First (potential) First Lady to give a convention speech

It seems odd that the (potential) First Lady gives a speech at the conventions. Who was the first? (Google is blowing up with Michelle Obama’s speech from last night - so searching is a bit difficult.)

Eleanor Roosevelt, 1940

Yeah, I heard this factoid on NPR this morning. First was Eleanor because FDR couldn’t make it for some reason (they didn’t mention why) and then no one till Barbara Bush (but they didn’t mention if it was in 88 or 92).

But Roosevelt was already First Lady in 1940. If the question is asking who the first potentially-but-not-yet First Lady was to give a convention speech, she wouldn’t qualify.

By those criteria, I believe Laura Bush in 2000 is the answer. Elizabeth Dole made a speech in 1996, but of course she didn’t become First Lady.

Well, Dole was a potential First Lady. So maybe she’s the first.

The intent of the parentheses is throwing me off. There are several ways to parse the OP, and all arrive at different answers.

  1. First First Lady to give a convention speech at any point in her life? (E. Roosevelt)
  2. First First Lady to give a convention speech before her husband became president? (L. Bush)
  3. First* potential* First Lady to give a speech, regardless of whether her husband was ever elected. (Dole)

No, I meant it as an either/or. Just First Lady or potential First Lady.