Bill And Hillary Clinton In 17 Vintage Photos That Will Make You Smile
Before they were international celebrities, the subjects of endless conspiracy theories, and the first married couple to be comprised of a former president and a hopeful future president, Bill and Hillary Clinton were just two crazy kids in love. Not to say that when the couple first met in 1971, when both were students at Yale Law School, neither of them had greater aspirations: Bill entered school with political plans already in his sights, and Hillary (who was then known as Hillary Rodham) was focused on getting her legal career started. The pair married in 1975, soon after graduating from Yale and four years before Bill became the governor of Arkansas.
The Clintons — who moved in together after only about a a month of dating — have a more romantic back story than you might imagine, if you were just going on the decades of scandals, think pieces, and trumped-up controversies that have shaped the public perception of their marriage. That's not to say that this information is somehow essential to understand Hillary's campaign, or that having it out there will somehow "soften" her public image. Hillary's image doesn't need to be softened, and her personal life should have as little bearing on your decision about whether or not to vote for her as it would any other candidate (I mean, no one's going to vote or not vote for Jeb Bush based on how cute his prom photos are, right?).
But for those of us who grew up with the Clintons occupying a huge space of the public consciousness, it's natural to be curious. Who were these people, before they became such highly charged and symbolic political figures? And how did they end up together?
So let's take a trip back in time — back to when Bill was an adorable band geek:
Who met JFK:
And Hillary was a high schooler who was active with the student council:
She went on to attend Wellesley College:
Where she majored in political science:
And became the first Wellesley student to deliver a speech during commencement:
Both headed to Yale to go to law school:
But they didn't begin dating until 1971:
According to Hillary, it was love (or at least some other word that starts with an "l") at first sight:
According to Bill's memoir, on their first date, they talked their way into the Yale Art Museum after it was closed. Soon after, Hillary caught a cold, and Bill brought her chicken soup and orange juice. The pair became close, quickly.
In the summer of 1971, Bill ditched a previous commitment he'd made to work on the McGovern presidential campaign in order to follow Hillary while she did a legal internship in California. Hillary described Bill in an interview as "the first man I'd met who wasn't afraid of me."
After they graduated in 1973, they moved to Arkansas together. Supposedly, Bill proposed to Hillary a number of times over the course of their relationship, but Hillary always said no. After their move, Hillary took a trip back east, remarking on the way to the airport that a house they passed looked cute. When she returned to Arkansas, she learned that Bill had bought the house for them. Bill proposed again, and she said yes. Totally smooth, right?
They married in the living room of their new house on October 11, 1975:
Their wedding was small, with only 15 guests in attendence:
And Hillary's '70s wedding dress game was next level:
Five years later, they had their first and only child, Chelsea:
And then they lived happily ever after, with zero problems for the rest of their lives!
Uh, just kidding. The Clintons have had a world of ups and downs, both with the country and with each other. But you don't have to support Hillary's campaign, plan on voting for her, or be a fan of the general Clinton political legacy to admit that these two were friggin' adorable together:
Clinton/ Duck '16?
Image: William J. Clinton Presidential Library (3)