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WASHINGTON, DC, May 07, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fans of Harriet Lane Johnston (May 9, 1830 - July 3, 1903) will celebrate her 180th birthday this weekend, according to biographer Milton Stern, author of "Harriet Lane, America's First Lady".
"Harriet Lane, America's First Lady" is the only extensive biography of this remarkable woman, whose influence has been compared to that of Jacqueline Kennedy and Michelle Obama.
From her debut in London society to her scandalous inaugural gown to her days as the grand dame of Washington society, Harriet Lane earned the admiration of women all over the world. Although no monument has been dedicated in her memory, her legacy and generosity live on in Baltimore and Washington, for she was the benefactor and at times the sole sponsor of the Harriet Lane Outpatient Clinics, The Pediatric and Teaching Hospital at Johns Hopkins University, St. Alban's School for Boys in Washington, DC, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Church Home of the Infirmary in Baltimore.
The George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens Library Staff said, "'Harriet Lane, America's First Lady' is a unique addition to the reference material available to employees and scholars... Lily Macalester's friendship with Harriet Lane [is] of interest to them, as [is] Harriet Lane's consideration of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in her will."
"Harriet Lane was a century ahead of her time," said Stern. "She used her intelligence, political skills, charm and beauty to push legislation through Congress when she was only twenty-seven years old."
Harriet Lane was James Buchanan's official hostess in Lancaster, London and Washington. Anyone who met her was instantly enamored. Queen Victoria bestowed upon her the title "Honorary Ambassadress." The Washington press corps proclaimed her "Our Democratic Queen," and the Chippewa named her the "Great Mother of the Indians". U.S. Naval and Coast Guard ships were named after her and still are. Songs were written about her, and women dressed like her. She was the most admired woman in the country and established a style of entertaining never before seen in the White House. She was the first of her kind to be an advocate for social causes - hospital and prison reform and the plight of the American Indians, just to name two. And only she could get away with beating the Prince of Wales at bowling!
Her world was guided by tragedy and death, yet she lived every day to the fullest. She conducted herself with grace and dignity and dedicated her life to the perpetuation of the memories of those dearest to her heart and the social welfare of all Americans, especially children. She was also named one of the most memorable women in American history.
Milton Stern, resides in Rockville, MD, where he works as a writer and volunteers for local organizations.
Harriet Lane, America's First Lady, 2005, ISBN: 1411626087
It took over 100 years after her death, but the first extensive biography of the most admired woman in America and the first to be called First Lady has been released. "Harriet Lane, America's First Lady", 2005, is the second in a series by famed presidential biographer Milton Stern. "Harriet Lane, America's First Lady" tells the story of the niece of President James Buchanan, whose youth, beauty, charm and grace earned her the title "Democratic Queen," and whose advocacy work earned her the title "Great Mother of the Indians".
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