The First Lady's 

[PHOTO: Rodham Family Portrait]


Hillary Diane Rodham was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 1947. The daughter of Dorothy Rodham and the late Hugh Rodham, she and her two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony, grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, as part of a close-knit family. Here, she is pictured with her father Hugh, her mother Dorothy, and brother Hugh, Jr. Throughout her childhood, the foundations of her lasting commitment to family, work, and service were established. It is this commitment and the belief that we "all have an obligation to give something of ourselves to our community," that has helped to shape her role and actions as our nation's First Lady.

[PHOTO: Hillary Rodham Clinton with Girl 


As a young student, Hillary organized food drives, served in student government, and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was a member of the local Methodist youth group, and was also a Girl Scout. As First Lady, she currently serves as honorary President of the Girls Scouts of America. Here, the First Lady is joined by girls from a local Girl Scout chapter as she tapes a public service announcement for the Girl Scouts.
[PHOTO: Hillary Clinton helping students study in an Arkansas public 


[PHOTO: Hillary Clinton giving speech for the Arkansas Children's 


After graduating from Wellesley College in 1969, Hillary enrolled in Yale Law School, where she developed her strong concern for protecting the interests of children and families, and met Bill Clinton, a fellow law student. Hillary married Bill Clinton in 1975. Their daughter, Chelsea, was born in 1980. During the twelve years that she served as First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, introduced Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, and worked tirelessly on behalf of children and families, while practicing law in Little Rock. In recognition of her professional and personal accomplishments, she was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1984.

[PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton talking to senior citizens about health 


Upon taking office in 1993, President Clinton made health care reform one of the highest priorities of his Administration. He asked the First Lady to chair the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, and she continues to be a leading advocate for improving health care quality and providing health insurance for the uninsured and the underinsured. Her deep commitment to children has led the First Lady to champion an ambitious effort to increase immunizations for preschool-age children, push for an expansion of children's health insurance coverage, advocate for innovative prenatal care, and raise awareness of the impact of tobacco on children.

[PHOTO: President and Mrs. Clinton with 


When the Clintons arrived in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Clinton felt that she had not only public responsibilities as First Lady, but also the important private responsibility to make the historic, and formal, White House a true home for her husband and daughter Chelsea. For example, because the private living quarters did not have an informal place to gather for meals, she decided to have the serving kitchen on the second floor converted into a family kitchen. There, the three of them could gather around the table just as they had in Arkansas.

[PHOTO: Mrs. Clinton celebrates Read Across 
America Day]


In 1996, the First Lady authored "It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us", a national call for all sectors of society to take responsibility for our children. In her book, the First Lady emphasizes that while parents are the most important influence in their children's lives, and have the primary responsibility in raising them, society also plays an important role in rearing our nation's children. She stresses that ultimately children will thrive only if all of society provides for them. In addition, since 1995, the First Lady has penned a weekly syndicated newspaper column, "Talking It Over". In this column, she draws upon her experiences as First Lady and on her observations of women, children, and families she has met across the country and around the world. Here, the First Lady reads to children in Maryland to celebrate Read Across American Day.

[PHOTO: Mrs. Clinton at Trinity College's 
Childcare Facility]


In 1997, the First Lady, along with the President, hosted two important conferences on children's issues. The First Lady played a strong role at the White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning, where experts emphasized that the success a child has in reaching their full potential is influenced by what they experience during their critical early years. The White House Conference on Child Care drew attention to the struggle our nation's working parents face in finding child care they can afford, trust and rely on. This conference played an important role in developing the President's historic child care initiative - - the largest investment in child care in our nation's history - - to make child care better, safer, and more affordable for America's working families. Here, children at a child care facility at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut show the First Lady their latest project.

The First Lady has also worked tirelessly to reform our nation's foster care system and promote adoption. Through meetings with adoptive families and children in foster care, writings and speeches, the First Lady has focused on making it easier for children to move from foster care to permanent homes, and on increasing the number of adoptions. The First Lady played an important role in legislative reform, and was central to the passage of the Adoption and Safe Family Act of 1997.

[PHOTO:The First Lady at the Jewish Synagogue in
Bukhara, Uzbekistan]


In addition to her work at home, the First Lady serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United States during her visits abroad. From Europe to Asia, Africa to Latin America, the First Lady takes her message of human rights, health care, and economic empowerment for women across the globe. During her trips, the First Lady has advocated for human rights, promoted microcredit as a means to economic self-sufficiency, pushed for equality in education for girls and boys, and spoken of the importance of health care with an emphasis on meeting the critical needs of women and children, including family planning and safe motherhood. She has also been a leading voice for democracy building, for women's rights, and for the developing of a voluntary sector in emerging democracies. Here, the First Lady visits a synagogue in Bukhara, Uzbekistan during her November 1997 trip.
[PHOTO:The Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn]

One of Mrs. Clinton's responsibilities as First Lady is to oversee the White House special events. Here, a child at the 1998 Easter Egg Roll pushes his egg along the South Lawn.

[PHOTO: Mrs. Clinton showcases 1997 White 
House Christmas Tree]


The holiday season is another popular time at the White House. Every year, the Christmas tree in the Blue Room is a favorite attraction for the tour goers. For Christmas 1997, the President and First Lady chose Santa's Workshop as the holiday theme, and invited artists from around the country to design ornaments for the tree, including creative versions of "Santa's suit", designed by fashion designers, along with glass and needlepoint ornaments depicting characters, scenes, and imagery from Santa's Workshop. Here, the First Lady shows visitors a few of her favorite ornaments on the White House Christmas Tree.

[PHOTO: Mrs. Clinton at opening of VI Sculpture Garden 


[PHOTO: An Exhibit from the Native American Sculpture Garden 


The First Lady loves art, and she has said that sculpture is one of her favorite art forms. In fact, her first date with President Clinton was in the sculpture garden at Yale University. As First Lady, Mrs. Clinton worked with the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, and the White House Historical Society to bring an exhibit of contemporary American sculpture to the White House.

The current installation in the series, "Twentieth Century American Sculpture at the White House," is subtitled "Honoring Native America". This is the first showing ever in the nation's capitol of a large and representative collection of contemporary Native American sculpture. Previous installations have focused on the different geographical regions of the country. In establishing this exhibit, the First Lady wanted to showcase the best of American sculpture, in America's home, making it accessible to the thousands of people who visit the White House everyday.

Like her predecessors, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton brings to the role of First Lady of the United States her own special talents, experience, and interests.

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