Flower Mart’s First Ladies

April 18, 2022
First Lady Bess Truman shopping at a Flower Mart booth in 1950

In 1940 All Hallows Guild hosted the second annual Flower Mart on the Cathedral’s Pilgrim Steps. In attendance at the event was White House resident First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt was interested in seeing the wares brough to the “Market” by local farmers’ wives. Mrs. Edith Wilson, wife of the 28th President Woodrow Wilson, participated in Flower Mart 1940 by serving as a cashier at one of booths. Mrs. Wilson regularly attend Flower Mart for many years.

Eight First Ladies have opened or attended Flower Mart – several were “Second Ladies” at the time they attended:

Eleanor Roosevelt

Edith Wilson

Bess Truman

Mamie Eisenhower

Pat Nixon

Jackie Kennedy

Lady Bird Johnson

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush attended Flower Mart in 1990 – the year that the last of the Cathedral’s pinnacles was raised. Laura Bush did not personally attend Flower Mart, but visited the Bishop’s Garden with her Texas Garden Club. When unable to attend in person, many First Ladies – including Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Rosalyn Carter, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Reagan – have sent letters of greeting and congratulations.

This year we are pleased to announce that former First Lady Rosalyn Carter will serve as Honorary Flower Mart Chairperson – along with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.


All Hallows Guild was founded in 1916 to provide for the care and beautification of the grounds of Washington National Cathedral. The Guild works closely with the horticultural staff to preserve this historic landscape and raises funds for renovation and renewal of the gardens.


  • (202) 537-2937
  • ahg@allhallowsguild.org
  • 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20016


You’ll see what’s new in the gardens and learn about our upcoming events by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter.

Scroll to Top