She was born Florence Mabel Kling in Marion, Ohio, the eldest of three children of Amos Kling, a prominent Marion banker of
German descent, and Louisa Bouton Kling, whose French Huguenot ancestors had fled religious persecution.
Aiming to become a concert pianist, Florence began studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, but at 19 she eloped with
Henry Atherton ("Pete") DeWolfe, and they were married in Columbus, Ohio, on January 22, 1880. Florence gave birth to her only
child, Marshall Eugene, on September 22, 1880, but the couple separated not long afterwards, and were divorced in 1886.
In 1890, Florence became engaged to Warren Gamaliel Harding, owner of the Marion Star, and at twenty-five, her junior by five years.
They married on July 8, 1891, opposed by her father, who thought Warren was social climbing.
On March 4, 1921, Florence Harding became First Lady, immediately taking an active role in national politics, at times even
appearing to dominate the President. She had a strong influence on the selection of cabinet members and, at the inauguration,
observers believed that she was prompting her husband with a speech she had written.
Florence made her views known on everything from the League of Nations to vivisection, racism and women's suffrage. When Madame
Curie visited the White House, Florence praised her as an example of a professional achiever who was also a supportive wife.
Florence's own special agenda was the welfare of war veterans, whose cause she championed wholeheartedly.
The reverse of the coin describes Mrs. Harding who championed the cause of World War I veterans, symbolized by the initials
WWV that form a torch, transformed into a pen at its base to represent her extensive correspondence with veterans, their
spouses, and widows. The camera represents her orchestration of photo opportunities supporting her husband’s campaign. The
ballot box represents her distinction as the first First Lady to cast a vote for a presidential candidate, her husband.
2014 - First Lady Grace Coolidge, 1923–1929
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge was the wife of the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. She graduated
from the University of Vermont in 1902 with a bachelor of arts degree in teaching and joined the Clarke Schools for Hearing and
Speech in Northampton, Massachusetts to teach deaf children to communicate by lip reading, rather than by signing. She met Calvin
Coolidge in 1904, and the two were married the following year.
After Harding's death and Calvin Coolidge's succession to the Presidency, Grace planned the new administration's social life as
her husband wanted it: unpretentious and dignified.
As First Lady, she was a popular hostess. She was also the first First Lady to speak in sound newsreels. The social highlight of
the Coolidge years was the party for Charles Lindbergh following his transatlantic flight in 1927. The Coolidges were a
particularly devoted couple, although the president never discussed state matters with her.
The reverse of this coin describes Mrs. Coolidge since she advocated for the deaf and hearing impaired. This design depicts
three hands finger-spelling the letters USA in American Sign Language against the backdrop of the White House.
2014 - First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, 1929–1933
Lou Henry was born in Waterloo, Iowa, to banker Charles Delano Henry and Florence Ida Weed. Lou grew up something of a "tomboy"
in Waterloo, as well as Whittier, California, and Monterey, California.
Lou Henry Hoover married her geologist and mining engineer husband Herbert Hoover in 1899, she traveled widely with him, including
to Shanghai, China, and became a cultivated scholar and linguist. A proficient Chinese speaker, she is the only First Lady to
have spoken an Asian language. She oversaw construction of the presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp in Madison County, Virginia.
She was the first First Lady to make regular nationwide radio broadcasts.
As First Lady, she discontinued the New Year's Day reception, the annual open house observance begun by Abigail Adams in 1801.
She played a critical role in designing and overseeing the construction of a rustic presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp in
Madison County, Virginia. It was a precursor of the current presidential retreat, Camp David.
The reverse coin design features a late 1920’s radio set. Mrs. Hoover was the first First Lady to give a public radio address.
2014 - First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933–1945
Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of the prominent American Roosevelt and Livingston families and a niece of President Theodore
Roosevelt's. She had an unhappy childhood, having suffered the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age. At
15, she attended Allenwood Academy in London and was deeply influenced by its feminist headmistress Marie Souvestre. Returning to
the U.S., she married her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1905.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United
States, having held the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in
office, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952. President Harry S. Truman
later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Upon FDR's inauguration on March 4, 1933, Eleanor became First Lady of the United States. Having known all of the twentieth
century's previous First Ladies, she was seriously depressed at having to assume the role, which had traditionally been
restricted to domesticity and hostessing. With her husband's strong support, despite criticism of them both, she continued
with the active business and speaking agenda she had begun before becoming First Lady, in an era when few married women had
careers. She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences and in 1940 became the first to speak at a
national party convention.
On the reverse of the coin, Mrs. Roosevelt’s right hand lights a candle, and its glowing light rises over a stylized graphic of
the Earth’s curved horizon, symbolizing her life’s work and the global impact of her humanitarian initiatives. Adlai Stevenson
remarked after her death: "She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world."