At the 1864 Sanitary Fair in St. Louis, Nellie (also born on July 4th) dressed up as “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” and sold dolls to raise money for the Civil War effort. When she turned 13, her father, Ulysses S. Grant, personally dropped her off at the prestigious Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. He did not let the First Lady join them “lest Julia cry and bring her back.” But when he returned to the White House, there were three urgent telegrams from his daughter who wanted to leave because she was homesick. He relented, and she ended up having much more fun in Washington, where she sometimes stayed out at dances until 5:00 am. When Nellie started attracting gentleman suitors, her parents sent her abroad with Secretary of the Navy Adolph E. Borie to keep her out of trouble, and she got to meet Queen Victoria of England. But on the journey home, she fell for an English army officer named Algernon Sartoris. The couple wed at the White House on May 21, 1874.
Happy Birthday to America—and her First Daughters
President Obama isn't just celebrating the birth of the nation on July 4, he's celebrating the birth of his daughter Malia, who is turning 14. In honor of both milestones, TIME looks back through the years at other First Daughters, whose youthful exuberance reflects the best of America on her 236th birthday