Some called her The Mother of the Country, some curtseyed and called her Lady Washington, but no one could doubt that she was uniquely capable to shoulder the responsibilities and rigors of both war and diplomacy. Martha Washington’s philosophy of “duty over inclination” became the template for future First Ladies in the newly-formed United States of America.
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When we left Mrs. Bethune in Part One, she was improving and growing her school campus and helping her entire community along the way. Now she’s going to kick it into high gear: a national stage, increased organizational involvement, presidential appointments, and turning her school from one building and five students…to a co-educational college. She stood on picket lines, sat in committees, campaigned for the American Red Cross, and founded the National Council of Negro Women. She was an advisor to presidents, helped form the United Nations, ran a government agency during the FDR years, and was on the ground floor of civil rights issues that would build throughout the century and beyond…and those are just some of the things we talk about, there was so much more work she did that it made us wonder how she got it all done in a lifetime. Not everything she touched was a success, but as a model of how to warm hearts and minds to bring education and equality to the forefront of both, she was a lifelong success.