George and Barbara Bush celebrate 69th wedding anniversary

The longest-running presidential love story just celebrated another anniversary.

President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush marked their 69th wedding anniversary Monday, extending the couple’s record for the longest presidential marriage in the nation’s history.

They set the record in 2000 when they surpassed John and Abigail Adams’ 54-year union.

“They don’t think of it in terms of ‘we’re the longest,’” Jim McGrath, President George H.W. Bush’s spokesman, told on Monday. “They’re just so clearly still in love and devoted to one another. They’re two people, but they’re really one person.”

The romance began when the two met during a Christmas dance at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., back when the future president was 16 years old. The two were engaged a year and a half later, right before President Bush shipped out overseas to fight in World War II as a naval pilot.

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A few years later, in Sept. 1944, Bush was shot down and nearly killed during a mission over the Pacific, which resulted in his being sent back home in time for Christmas. Soon after, Bush and the then Barbara Pierce were married in Rye, N.Y. on Jan. 6, 1945. They would have six children, including future President George W. Bush.

Years later, Barbara Bush would tell her children that she married the first man she ever kissed.

The two occupied the White House as the president and first lady from 1989 to 1993. Previously, Barabara Bush was the second lady of the United States during President Reagan’s eight-year term, when her husband served as vice president.

She was hospitalized last week with pneumonia and released on Saturday. McGrath said she’s “thrilled” to be home, and that the couple celebrated a quiet anniversary at their home in Houston. 

Meanwhile, President Bush, who has had some health problems, is doing “fantastic,” McGrath said, adding that the former president made it out to the annual family Christmas trip to Florida and was able to do some fishing.

As for the secret to the couple’s longtime bond, McGrath says the two treat each other with love and deference, as well as a healthy amount of teasing.

“It’s hard for one to think of life without the other,” McGrath says, “which is why 69 years is such a blessing.”

Fox News’ Janet Cawley contributed to this report.