The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon December 7, 2012 at 12:56 PM EDT
Last night, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, made their way to the Ellipse, just south of the White House, where they helped to light the National Christmas Tree.
"We’ve been lighting the National Christmas Tree for 90 years now," the President said. "In times of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, we’ve always come together to rejoice in the Christmas miracle."
The President used the occasion to describe another Christmas tree -- one he saw in a Staten Island neighborhood, devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
"This evening, in Midland Beach, New York, on a street lined with houses and businesses devastated by the storm, a great big Christmas tree shines out of the darkness," he said. "Just a couple of weeks ago, as impacted families were still seeking some sense of getting back to normal, one local nursery donated the tree, another chipped in for the lights and a star, and 70-year-old Tom Killeen and his longtime buddies from the area planted it at the end of the street, overlooking the town beach. As Tom says, the tree has one message: 'It’s Christmas time, not disaster time.' "
- Posted byon December 7, 2012 at 1:00 AM EDT
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President visited a toy factory, hosted Kennedy Center Honorees, held the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference, welcomed the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, answered questions live on twitter, spoke on National Security achievements, visited a family who had written the White House, and lit the National Christmas Tree. That's November 30th to December 6th or "I Have to Pinch Myself."
- Posted byon December 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM EDT
Watch President Obama greet the 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees at the White House
President and Mrs. Obama last night welcomed a late night television host, an actor, a ballerina, a blues guitarist, and a rock band to the White House for the annual reception saluting the Kennedy Center Honorees.
As he introduced David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, Natalia Makarova, Buddy Guy, and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin to a crowd gathered in the East Room, the President described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."
Each year the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts celebrates individuals who have made a lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television -- and the primary criterion in the selection process is excellence.
- Posted byon November 28, 2012 at 7:28 PM EDT
The theme of the 2012 White House Holiday decorations is "Joy to All".
The custom of selecting an official holiday theme began in the 1960s when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy created a nutcracker-themed Christmas for her daughter Caroline. And in welcoming a crowd of military families who were the first of more than 90,000 anticipated visitors, First Lady Michelle Obama explained that this year's theme "celebrates the many joys of the holiday seasons: the joy of giving and service to others; the joy of sharing our blessings with one another; and, of course, the joy of welcoming our friends and families as guests into our homes over these next several weeks."
The 2012 decorations embrace several beloved White House traditions: There are 54 decorated trees throughout the residence, and four of them on display in the Grand Foyer are trimmed with ornaments that pay tribute to the holiday legacies of former First Ladies dating back to Mrs. Kennedy, including some original ornaments from years past.
Two of the rooms pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and their families. The walls of the East Landing are adorned with wreaths crafted with red, white, and blue yarn, and a tree decorated with red, white and blue ornaments completes the space. The official White House Christmas tree, which stands tall in the center of the Blue Room, honors the courageous service of the troops, veterans, and military families who serve our country with pride. The 18-foot-6- inch Fraser Fir from Jefferson, North Carolina is trimmed with ornaments decorated by military children living on U.S. Military Bases all over the world, and these one-of-a-kind ornaments honor their parents’ commitment to service.
- Posted byon November 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the official White House Christmas Tree, which arrived via horse-drawn carriage. Daughters Sasha and Malia and First Dog Bo also helped welcome the tree.
This year’s official tree is a 19-foot Fraser Fir that was selected in early October and harvested this month at Peak Farms in Jefferson, North Carolina. It will be displayed throughout the holiday season in the Blue Room. Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room each year since 1966.
- Posted byon November 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama honored 12 of the nation’s most outstanding arts and humanities programs for young people.
These exemplary after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities program are recipients of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. Their work fosters the creative and intellectual development of America’s youth through education and practical experience in the arts.
I know that many of you who are here today, you make all this happen on shoestring budgets; you do it in unbelievable ways, in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. And I know that you put a lot of late nights and long hours in to give these kids opportunities worthy of their promise.
But you keep on doing this year after year because you have seen firsthand the transformative power of the arts and arts education in the lives of young people across this country. You know that the skills that you’re teaching -- skills like problem-solving and teamwork, self-expression -- these skills aren’t just valuable in the studio or in the theater, but they are critical in the classroom and will be in the workplace when you all get there.
A group of students from the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program also performed at the event.
- Posted byon November 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM EDT
This Veterans Day, we hope you'll take a moment to join First Lady Michelle Obama and thank an American hero. Sending that message is easy. You can send a note on JoiningForces.gov by clicking on the "Share Your Message" tab. Or go to Facebook to create a card using Shutterfly's Thank The Troops app. Either way, your card will be delivered to service members and veterans throughout the holiday season.
- Posted byon September 22, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Ed. Note: The speech has now concluded, but you can watch a video of the remarks below.
Tonight, First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the keynote address at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner.
The Phoenix Dinner is the closing event for the CBC Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, and will honor four individuals for their contributions in addressing challenges facing the African-American community.
To watch the speech live, tune in tonight, September 22, 2012. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time and the First Lady is scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The dinner and speech will be livestreamed here.
- Posted byon September 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM EDT
Brad Snyder’s story is a remarkable one. Just one year ago, Lieutenant Snyder was blinded by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. This summer, he competed in the London Paralympics, bringing home two gold medals and a silver medal in swimming.
Moments after being honored at the White House alongside his fellow athletes, Brad shared his story with First Lady Michelle Obama. “Overcoming adversity is a decision that everyone makes,” Brad said, “And you can let that beat you or you can make the decision to move forward.”
Watch Paralympian Lt. Snyder Meet The First Lady, here.
- Posted byon September 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM EDT
Today, the President and First Lady welcomed the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.
At an event on the South Lawn, Mrs. Obama told the athletes that she was impressed not only by the 200-plus medals they brought home, but also by their dedication and hard work leading up to the games.
I want you to know how inspired we are by all of you -- your passion, your dedication, your courage. This summer, people across the country -- including some of the young people with us today -- watched you compete and thought to themselves, you know what, if they can set a goal and work hard to reach it, maybe I can too, and maybe I can go a little farther and do a little better than people think I can. They saw all of you out there giving 100 percent, overcoming all kinds of obstacles, representing our country with such determination and pride.