“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Mrs. Clinton visits with a young student of the Ait Ameur School in the Berber Village of Morocco. USAID and the Morocco Ministry of Education established the school to focus on innovative ways to improve rural education, especially for girls.
One of Mrs. Clinton’s responsibilities as First Lady is to oversee the White House special events. Here, a group of children at the 1999 Easter Egg Roll sit in an Easter nest on the South Lawn.
The holiday season is another popular time at the White House. Every Christmas, the official White House Tree in the Blue Room is a favorite for all visitors. During the 1998 holidays, the President and Mrs. Clinton chose Winter Wonderland as the theme. They invited artists from around the country to design ornaments for the Blue Room tree depicting the Winter Wonderland theme. This included knitted mittens and hats from The Knitting Guild of America, winter sports wooden ornaments designed and painted by artists from the Society of Decorative Painters and snowmen made by fabric artists from all 50 states. As part of White House tradition, here the President and First Lady participate in the annual reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to students from local public schools.
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 has worked with the Committee for the Preservation of the White House and the White House Historical Association to bring exhibits of contemporary American sculpture to the White House. In establishing these exhibits, 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 every day.
The current installation in the series, “Twentieth Century American Sculpture at the White House,” is subtitled “The View from Denver.” This exhibit features a diverse group of twelve works from public collections in Denver, Colorado. To the left is Robert Mangold’s “Windsong III,” one of the twelve pieces currently on display.
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”.
After brutally, shockingly losing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton wrote the following to her supporters:
“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.
This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.
But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together — this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love — and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted.
We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America — and I always will. And if you do, too, then we must accept this result — and then look to the future.
Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power, and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things — the rule of law, the principle that we’re all equal in rights and dignity, and the freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these things too — and we must defend them.
And let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear: making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top; protecting our country and protecting our planet; and breaking down all the barriers that hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.
Our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.
I am so grateful to stand with all of you.
I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. It gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front-lines of our democracy, representing Virginia in the Senate.
To Barack and Michelle Obama: Our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude for your graceful, determined leadership, and so do I.
To Bill, Chelsea, Marc, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers, and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.
You crisscrossed this country on my behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most — even four-month old Aidan traveling with his mom.
I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country who poured their hearts into this campaign. For you veterans, this was a campaign after a campaign — for some of you, this was your first campaign ever. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anyone has had.
To all the volunteers, community leaders, activists, and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook – even in secret or in private: Thank you.
To everyone who sent in contributions as small as $5 and kept us going, thank you.
And to all the young people in particular, I want you to hear this. I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks — sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your careers. You will have successes and setbacks, too.
This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.
To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.
I know that we still have not shattered that highest glass ceiling. But some day someone will — hopefully sooner than we might think right now.
And to all the little girls watching right now, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.
Finally, I am grateful to our country for all it has given me.
I count my blessings every day that I am an American. And I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions, and love for this nation — our best days are still ahead of us.
You know I believe we are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never be sorry that you fought for that.
Scripture tells us: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
My friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. For there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.
I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and God bless the United States of America”.