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Laura Bush

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First Lady Laura Bush
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First Lady Laura Bush

Laura Lane Welch Bush (born November 4, 1946) is the wife of U.S. President George W. Bush and is the First Lady of the United States.

Contents

Early life

Laura Lane Welch was born in Midland, Texas, the only child of Harold Bruce Welch (19121995) and Jenna Louise Hawkins (born 1919). She grew up in Midland and attended the same junior high school as her future husband (she did not know him at the time) and the same high school 54(Robert E. Lee High School) as Tommy Franks.

Main article: Michael Dutton Douglas

In May 2000, a two-page police report about a car crash that Welch caused when she was 17 was made public. The report revealed that on November 6, 1963, Welch was driving her Chevrolet sedan with one passenger (Judy Dyke, also 17) on a clear night shortly after 8 p.m. when she entered an intersection, failing to observe the stop sign. Welch crashed into a Chevrolet Corvair driven by Michael Dutton Douglas, also 17. Welch and Dykes sustained minor injuries and were treated and released at a nearby hospital; Douglas was thrown from his car and broke his neck. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Midland Memorial Hospital.

The speed at which Welch was driving is not clear; that part of the police report is illegible. However, two biographies of Welch put her as going 55 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. The police report also says that neither driver was under the influence, but no tests were performed. Some accounts put Douglas's father at the scene, traveling immediately behind his son's car. No charges were filed.

College Years and Marriage

Jenna and Barbara Bush with their parents George W. Bush and Laura Bush
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Jenna and Barbara Bush with their parents George W. Bush and Laura Bush

Ms. Welch earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1968 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. After graduating, she became a schoolteacher at Longfellow Elementary School in Dallas Independent School District until 1969. She then taught at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, a Houston Independent School District school in Houston, until 1972. Bush also earned a Master of Science degree in Library Science in 1973 from the University of Texas at Austin. After that, she worked at the Kashmere Gardens Branch at the Houston Public Library until 1974, when she moved back to Austin. She was a librarian at an Austin Independent School District school, Dawson Elementary School, until 1977.

She met George W. Bush in 1977 and after a three month courtship married him on November 5 of that year. In 1981, she gave birth to twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, who have now graduated from college.

Several times a year, George and Laura travel to their sprawling family estate, the Bush Compound. Located in Kennebunkport, Maine, the compound is where Bush family gatherings have been held for nearly 100 years.

First Lady of Texas & the United States

Mexican First Lady Marta Sahag�n and Laura Bush
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Mexican First Lady Marta Sahag�n and Laura Bush

Laura became the first lady of Texas when her husband George was elected as the Governor of Texas and served as first lady of that state from 1995 to 2000. After the outcome of the 2000 Presidential Election was finally resolved in December 2000, George Bush resigned as Texas Governor to prepare for his inauguration as President of the United States in January 2001; Laura then became the First Lady of the United States.

First Lady of the United States

As First Lady of the United States, she has championed education causes and women's health issues, and launched the first National Book Festival. She also worked for women's and children's causes while she was the First Lady of Texas, when she established the Adopt-a-Caseworker Program and the Rainbow Room program. Bush has taken a decidedly less prominent role in policy-making than her predecessors.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mrs. Bush took an interest in mitigating the emotional effects of the attacks on children, which were disturbing particularly as the images were repeatedly replayed on TV. Many schools closed early, especially those with children whose parents worked in Washington, D.C. or New York City. The following day, after consulting with many experts, Bush commented to parents that it was not good for children to be exposed to the numerous replays of the incidents, [1] (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/13/se.54.html) and that parents should consider turning off the television, especially understanding how children reacted when watching television coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. She also composed open letters which she distributed through state education officials. A "Dear Students" letter went to middle and high school students [2] (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/letter1.html), while elementary school students got one saying, "Dear Children." [3] (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/letter2.html)

In November 2001, she became the first person other than a president to deliver the weekly presidential radio address. She used the opportunity to discuss the plight of women in Afghanistan during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. In May 2002, she made a speech to the people of Afghanistan through Radio Liberty, a radio station in Prague, Czech Republic.

Her Secret Service codename was reported to be "Tempo" (the Secret Service changes codenames as soon as they become public knowledge).

As Laura's approval ratings remained at high levels (some polls said 85% approval) and her husband's own poll numbers slid, she began to take a stronger role in his second term. In April 2005, Mrs. Bush joked about her husband at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington, D.C. She called Bush "Mr. Excitement" and said she told him that if he wanted to "end tyranny in the world" he would have to stay up later. She even used the old joke that he "tried to milk a horse ... and what's worse it was a male horse." She also jokingly (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-05-01-laura-bush-comments_x.htm) compared mother-in-law Barbara Bush to "Don Corleone."

In May 2005, as Laura traveled through the Middle East, she was heckled by some bystanders in Jerusalem, appeared on Egypt's version of Sesame Street, endorsed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's upcoming election plans, and in Jordan said that women should have the right to "speak and vote and worship freely." That same month Lynne Cheney said on "Larry King Live" that Mrs. Bush should run for President (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0505/30/lkl.01.html) in 2008. Dick Cheney concurred, leading to some press musings of a Laura Bush/Hillary Clinton matchup.

External link



Preceded by:
Hillary Rodham Clinton
First Lady of the United States
2001-
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

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