"The position of First Lady has no rules, just precedent, so its evolution has been at a virtual standstill for years. If Martha Washington didn't do it, then no one is sure it should be done." ~ Paula Poundstone
"This lady is not for turning." ~ Margaret Thatcher
"You may be a princess or the richest woman in the world, but you cannot be more than a lady." ~ Jennie Jerome Churchill
"I am not George's adviser. I'm his wife. I don't advise him about policy, but we do talk about issues and personalities." ~ Laura Bush
"I'm going to give you some reasons tonight to put me back in, but perhaps the most important reason of all is so that Laura has four more years." ~ George W Bush
First Lady Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch was born an only child to Harold [a residential home contractor] and Jenna [the family business'bookkeeper] Welch [loyal Democrats] on November 4, 1946 in Midland Texas.
Laura & her mom Jenna
|A paradoxically shy yet popular child, Laura's passion for reading, led naturally in later years to her chosen professions---elementary school teacher[six years in the Dallas and Houston school systems] and librarian;|
earning a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1968 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and in 1973 a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Texas in Austin [Hillary Rodham Clinton and Laura Bush, respectively, have the distinction of being the only First Ladies to hold post graduate degrees]. In August of 2002, the Leander Independent School District in Texas dedicated a newly constructed school [part of Taylor Woodrow contractors planned community] in honor of Laura Bush---Laura Welch Bush Elementary.
No life is immune to tragedy. Laura's parent's attempts to have more children resulted in premature births---in some cases the siblings survived, but only a few days. At age 17, Laura Welch was in a car accident which resulted in the death of her friend and popular high school athlete Michael Dutton Douglas. Circumstances leading up to and after the crash have been foddder for partisan dispute: Had Laura or her friend Judy Dykes been driving? Had the speed limit been adhered? Was a stop sign run? In 1963 the Midland Police Department filed a report of the accident, but no criminal charges were filed. To view the official police report, click the links below.
Midland Texas Police Confidential Accident Report
[part2] Midland Texas Police Confidential Accident Report
It's a small world. Laura and her future husband George W Bush were both raised in Midland Texas and were 7th graders at the same junior high school [though they did not know each other at the time]. As post college graduates they were neighbors in the same Houston apartment complex, but their paths did not cross. Later they were introduced at a barbeque in August of 1977 by mutual friends, and in November of the same year, Laura and George were wed. Before agreeing to marry, Laura made her fiance promise that she would never have to give a public speech [her future father-in-law George H W Bush was planning to run for president in 1980].
After marrying, Laura retired from working outside the home, became a homemaker, and returned to college academia as a student taking literature courses. In the interim she had difficulty conceiving a child; she and her husband were considering adoption, when she became pregnant with twins. The pregnancy was not an easy one and it was feared that if she did make it to term that one of the twins would not survive. In June of 1981, their twin daughters Barbara and Jenna [named for their grandmothers] were born.
In 1995 Laura released GW from the 'no speeches' promise when he campaigned for and subsequently won the office of Governor of Texas. As the First Lady of Texas, Laura spearheaded the campaign at the Texas Book Festival which raised nearly $1,000,000.00 for Texas' public libraries, and helped draft legislation for the "Reading Readiness" programs for Texas' pre-schoolers. When her husband became the GOP's front runner for the 2000 presidential nomination, Laura gave a keynote speech at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. As national First Lady she chaired the "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn" literacy initiative, and is a formidable fund and awareness raiser of strides in the fight for a cure for breast cancer [her mom Jenna is a breast cancer survivor]. Post 9/11 she became the first First Lady to deliver the president's weekly radio address, and was an activist to educate the world to the atrocities committed by the Taliban on the women of Afghanistan.
Ancestry of Laura Lane Welch Bush
Bush 43's Nicknames for Laura: First, Bushie, Stretch, Lump[in my bed]
Laura's Hobbies: Hiking and Camping