Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan Nixon, born in Ely, Nevada, grew up with her two brothers in what is now Cerritos, California,
graduating from high school in 1929. She attended Fullerton Junior College and later the University of Southern California.
She paid for her schooling by working multiple jobs, including pharmacy manager, typist, radiographer, and retail clerk. In
1940, she married lawyer Richard Nixon and they had two daughters.
As First Lady, Pat Nixon promoted a number of charitable causes, including volunteerism. She oversaw the collection of more
than 600 pieces of historic art and furnishings for the White House, an acquisition larger than that of any other administration.
She was the most traveled First Lady in U.S. history, a record unsurpassed until twenty-five years later.
Pat Nixon felt that the First Lady should always set a public example of high virtue as a symbol of dignity, but she refused to
revel in the trappings of the position. One of her major initiatives as First Lady was the promotion of volunteerism, in which she
encouraged Americans to address social problems at the local level through volunteering at hospitals, civic organizations, and
rehabilitation centers. She stated, "Our success as a nation depends on our willingness to give generously of ourselves for the
welfare and enrichment of the lives of others."
The reverse design of the coin features stylized figures standing hand-in-hand surrounding a globe, symbolizing Mrs. Nixon's
commitment to volunteerism around the world.
2016 - First Lady Betty Ford, 1974–1977
Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Bloomer Ford was born in 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, the third child and only daughter of Hortense and
William Stephenson Bloomer, Sr. who was a traveling salesman for Royal Rubber Co. She was called Betty as a child.
After the 1929 stock market crash, when Bloomer was aged 11, she began to earn money by modeling clothes and teaching children
popular dances, such as the foxtrot, waltz, and big apple. She also entertained and worked with children with disabilities at the
Mary Free Bed Home for Crippled Children. She studied dance at the Calla Travis Dance Studio, graduating in 1935.
In the opinion of The New York Times and several presidential historians, "Mrs. Ford's impact on American culture may be far
wider and more lasting than that of her husband, who served a mere 896 days, much of it spent trying to restore the dignity of
the office of the president."
She was open about the benefits of psychiatric treatment, and spoke understandingly about marijuana use and premarital sex. The
new First Lady noted during a televised White House tour that she and the President shared the same bed. During her time as First
Lady, Ford was an outspoken advocate of women's rights and was a prominent force in the Women's Movement of the 1970s. She
supported the proposed ERA and lobbied state legislatures to ratify the amendment, and took on opponents of the amendment. She
was also un-apologetically pro-choice.
The coins reverse design features a young woman ascending a staircase, representing Mrs. Ford’s openness and advocacy regarding
addiction, breast cancer awareness and the rights of women.
2016 - First Lady Nancy Reagan, 1981–1989
Nancy Davis Reagan (born Anne Frances Robbins) was born in New York City. After her parents separated, she lived in Maryland
with an aunt and uncle for some years. She moved to Chicago when her mother remarried in 1929, and later took the name Davis
from her stepfather. As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s, starring in films such as
The Next Voice You Hear..., Night into Morning, and Donovan's Brain.
On November 15, 1949, she met Ronald Reagan, who was then president of the Screen Actors Guild. She had noticed that her name
had appeared on the Hollywood blacklist, and sought Ronald Reagan's help to maintain her employment as a guild actress in
Hollywood, and for assistance in having her name removed from the list. After three years of dating, Reagan eventually proposed
to Nancy in the couple's favorite booth at the Beverly Hills restaurant Chasen's. They married on March 4, 1952, in a simple
ceremony designed to avoid the press, at the Little Brown Church in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
Early in her husband's presidency, Reagan stated her desire to create a more suitable "first home" in the White House, as
the building had fallen into a state of disrepair following years of neglect. White House aide Michael Deaver described the
second and third floor family residence as having "cracked plaster walls, chipped paint [and] beaten up floors"; rather than
use government funds to renovate and redecorate, she sought private donations.
The First Lady launched the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign in 1982, which was her primary project and major initiative as first lady.
The reverse design of the coin features Mrs. Reagan with her arms around two children during her “just say no” campaign.