A Brief History of First Ladies and Their Causes

Since the days of Dolly Madison, the job of presidential spouse has often involved picking a signature issue.
Alex Brandon / AP

Michelle Obama, 2009-Present
On Tuesday, Michelle Obama announced she would work to fight childhood obesity. An oft-quoted statistic holds that almost one-third of American children are now overweight or obese. Her "Let's Move" plan (bolstered by an executive memo from her husband) centers on parent awareness, making healthier foods more available and creating fitness programs that get kids moving. Setting a personal example has been integral to her approach to this behavior-based problem. Hence her White House garden, which she hopes will serve as a model for communities and families alike.

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