The White House Historical Association Remembers Barbara Bush

The White House Historical Association joins the nation in its remembrance of First Lady Barbara Bush and the warmth, care for others, love of country, and humor she brought to her roles as Second and First Lady of the United States.

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Beginning, APRIL 18, 2018 at 9:00AM, an official condolence book for First Lady Barbara Bush will be available for the public to sign at the White House Visitor Center, located at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20230. The Center is open daily from 7:30 a.m.4:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

"Mrs. Bush played an especially important role in the White House in that she reactivated the Committee for the Preservation of the White House and helped establish the White House Endowment Trust," said Stewart D. McLaurin, President of The White House Historical Association. "Thanks in part to her leadership, the Endowment Trust continues to provide financial assistance for refurbishing and conservation work in the State Rooms of the White House and with the White House collections."

Mrs. Bush is remembered for her friendly and forthright manner while helping her husband George H.W. Bush campaign for office, once saying that people liked her because they know "I'm fair and I like children and I adore my husband." She often spoke of how grateful she was for the adventures and experiences she had as wife of a congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China, and director of the CIA all of which helped to prepare Mrs. Bush for the active roles she had as Second Lady and First Lady.

As wife of the vice president, she selected the promotion of literacy as her special cause. As first lady, she worked for a more literate America, calling it the "most important issue we have." Involved with many organizations devoted to this cause, she became honorary chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy – a program that continues to this day.  A strong advocate of volunteerism, Mrs. Bush valued the opportunity she had to use her national platform to do something to help someone every day. She supported many different causes and people including the homeless, the elderly, HIV/AIDS patients, military families and school volunteers.

After the White House, she and her husband lived in Houston, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine. Mrs. Bush also wrote several books including an autobiography, Barbara Bush: A Memoir; served on the boards of AmeriCares, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Mayo Clinic and many other organizations in addition to playing a prominent role in the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She and her husband had the longest presidential marriage in US history, celebrating their 73rd anniversary on January 6, 2018. She was the mother of 6 children and became the second First Lady after Abigail Adams whose husband and son served as a U.S. president. 

Additional information and resources are available at WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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