India has become a must-go destination for many leaders. And when in India, it has become a norm for state leaders to visit the Taj Mahal with their better halves.
Today, first lady Melania Trump arrived in India alongside President Donald Trump for a two-day visit and with this will continue the long and rich tradition of modern first ladies soaking up the culture and hospitality of the nation.
The first lady participated in events at the Motera Stadium where President Trump and Prime Minister Modi spoke about the flourishing Indo-US relationship. The first lady and the President will move from Ahmedabad to Agra, where they will visit the Taj Mahal, but she will also venture solo to a school to witness a unique curriculum.
Here is a compilation of all the US First Ladies who visited India:
- The tradition to visit India started most notably with Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of President John F. Kennedy. She had spent days in India in 1962.
- Once the trend was set by one first-lady, the love and charm of India started spreading in the US. Hence, almost seven years later, Patricia Nixon arrived alongside her husband, Richard Nixon, in 1969. Their visit is the shortest of all the presidents that visited India, with the tour spanning for just the day.
- The next first lady to visit India after Patricia Nixon was Rosalynn Carter, wife of President Jimmy Carter. She had spent two days there in 1978 with her husband.
- In 1984, Barbara Bush, even though she was not the first lady of US at the time, visited India while she was the second lady, while her husband George H.W. Bush was serving as Vice President.
- The most notable, of all the first ladies, is perhaps Hillary Clinton. As the first lady when Bill Clinton was the President of US, Hillary Clinton’s first significant solo international trip was a 12-day tour of Southeast Asia in 1995. She and her daughter, Chelsea, then 15, made sure to set aside three days for India.
- In 2006, Laura Bush visited India and stayed in the country for over 60 hours, making her and President George W. Bush’s stay the shortest since the Nixons.
- For Michelle Obama, the trip she took to India in 2010 with President Barack Obama proved a global extravaganza where people recognized her fun, informal, and down-to-earth nature.