Read an Excerpt
By Megan Stine
Illustrated by John O’Brien
A tall and beautiful African American woman stood on the lawn behind the White House. She smiled at a group of children and teenagers who had come from nearby schools.
It was a warm sunny day in October. The kids were dressed in T-shirts and jeans. The woman wore a bright blue sweater and black slacks. Grinning, she picked up a hula hoop and began to swivel it around her waist.
The crowd watched, and someone started counting. “Ninety-eight…ninety-nine…one hundred…one hundred one…”
She kept going. She reached 142 times before she stopped. She could have kept going longer!
“I can hula-hoop forever,” the woman said. She even knew how to swirl two hoops at once.
The kids tried to keep up with her. Everybody was having fun. But there was also an important purpose to the fun. Hula-hooping was a way to help kids get more exercise and stay healthy.
Who was that gorgeous woman performing at the White House? It was Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States!
OCTOBER 26, 1947—
WHEN BILL CLINTON RAN FOR PRESIDENT IN 1992, HE TOLD VOTERS THAT THEY WOULD GET “TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE.” HE MEANT THAT HE AND HILLARY WOULD WORK TOGETHER ONCE THEY WERE IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
SOME PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE THAT IDEA. HILLARY, HOWEVER, WAS SMART AND EAGER TO DO GOOD WORK. SHE WOULDN’T LET ANYTHING STAND IN HER WAY.
SHE WAS THE FIRST FIRST LADY TO HAVE HER OWN OFFICE IN THE WEST WING OF THE WHITE HOUSE, NEAR THE PRESIDENT’S. OTHER FIRST LADIES HAD THEIR OFFICES IN THE EAST WING—OUT OF THE WAY.
SHE WAS THE FIRST FIRST LADY TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH CONGRESS TO TRY TO GET A NEW HEALTH CARE LAW PASSED. CONGRESS REJECTED HER IDEAS, THOUGH.
AFTER BILL CLINTON WAS NO LONGER PRESIDENT, SHE DECIDED TO RUN FOR OFFICE HERSELF. SHE WAS THE FIRST FIRST LADY TO DO THAT! IN 2000, SHE WAS ELECTED AS US SENATOR—THE FIRST WOMAN TO SERVE AS A SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.
IN 2008, SHE RAN FOR PRESIDENT AGAINST BARACK OBAMA. SHE DIDN’T GET THE NOMINATION. BUT AFTER BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED, HE APPOINTED HILLARY CLINTON AS SECRETARY OF STATE. THAT MADE HER THE FIRST FORMER FIRST LADY TO SERVE IN A CABINET POST.
A Close Family