Black and white photographs of two women's head and shoulders on a blue background with a white and red outer edge with white text
copyright 1976 MILLENNIUM GROUP 924 CHERRY ST. PHILA..PA 19107
Rosalynn Carter, wife of President Jimmy Carter, took to the campaign trail in the 1980 presidential re-election campaign, making speeches and appearances for her husband who was preoccupied with foreign and domestic affairs. Mrs. Carter embraced Ted Kennedy’s challenges during the primaries and endured allergic reactions, a hotel fire and mouth sores from constant public appearances and speeches. Despite maintaining a grueling schedule in her husband’s place, as well as keeping up with her schedule as First Lady, Mrs. Carter was not asked to speak at the Democratic National Convention that year. She was the last First Lady to not address a national Presidential convention.
Joan Mondale, wife of Vice-President Walter Mondale, is best known for her zeal during the Carter/Mondale administration to focus attention on arts and culture and was dubbed “Joan of Art” for her constant promotion of fine arts throughout her husband’s political career. Mrs. Mondale was an avid potter, and while living at the American embassy in Tokyo, she often gave away the cups and bowls she made. Like her cohort Rosalynn, she spent a great deal of time traveling and campaigning for her husband.
Rosalynn and Joan were both strong advocates of the Equal Rights Amendment and the push for equal pay for women, and heralded in a new era for presidential spouses who were not content with the traditional roles delegated to the First Lady, but charted their own path through their husbands' administrations.