WASHINGTON: The First Lady of the United States is a title and position held by the spouse of the US president – coexisting with the president’s term of office. The title was first used to identify Martha Washington, the wife of the first US President George Washington – but she was often referred to as ‘Lady Washington’. – ‘Role of First Lady’ – Although the first lady’s role has never been officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation. However,the role of first lady has changed considerably since the 1790s. Over the years, the first ladies have influenced sectors ranging from fashion to public opinion on policy. At present, it has evolved to involvement in political campaigns, management of the White House, and representation of the president at official and ceremonial occasions. For the reason that the first ladies now publish their memoirs – which are viewed as potential sources of additional information about their husbands’ administrations – they frequently remain a focus of attention even after their husbands’ terms of office ends. However, if a president is unmarried or his wife is unable to act as the first lady, the president can ask a relative or a friend to act as the White House hostess. The current First Lady of the US is Michelle Obama and as per the schedule Melania Trump is expected to replace heron January 20, 2017. – ‘First Ladies and their accomplishments’ – Martha Washington created the role and hosted many affairs of state at the national capital. Both Martha Washington and Abigail Adams were treated as if they were ‘ladies’ of the British royal court. Dolley Madison popularised the First Ladyship by engaging in efforts to assist orphans and women, by dressing in elegant fashions and attracting newspaper coverage, and by risking her life to save iconic treasures during the War of 1812. She set the standards for the ladyship and her actions were the model for nearly every First Lady until Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1930s. She travelled widely and spoke to many groups, often voicing personal opinions to the left of the president’s. She also authored a weekly newspaper column and hosted a radio show. Jacqueline Kennedy led an effort to redecorate and restore the White House. Many first ladies became significant fashion trendsetters. Some have exercised a degree of political influence by virtue of being an important adviser to the president. Lady Bird Johnson pioneered environmental protection and beautification.Pat Nixon encouraged volunteerism and travelled extensively abroad; Betty Ford supported women’s rights; Rosalynn Carter aided those with mental disabilities; Nancy Reagan founded the ‘Just Say No to drugs’ awareness campaign; Barbara Bush promoted literacy; Hillary Clinton sought to reform the healthcare system in the US and Laura Bush supported women’s rights groups and encouraged childhood literacy.Michelle Obama has become identified with supporting military families and tackling childhood obesity. Near the end of her husband’s presidency, Hilary Clinton became the very first ‘First Lady’ to run for political office.