The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • A Real Festival of Lights: Hanukkah at the White House 2014/5775

    On Wednesday, December 17, the President and Mrs. Obama welcomed members of the American Jewish community to the White House to celebrate Hanukkah. For the second year, they hosted two receptions in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Guests represented the breadth of the Jewish community, including leaders from a wide range of local and national Jewish organizations, religious leaders representing the various Jewish denominations, state and local elected officials, Administration officials, Members of Congress, academics, musicians, authors, and other members of the Jewish community.

    The receptions featured performances from Jewish college a cappella groups and the U.S. Marine Band. The food preparation occurred under the strict rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Lubavitch Center of Washington (Chabad), in cooperation with the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington.

    Watch on YouTube

  • First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the Holidays with the Children's National Medical Center

    First Lady Michelle Obama reads '' 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2014

    First Lady Michelle Obama reads '' 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" during a Christmas holiday program at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2014. The First Lady is seated with Elves Aaron Irby (age 9), and Kyra DeStefano (age 10), right, and Obama family pets, Bo and Sunny. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    First Lady Michelle Obama visited the patients at the Children’s National Medical Center today in Washington, D.C., continuing a tradition dating back more than 60 years to First Lady Bess Truman. First Dogs Bo and Sunny joined Mrs. Obama to help spread holiday cheer to the kids and their families.

    After meeting with patients and doctors in the surgical care unit and with the infectious disease team, the First Lady sat down with Santa Claus to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to a group of children gathered in the hospital's atrium.

    CHILD: I knew it was Santa!

    MRS. OBAMA: You knew it was Santa! It’s a Christmas story, who else would it be? 

  • West Wing Week: 12/12/14 or, "Zeros & Ones"

    This week, the President nominated a Secretary of Defense, coded with a group of budding computer scientists, took over as host of The Colbert Report, pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted a summit on high quality early education, and welcomed this year's Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House. That's December 5th to December 11th or, "Zeros & Ones."

  • "I'm the Big Elf": President Obama Helps the First Lady Deliver Toys for Tots

    President Obama: "Ho, ho, ho!"

    First Lady Michelle Obama: "That's a pretty serious, ho, ho, ho."

    Sorting toys can be a serious business, and that's why First Lady Michelle Obama brought along a special helper to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. today. "I'm the big elf," the President declared. "I'm like Will Ferrell." 

  • You’re Invited to Deck the Halls at the 2014 White House Holiday Social

    In keeping with President and First Lady's vision to make the Obama White House as accessible as possible, a few times a year the White House opens its doors to people who engage with us on social media. And that time has come, once again! On Monday, December 15, we are inviting tweeters, instagrammers, viners, and Facebook fans from across the country to take part in the 2014 holiday festivities and learn about the White House holiday preparations at the 2014 White House Holiday Social.

    Visitors selected to participate in the Holiday Social will tour the White House, which has been transformed for the holidays, and will meet with some of the people responsible for the success of this year’s holiday decorations.

    So, if you want to see the White House this holiday season in person, apply now for your chance to join other White House social media followers at the White House Holiday Social. And of course, while you’re here, share your experience using #WHHolidays.

  • The President and First Lady Host a Reception for the 2014 Kennedy Center Honorees

    Watch on YouTube

    Yesterday evening at the White House, the President and First Lady hosted a reception for this year's Kennedy Center Honorees: singer Al Green, actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, singer-songwriter Sting, and comedienne Lily Tomlin.

    The Kennedy Center Honors, now in its 37th year, recognizes "living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts."

    As the President said in his remarks yesterday, "Our art is a reflection of us not just as people, but as a nation. It binds us together. Songs and dance and film express our triumphs and our faults, our strengths, our tenderness in ways that sometimes words simply cannot do."

  • Military Kids and Families Take Part in the Annual Holiday Press Preview

    First Lady Michelle Obama and children of military families look at the White House Christmas tree

    First Lady Michelle Obama stops to look at the White House Christmas tree in Blue Room while walking with children of military families to the State Dining Room of the White House for a craft project during the Christmas holiday press preview, Dec. 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    In the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed service members, veterans, wounded warriors, and their families. Her remarks included words of appreciation and gratitude for those who have answered our nation’s call to service and their families for their unconditional support throughout all the transitions and challenges associated with military life.

    During her remarks, the First Lady focused especially on the obstacles that military children can oftentimes face.

    “They don’t know about your kids and all that you have to go through,” the First Lady said. “They don’t know that oftentimes military kids have to start at a new school every couple of years, which means a tough transition for some, although they do it so bravely.”

  • West Wing Week: 12/05/14 or, "Multiparameter Flow Cytometer"

    This week, the President got a head start on his Small Business Saturday shopping, took action to build trust between communities and local police, got a firsthand look at the ground-breaking scientific research behind the American-made Ebola vaccine candidate now in clinical trials, hosted the annual Tribal Nations Conference and the second-ever College Opportunity Summit, and last but not least, helped light the National Christmas Tree. That's November 28th to December 4th or, "Multiparameter Flow Cytometer.


  • College Opportunity Day of Action: Ensuring There’s No Limit to What We Can Achieve

    President Barack Obama Delivers Remarks During the White House College Opportunity Day of Action

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the White House College Opportunity Day of Action summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    The key to success in today’s economy is higher education, which is why expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong middle class.

    Earlier today, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama joined college presidents and education leaders from around the country to announce 600 new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

    President Obama talked about how our higher education system is one of the things that makes America exceptional:

    There’s no place else that has the assets we do when it comes to higher education. People from all over the world aspire to come here and study here. And that is a good thing.

    America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free. We sent a generation to college. We cultivated the most educated workforce in the world. Along with our innovation mentality, our risk-taking, our entrepreneurial spirit, it was that foundation that we laid -- broad-based, mass education -- that drove our economy and separated us from the rest of the world.

  • The 2014 Christmas Tree Arrives at the White House

    The First Lady Receives the Christmas Tree 2014

    First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, along with Bo and Sunny, welcome the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree at the North Portico of the White House. The tree arrived by a horse-drawn wagon. November 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    As the lovely notes of "O Christmas Tree" filled the North Portico this morning, four Clydesdale horses adorned in jingle bells pulled this year's official White House Christmas tree up to the front door. First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia, Bo, and Sunny greeted the 18.5-foot-tall Douglas Fir, along with the Botek family -- who grew the impressive evergreen on the Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Leighton, Pennsylvania.