I will freely admit that I’m not doing Frances Folsom justice in today’s comic. She was a brilliant and well-educated woman who took a special interest in political strategy, that was particularly handy in getting Grover Cleveland elected to the only second non-consecutive term in our history.

It was also the first time a First Lady was made to be a visible and active part of a president’s campaign. That kind of precedent allowed Eleanor Roosevelt to be as influential as she was. Up until that point, the First Lady role was to be primarily in the deep background and then a White House host.

Besides the creepiness of her history with Grover Cleveland, by all accounts, it was one of the most happy and successful Presidential marriages. And once she entered the White House and even while out of it, Frances Folsom would remain engaged in charities and political activism. Her popularity turned her into a national celebrity and people printed her image on everything, leading her to be seen as a fashion icon. She then used that influence to get more young women (including African-American women) access to college.