Each year, to honor and celebrate the legacy of first lady Betty Ford, her daughter Susan Ford Bales and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation hosts the luncheon presentation “America’s First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy.” To commemorate Ford’s 100th birthday, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, will be featured guests participating in an intimate discussion moderated by journalist Andrea Mitchell.

The discussion will be take place Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (1000 E Beltline Ave. N.E.).

“As first lady, mother never felt the constraints of politics when deciding to speak out about an issue,” said Ford Bales. “This year’s guests reflect the depth of support and respect that she earned as first lady. Our family is gracious that these strong women are celebrating mother’s centennial with our friends, family and community in Grand Rapids.”

Rodham Clinton has spent four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, first lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and presidential candidate.

Courtesy Ford Foundation
Courtesy Ford Foundation

Robb, who served as first lady of Virginia from 1982 to 1986, and has been married Chuck Robb for 50 years, is known for her work raising awareness for women’s and children’s issues. Robb was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to chair the President's Advisory Committee for Women, a committee of 30 who worked to promote equality for women.

“The Ford and Johnson families’ friendship dates back to when both of our fathers served in Congress,” said Robb. “I am excited to share some of my moments as a first daughter during this special tribute.”

MSNBC Anchors - Season 15
Art Streiber/MSNBC

In addition to moderating the discussion, Andrea Mitchell will share some behind the scenes stories of her experiences covering first families starting with the Carter administration, as well as her decades covering national politics and foreign policy. She currently serves as NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of MSNBC's “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

Individual tickets for “America’s First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy” annual luncheon will go on sale March 5. More information is available by contacting 616-254-0393. Doors for registered guests will open at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m.

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