New lecture series goes beyond the gowns

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The previous lecture series was so successful, the Kansas City Library and the Truman Library Institute are teaming up again , this time celebrating America's  first ladies.  The series kicked off discussing current First Lady Michelle Obama. Each session will have a different host, the first event was hosted by veteran White House journalist, Carl Cannon.

"The first ladies who are the modern first ladies do all the other stuff but they keep adding responsibilities to it," said Cannon.

Cannon says he see's Mrs. Obama doing what past First Lady's did plus what past Presidents have done.  Cannon compares Mrs. Obama to President John F. Kennedy and past First Lady Martha Washington for her work on nutrition and exercise, plus her involvement with the troops.

This series is one Cannon jumped at the opportunity to be a part of.

"I want them to appreciate what these women have done for the country," said Cannon.  "You can't overstate it how important they are."

The series is made possible by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The current list includes lectures on Abigail Adams, Lady Bird Johnson, Martha Jefferson Randolph and Betty Ford. Speakers range from journalist like Cannon to the great, great, great, great, great grandson of Abigail Adams, Henry Adams.

"We were able to call on some long time connections the library has with some scholars, and reporters," said Henry Fortunato, Director of Public Affairs for the Kansas City Library.

The list will grown from the original five as the series continues, Cannon says they all deserve time. First ladies like Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt.

For more on Beyond The Gowns:First Ladies in American History

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