To a young Ms. Day, one of the coolest parts of the Smithsonian was the First Ladies exhibit. Everyone quieted down when they walked into the room that had the lights dimmed to protect these ladies' fancy, frail dresses yep, there's just something so memorable about those special-occasion gowns (maybe it's because Day tried to get at one of 'em and got wrestled to the floor hard to forget something like that). She won't make the same mistake again when she views First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image
, a touring exhibition hosted by the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org) that features some of these garments (worn by ladies like Grace Coolidge and Mamie Eisenhower), one of Martha Washington's necklaces, campaign buttons (pictured) and other artifacts from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Behring Center. First Ladies
opens today (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and continues through Sunday, May 7; admittance costs $3 to $6.
Feb. 12-May 7