Anyone who has followed FFL long ago knows many of us still have a deep love and respect for the role of first lady. As someone who is interested in history, and obsessed with podcasts, I’ve loved finding podcasts over the past year or so that talk about specific first ladies, their experiences and goals, as well as the role of first ladies through history. 

Here are seven of the best episodes that talk specifically about first ladies and their experiences in the White House and beyond.

Ladies, First: The Celebrity Status of First Ladies

The entire Ladies, First podcast is a great way to look into the role of first ladies and was a project of the Bush Library. This episode in particular is SUPER interesting though, and talks about how first ladies deal with celebrity status, media attention, and more. This is especially cool to think about when we consider modern Instagram social media coverage and the 24/7 news cycle as well as historical celebrity moments. 

The Strategerist: Mrs. Laura Bush

Another Bush podcast, but this one is interview based. This interview with THE First Lady Laura Bush talks about her life after the White House but also touches on her travels, her volunteer work, and her time as First Lady decorating the White House for Christmas!

The Strategerist: Jean Becker on Barbara Bush’s Pearls of Wisdom

I wanted to include this episode as well because we all still mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, but this book by Jean Becker is such a unique way to remember her and her legacy! Becker not only reflects on Barbara Bush and her “pearls of wisdom” but talks about working to craft the book from memories and working with the Bush family to guilt them into getting their letters to her.

Portraits: Firsts with Cokie Roberts

Another woman we mourn–Cokie Roberts. In this Smithsonian podcast, Portraits, Roberts talks about the portraits of first ladies held by the Smithsonian and how they inform our “understanding” of who these women are–and how sometimes they’re just plain wrong. Her conversation about Martha Washington is a delight, and the podcast in general is a great addition to any feed.

First Ladies of the USA: Martha Washington

Who doesn’t love a deep dive into a founding mother? This new-ish podcast looks at various First Ladies, and up first, of course, is Martha Washington. This 52-minute episodes explores Martha’s life before she married George Washington as well as her time as his first lady and her life after he passed away. It’s a fascinating look at her and I can’t wait to see their future episodes.

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Do Political Parties Influence First Lady’s Duties?

Something that comes up a lot in podcasts about first ladies is their duties, the tasks they take on, their social encounters, and more. This podcast from How Stuff Works is also in the Stuff You Missed in History podcast, and very much fits their theme of talking about history, about the role of first ladies, and about how politics influences their actions. This is a great listen to people who want a broader look at the role of first lady rather than a biography of a specific woman. 

Stuff You Missed in History Class: John Adams and Louisa Catherine Adams Abroad

Before they went into the White House, John Adams and his future first lady, Louisa Catherine Adams, toured the world and engaged in some serious international diplomacy. This 47 minute podcast is a great listen for people who are super aware of modern first ladies but want some insight into historical figures and the role of the first lady beyond hosting tea parties and decorating the White House for holidays. 

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member