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