The First-Ever Virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day" – The White House is Open for Questions

Ed. note: This event has concluded. See all the responses from administration officials who participated in Big Block of Cheese Day.

President Obama has always been dedicated to the idea that the White House is truly "The People's House" and has worked to make 1600 Pennsylvania and his administration open and accessible.

This isn't a new idea, the same can be said of President Andrew Jackson. On February 22, 1837, President Jackson hosted an open house featuring a 1,400-pound block of cheese that sat in the main foyer of the White House. This original "Big Block of Cheese Day" opened the doors of the White House to thousands of citizens to interact with cabinet members and White House staff – and carve off a slice of the four foot by two foot thick slab of cheddar. 

On Wednesday, January 29th, with a nod to history (and maybe the TV show the West Wing), the Obama Administration is hosting the first-ever virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day," during which dozens of White House officials will take to social media for a day long 'open house' to answers questions from everyday Americans in real-time on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and via Google+ Hangout.

So be sure to visit WH.gov/SOTU to watch the State of the Union Address live on January 28, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET and stay tuned for a complete schedule of engagement events for virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day."

Big Block of Cheese Day

Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day: Schedule of events

Join us on Twitter

From the road with President Obama: 

  • Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer - @Pfeiffer44
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney - @PressSec 
  • Assistant Press Secretary Matt Lehrich - @Lehrich44
  • Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett - @VJ44

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET: General Overview & #SOTU themes 

  • Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest - @JEarnest44
  • Director of the Office of Public Engagement Paulette Aniskoff - @PAniskoff44v

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. ET: Economic Opportunity & Mobility 

  • Deputy Communications Director Amy Brundage - @Brundage44
  • Member of the Council of Economic Advisers Betsey Stevenson - @CEABetsey

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET: Immigration & Latino Issues 

  • Director of Hispanic Media Katherine Vargas - @Vargas44
  • Deputy Director of Hispanic Media Antoinette Rangel - @LaCasaBlanca

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET: Climate & Energy 

  • Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy - @GinaEPA
  • Special Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate Change - @Utech44

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET:  STEM

  • Director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy Dr. John Holdren - @WhiteHouseOSTP

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET:  Minimum Wage, Unemployment Insurance, Skills gap & Apprenticeships 

  • Secretary of Labor Tom Perez - @LaborSec
  • Member of the Council of Economic Advisers Betsey Stevenson - @CEABetsey

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET:  State & Local issues 

  • Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew - @DavidAgnew44

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET:  Foreign Policy

  • Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes - @Rhodes44 
  • National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden - @NSCPress 

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET:  Health Care

  • Senior Communications Advisor Tara McGuinness - @HealthCareTara
  • Director of Progressive Media & Online Response Jesse Lee - @JesseCLee44
  • Associate Communications Director Rachel Racusen - @Racusen44

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET:  Rebuilding America's Infrastructure

Facebook Q&A: 

3:30 p.m. ET: La Casa Blanca Facebook Page -- Immigration & Latino issues

4:00 p.m. ET: The White House Facebook Page -- Economic Opportunity & Mobility 

  • Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman

Google+ Hangout:

1:30 p.m. ET:  Education: "From Daycare to Diploma" with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan 

Joined by three of the extraordinary Americans who are joining the First Lady in her viewing box for this year’s State of the Union Address

  • Joey Hudy, Maker and Intel Intern 
  • Estiven Rodriguez, Student, Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School 
  • Kathy Hollowell-Makle, 2013 DCPS Teacher of the Year 
  • Additional participants to represent Elementary/Middle School, High School and College.

Have a question about a topic not covered here? Additional Administration officials will be participating throughout the day so keep an eye out: 

First Lady Michelle Obama - @FLOTUS
Executive Director of Let's Move Sam Kass - @LetsMove
Director of Specialty Media Shin Inouye - @Inouye44
Cheif of Staff of the Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots - @WhiteHouseCEQ
The White House Historical Association - @WhitehouseHstry
Communications Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy Rafael Lemaitre - @RafaelONDCP
Department of Agriculture - @USDA
Department of Commerce - @CommerceSec
Director of the Office of Personnel Management Katherine Archuleta - @OPMDirector
Office of Personnel Management - @USOPM
Office of the United States Trade Representative - @USTradeRep
Department of the Treasury - @USTreasury

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