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"The museum hosted a virtual book talk with Debra upon the release of LADIES, FIRST. It was delightful to learn about these amazing women who were unique in that they occupied the position of First Lady; yet, they had this wonderful thread link weaving them together as a group. The book is well-researched, nicely written and beautifully illustrated. What a fun way to learn the history of these amazing First Ladies!" 

Bethany Sullivan, Director
James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage
"The audience was treated to a rich tapestry of insights about the women who have helped shape the course of American history."

Mary Bailey, President
Bayport Blue Point Heritage Association

Upcoming Talks 

Sunday, September 15, 2024
2:00 p.m. 

Bohemia Historial Society

Sunday, October 27, 2024
Annual Tea
Rocky Point Historical Society

March 4, 2025
7:00 p.m.

Huntington Quilters Guild
Christ Lutheran Church
East Northport


Past Presentations

What People Are Saying...

"Oakdale Historical Society was DELIGHTED to host Debra Scala Giokas at the historical St. John's Church (circa 1765) for her presentation 'Ladies, First: Common Threads'. Her presentation was extremely well prepared. The audience (and me!) were treated to dynamic facts about the First Ladies that are seldom discussed or taught. She backed up all her research with a powerpoint type program complete with PHOTOGRAPHS to compliment her discussion. The entire room was hushed and sitting on the edge of their seats to hear the next exciting tidbit. While the topic seemed interesting when it was booked, we were blown-away with the depth of material and the skillful presentation. This is a MUST SEE event that I would strongly urge you to seek out. Thank you Debra. We had a ball!" -Maryann Almes, President, Oakdale Historical Society

"The Rocky Point Historical Society had the pleasure of welcoming Debra Scala Giokas as our featured speaker at our 25th Anniversary Tea. Debra’s delightful presentation on her book, “ Ladies First : Common Threads,” about 18 of our First Ladies from their childhoods to the Oval Office and beyond, received rave reviews from our more than 90 attendees, definitely no easy feat! She was not only knowledgeable but thoroughly engaging, and her accompanying slide show was wonderful. We recommend her with the highest praise." ~ Constance Iervolino, Board Member and Co-Chair of the 25th Anniversary Tea, The Rocky Point Historical Society

"I recently attended Debra's book talk about 18 first ladies who stitched their way across history. Debra has given her talk to groups across Long Island, and her presentation is lively and informative. Debra’s passion for her topic shines through. If you have the opportunity, register for one of her book discussions. You will come away enlightened and enthralled."  - Kathleen Weinman

"I never knew much about first ladies and didn't know I even cared about them. But this presentation has truly sparked my interest. Filled with humor and casual stories of their past, I feel like an insider now and genuinely have an interest and new found respect for these fascinating women. Debra's passion and knowledge is evident from the start, and she draws you into their inner circle. It's such a well-organized and engaging talk, I even told other friends and brought them along a second time."  ~ Patricia Hauk

"This author's multimodal presentation on first ladies' common love of needlecraft was both engaging and enlightening. A talented artisan herself, Debra's knowledge and passion for drawing attention to this creative connection is nothing short of remarkable." ~ Jennifer Young

"Standing ovation for author Debra Scala Giokas! This is a thoroughly enjoyable book and an absolute pleasure to read! Once again the author has managed to bring to light the amazing accomplishments of some outstanding women in US history — in this case many of our nation’s exemplary former first ladies. I had the unique pleasure of meeting the author, hearing her speak at a book signing and presentation of her research. She is impressive and formidable in both her ability to research/write and present with humor, conviction and passion so as to bring to life these extraordinary women in an incredibly creative way — knitting, crocheting, quilting — sewing handcrafts. This book will inspire younger audiences as it delights older as well, making it a perfect gift for readers of any age. What an ingenious way to make the telling of history fresh, fun and fanciful!!! If I could give it 10 stars I would, we’ll done Debra, we can’t wait to see what delightful stories and intriguing history come from your pen next, keep it up!!" ~ Joseph Benty

"Debra is a talented writer who entertains and informs with engaging stories about women throughout history and their crafts. Hearing her speak is a delight. I learned a lot and was completely drawn in by the stories. Her books are beautifully written and illustrated. They make great gifts for children of all ages." ~ Nancy Stein

"Debra’s talk was both informative and entertaining. She skillfully related details from the lives and crafting habits of the First Ladies she’d studied, and made long ago history come alive." ~ Cathy Kessler

"Debra shares her passion for needlework and deep respect for our First Ladies. Very engaging and empowering talk." ~ Susan Vahjen 

"As youngsters, we were taught about the presidents, and a little about their wives, but Debra has taken this little known subject and elevated it to where it should be in the annals of history. I barely knew their names when I joined Debra's splendid presentation and learned more than I expected. Debra knows everything there is to know about the First Ladies. Our first ladies’ interest in needlework served the country in many different ways and Debra demonstrates that in an enjoyable presentation that leaves you wanting to come back for more." ~ Gina Pirozzi

"Thank you Deb for your outstanding presentation to The Bayport-Blue Point Heritage Association yesterday. You held a packed house spell bound with the detailed stories of our incredible and accomplished First Ladies. Your depth of knowledge and obvious affection and respect are evident in your presentation. That you discovered their “common thread” and wove their unique personalities and family histories all together made a beautiful tapestry and a fascinating afternoon. I hope to hear another future presentation soon. Great job!" ~ Pamela Greene, Bayport NY

“Fabulous, the best Authors Luncheon ever! Debra did such a great job. Bless her for the most terrific authors luncheon AAUW has ever hosted.” 
~ Peggy Elliot, member, American Association of University Women

"I thought Debra blended the historical information in her book with her personal information and her comments on the universally satisfying forms of creativity most successfully.  I also thought her willingness to chat with her audience before and after her presentation was an excellent and gratifying (to her audience!) addition to the program."
~ Harriet Wolfe, member, American Association of University Women

"I recently attended Ms. Giokas's presentation at Patchogue-Medford LibraryShe willingly shares her wealth of information on First Ladies from Martha Washington to Barbara Bush who used their needlework skills for self expression and to give back to those around them. Their work has ultimately become a reflection of their time and culture,  a valuable gift to history and the American people." ~ Nancy Curran, Long Island Quilts for Kids, a non-profit organization that sews and donates quilts, pillowcases, and so much more to hospitals and those in need on Long Island and beyond. 

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