GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Barbara and Laura Bush fondly remembered two other women who had a huge worldwide impact: Betty Ford and Margaret Thatcher.

The two former first ladies appeared at a luncheon Monday that's part of a daylong conference in Grand Rapids. It examines the role of the first lady and also celebrates the 100th and 95th birthdays of the late former President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford, respectively.

"America's First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy" is being hosted by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Laura Bush told a packed J.W. Marriott ballroom that before Betty Ford, "women didn't really talk about breast cancer and women didn't really know what to do so. I'm thankful for her really strong personality."

Bush's mother-in-law, Barbara Bush said Betty Ford "probably has saved more lives with the Betty Ford Foundation and I hope she gets great pleasure from the fact that she has changed the world."

Regarding the passing of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Bush recalled being with her the night she lost re-election. "She was so courageous, she said 'Don't worry we'll change the vote.' She didn't change the vote and I think she regretted that a lot... she wanted to go back-- she knew she could do better than those men."