Today in American history…the colorful and exuberant Dolley Madison was born on May 20, 1768 in New Garden (renamed Greensboro), North Carolina. She is often credited with being the ultimate Washington hostess and before she was even First Lady – she assisted with hosting functions during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. One of the best things she is known for (besides her fun hair decorations, colorful clothing and fun parties!) was her heroic actions in saving George Washington’s portrait from The White House.
In a letter to her sister on August 23, 1814, she wrote:
“…Our kind friend Mr. Carroll has come to hasten my departure, and in a very bad humor with me, because I insist on waiting until the large picture of General Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. The process was found too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken and the canvas taken out …”
The British attacked and burned The White House in 1814 but because of her bravery, we still can view this infamous painting today at The White House.
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