Jill Biden donates inaugural wear, face masks to Smithsonian

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. speak to (someone) / spik tu / (idiom) – to have an emotional connection to something, making it special or important to someone

    The raising of the white flag spoke to the people and made them feel at peace.

  2. lesion / ˈli ʒən / (n.) – a damaged organ or body part due to an injury or disease

    He had to undergo an operation to remove some lesions.

  3. part with / pɑrt wɪð / (phrasal v.) – to give away something to someone else, especially when one doesn’t want to

    She didn’t really want to part with her old clothes and shoes, but she eventually donated them.

  4. respectively / rɪˈspɛk tɪv li / (adv.) – relating to the people or things mentioned previously in the same order

    The blue and red bags on the table belong to Mark and Joe, respectively.

  5. start out / stɑrt aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to start an important period in one’s life or career in a certain way

    I started out as a sales representative in this company, and now I’m a manager.


Read the text below.

Jill Biden says her Inauguration Day outfits, now featured in a Smithsonian museum exhibit about first ladies, were a “voice for me on one of the most important days of my life.”

The dresses — one blue, one white — with matching coats and face masks “spoke to the American people then, and now they will continue speaking to generations to come,” she said, before mannequins dressed in her clothes were formally added to the exhibit.

“They will help tell not only my story, but the story of what Americans experienced together,” the first lady said at the museum. It was her first public appearance, following the removal of a cancerous lesion from her face and another one from her chest.

“This day is so much more emotional than I ever imagined it to be,” she said.

First ladies typically donate their inaugural ball gown to the Smithsonian Institution, but President Joe Biden had no such celebrations. He took office at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when such large indoor gatherings were discouraged.

So Jill Biden parted with the ocean blue tweed dress and coat that she wore to her husband’s swearing-in at the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, and the ivory silk wool dress and cashmere coat she wore at the White House that evening. They were designed by Alexandra O’Neill, founder and designer of Markarian, and Gabriela Hearst, founder and creative director of Gabriela Hearst, respectively.

In recognition of the historic nature of the inauguration, the face masks the first lady wore were also added to The First Ladies Collection at the National Museum of American History.

She praised both designers, who spoke at the ceremony. Jill Biden said she met O’Neill when the designer was just starting out.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What do you think is the significance of displaying the first ladies’ dresses in the Smithsonian museum (ex. represents historic clothing, represents the first ladies’ contributions)? Discuss.
  • Jill Biden said that the outfits were a voice for her on one of the most important days of her life. Do you agree that the clothes we wear can become like a voice for us? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Jill Biden said that her Inauguration Day outfits spoke to the American people and will speak to the generations to come. Do you think clothing can have such an impact on the public? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you were a public figure, what kind of clothes do you think you’d be wearing? Discuss.
Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment