Henrietta Boggs-MacGuire

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Henrietta Longstreet Boggs-MacGuire (born May 6, 1918 in Spartanburg, South Carolina; died September 7, 2020 in Montgomery) was the first lady of Costa Rica, having married three-time president José Figueres Ferrer on October 18, 1941, before he came to power following the Costa Rican civil war.

Henrietta was the daughter of Ralph and Meta Long Boggs. She grew up in Birmingham and was a student at Birmingham-Southern College in 1940 when she received a postcard from an aunt and uncle who had settled in Costa Rica. She traveled to that country and met Figueres, then a coffee farmer who had established himself at the head of the Social Democratic Party in opposition to Rafael Angel Calderón and his successor Teodoro Picado.

As head of an opposition party, Figueres and his bride were exiled in Mexico and El Salvador from 1942 to 1944. He corresponded with compatriots and returned to run for President in March 1948. Calderón's supporters invalidated the election, leading to Civil War. Figueres led a rebel army which defeated Calderón's communist supporters. He served his first 18-month term as provisional president from 1948 to 1949, enacting numerous popular reforms and directing the creation of a new constitution. Among those reforms was granting suffrage to women, at Henrietta's insistence.

She and Figueres had two children, Meta Shannong (Muni) and José Martí. They divorced in 1952, before he began his second term of office. Boggs returned to the United States and was active in Civil Rights, women's rights and labor activism while she worked in television. She has written several stories and plays as well as a memoir of her time in Costa Rica entitled Married to a Legend: Don Pepe, which was published in San Jose in 1992.

Bogg's second marriage was to Hugh C. MacGuire. Boggs-MacGuire currently resides in Montgomery. She founded the Montgomery Living lifestyle magazine and is an occasional contributor to the Montgomery Advertiser.

References

  • Brown, Melissa (September 10, 2020) "Alabamian Henrietta Boggs, former First Lady of Costa Rica, dies at 102." Montgomery Advertiser