- NAME: Helen Taft
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Women's Rights Activist, U.S. First Lady
- BIRTH DATE: June 02, 1861
- DEATH DATE: May 22, 1943
- EDUCATION: University of Cincinnati
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Cincinnati, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Washington, D.C.
- Nickname: "Nellie"
- AKA: Helen Taft
- Full Name: Helen Louise Herron Taft
- Originally: Helen Louise Herron
- Nickname: "Helen H."
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Helen Taft was a schoolteacher, political adviser and U.S. First Lady who was the wife of President William Howard Taft.
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Perhaps Helen Taft's greatest legacy was arranging the planting of 3,000 Japanese cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin, south and west of Independence Mall, in Washington, D.C.
After William Howard Taft lost his bid for re-election in 1912, the couple moved to Connecticut, where Taft taught law at Yale University. In 1921, when Taft was confirmed chief justice of the Supreme Court, the couple returned to Washington, D.C.,
where Helen would remain until her husband's death in 1931. After returning to the nation's capital, Helen traveled and supported moderate Republican causes, as well as her son Robert's career as a U.S. senator.
Helen Taft died on May 22, 1943, in Washington, D.C. She is buried next to her husband at the Arlington National Cemetery.
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When the 19th Amendment was ratified, women were finally given the right to vote, and over the years many courageous women have stepped onto the national political stage as well. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress and almost a century later Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina woman to serve on the Supreme Court. And within the last two decades, the esteemable Hillary Clinton has served as First Lady, a New York senator and Secretary of State. These women, and many more, are setting the stage for the future of female leaders in Washington.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women."
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