Dolley Madison: American Experience

Dolley Madison: American Experience

Sat, 03/10/2012 - 10:00pm

Pictured: Eve Best as Dolley Madison

Credit: Kent Eanes/WGBH

A portrait of the woman who transformed the previously undefined role of the president’s wife and became America’s “first” First Lady.

Dolley Madison lived through two wars, knew the first 12 presidents and watched America evolve from a struggling young republic to the first modern democracy in the world. At a time when women could neither vote nor participate officially in politics, Dolley Madison, wife of the fourth president, James Madison, became one of the most influential and best-loved figures of her day. When she died in 1849 at the age of 81 — one of the last remaining members of the founding generation — Washington City honored her with the largest state funeral the capital had ever seen.

Dolley Madison, American Experience, a portrait of the woman who transformed the previously undefined role of the president’s wife and became America’s “first” First Lady, airs Saturday, March 10 at 10 p.m. on WXXI World (DT21.2/cable 524).

Dolley Madison features interviews with NPR senior news analyst and best-selling author Cokie Roberts (Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation), historian Catherine Allgor (A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation), presidential historian Richard Norton Smith and others. The distinguished cast of actors includes Tony Award-nominee Eve Best (“Nurse Jackie”) as Dolley Madison and Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) as James Madison.

Throughout March, WXXI-TV and Radio is proud to offer special programming in honor of National Women’s History Month. These programs highlight the historical contributions women have made as well as the ongoing situations of women around the globe.

share