The Rotary Club of Akron had the pleasure of listening to Patty Dowd Schmitz during our Tuesday, August 29th weekly Club Meeting.  Ms. Dowd-Schmitz gave a very interesting presentation on the National First Ladies Library and Museum.   

Their Vision:
The National First Ladies Library is the foremost repository of scholarly research and information and a leader in education about the First Ladies of the USA.  The Library and Museum works collaboratively with the National Park Service.  The First Ladies National Historic Site consists of the historic Saxton-McKinley House, the First Ladies Museum, and the Education and Research Center. 
Their Mission:
Their mission is to preserve, promote, and educate about the significant role of First Ladies of the USA and their contributions throughout history.
As many of you already know, the museum is in Canton.  What you may not know is that the museum’s founder was Mary Regula, wife of long-time Congressman Ralph Regula.  The National First Ladies Library was founded in 1995.  The museum became a National Historic Site in 2000 and was dedicated by Rosalynn Carter, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton.
The museum is a repository of research and artifacts from the First Ladies. Ms. Dowd-Schmitz provided information on the Saxton/McKinley House.  John Saxton started the Canton Repository newspaper.
The library and museum are in the original First National Bank Building.
  • Home to the National First Ladies Library – 1,000 books.
  • Home to a collection of over 5,000 artifacts.
  • Three floors open to the public.
Ms. Dowd-Schmitz continued by presenting information on the current exhibit.  The exhibit runs until April 2024 and “Is All About Jackie Kennedy.”  What is unique about the annual First Lady feature is that the exhibit covers the entire life of the First Lady and not just the time their husbands were President.
I encourage anyone who is interested in this week’s presentation to check out the video to learn more some interesting facts about the history of the museum, as well as about Jackie Kennedy.
The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To learn more about the National First Ladies Library and Museum, go to
Yours in Rotary Service - 
Terry Dalton
Akron Club Secretary and Scholarship Chair