September 15, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Eliza Johnson.

Eliza suffered from tuberculosis and therefore relinquished First Lady duties to her daugher, Martha. Eliza was so ill that she only made two public appearances during her husband's presidency.

Once was in August, 1866 when Queen Emma of Hawaii visited the White House. The second was in December, 1868 during a children's ball to celebrate President Johnson's 60th birthday. During both appearances, Eliza received guests while seated, explaining, "My dears, I am an invalid."

Posted by Jennifer at September 15, 2003 01:57 AM


Wasn't Eliza the (future) First Lady who taught her (then) tailor husband to read?

Posted by: Peter at September 15, 2003 12:46 PM

Hi, Peter. That is the story. I've also read that he taught himself while he was an apprentice...whether that means without assistance or not I'm not sure. It seemed implied.

Posted by: Jennifer at September 15, 2003 02:47 PM