Sunday would have been the 94th birthday of Helen Milliken, the First Lady of Michigan from 1969 to 1982.
Helen was more than that: she was a supporter of the arts, a committed environmentalist, and perhaps most significantly, the embodiment of the emergence of women from domesticity to an equal footing in public life with men.
While her husband occupied the governor’s office, Helen participated in Capitol protests against legislation limiting reproductive choice. She became a champion of protecting the Pigeon River country in northern Michigan and sand dunes along the shore of Lake Michigan.
She took heat from critics who thought a First Lady should be seen and not heard. And she remained ever gracious. I am fortunate to have met her.
More about Helen is here.