The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon April 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM EST
Sidewinder, the Missouri Air National Guard rock band, was at the White House Wednesday to help First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden celebrate the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces.
While the band was deployed in the Middle East, a video taken by an audience member went viral on YouTube, garnering national attention. If you weren't one of the millions of people that watched Sidewinder's version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on YouTube, you may have seen them perform recently on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" or watched Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson on "The Voice." And if you haven't heard of Sidewinder before, be sure to check out their performance at the White House.
Go backstage with the band at the White House and check out video of their performances, including their covers of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep", KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing."
- See a gallery of highlights from the first year of Joining Forces
- Find out how Joining Forces is helping veterans and military spouses find jobs
- Find out how you can get involved
- Posted byon April 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM EST
Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege of joining First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at the University of Pennsylvania for arguably the most far-reaching announcement we have had to date in Joining Forces -- a commitment from our nation's nursing leaders to train more than 3 million nurses to have a better understanding of health issues impacting our troops, veterans and their families – with a specific focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The announcement was made at the University of Pennsylvania -- one of America's leading nursing schools -- and the audience included our troops, nursing students and leaders from nursing organizations and schools throughout America.
The atmosphere was energetic -- and it was apparent from the minute Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden walked onto the stage that these nurses and nursing students were eager and excited to get to work and support military families.
Nurses are some of America's most trusted professionals. They are the first to care for us when we go to a hospital or clinic and they are known for their compassion for their patients.
- Posted byon April 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden today marked the one year anniversary of the launch of Joining Forces with an event on the South Lawn of the White House, and Mrs. Obama used the occasion to renew her call of action, and challenged all Americans to keep finding new ways to show their support for military families.
The First Lady told the crowd that over the past year, as she and Dr. Biden reached out on behalf of our military families, "not a single person that we've talked to, that we have approached, has told us that they could not help -- not a single person. We've asked; they said yes.
And the good thing is, is that once people get started, they just keep coming up with new ideas on their own. We’ll present something, and they double it. They want to do even more. They just keep raising their goals even higher. They just keep figuring out how to get more and more people involved."
And her message for all military families, is that "you do live in a grateful nation."
- Posted byon April 10, 2012 at 1:18 PM EST
Yesterday the President and First Lady hosted more than 30,000 people from all 50 states on the South Lawn of the White House for the 134th annual Easter Egg Roll. There was singing, there was dancing, there was reading, there were crafts, there were cooking demonstrations,and there was basketball drills, hula hoops, and, of course, there were Easter eggs. WhiteHouse.gov captured it all on camera, and livestreamed the day from several locations around the Lawn for those who couldn't join in person. But it came to our attention that some people found the sheer volume of choices overwhelming, so we packaged it into one 1:48 video. Enjoy!
- Posted byon April 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM EST
Starting tomorrow night, the Jewish community in the United States, Israel, and throughout the world will come together to celebrate the holiday of Passover.
President and Mrs. Obama will join them, continuing their tradition of hosting a small Seder at the White House. By now, the story of how that tradition began has been told and retold, but in the spirit of Passover, I’ll tell it again: In April of 2008, the President and his staff were on the trail in Pennsylvania in the midst of a long primary campaign. Weary from a long day of work and away from their families, a small group of staffers came together to hold an impromptu Seder. When then-Senator Obama got wind of the Seder, he gathered some other staff and friends and decided to join. At the end of the Seder, the President followed the traditional “Next year in Jerusalem” declaration with a pledge of his own – “Next year in the White House.” Each year since, he has followed through on that promise. This year, he also added a new touch, a video message to Jews everywhere wishing them Chag Sameach as they continue their own traditions or start new ones this Passover.
Here it is:
- Posted byon April 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM EST
Earlier today, I joined with First Lady Michelle Obama, to announce a major commitment by forward looking businesses that have launched an ambitious new effort to deliver more than 15,000 jobs to military spouses and veterans in the coming years. This new effort will help deliver jobs that are physically located near bases, as well as thousands of highly sought-after at-home employment opportunities to military families across the country.
Military families are 10 times more likely to move across state lines than civilian families. Home based jobs are especially valuable for military families because they can move with military spouses as they relocate from base to base across the country, accommodate flexible work hours, enable spouses who care for children or elderly parents to work from home, and give home-bound veterans with disabilities new opportunities to have a fulfilling job.
At home jobs with flexible work schedules can also lead to better work life balance, and extend job opportunities into communities often left behind. Military families will also benefit from the new job commitments being announced at nearly two-dozen physical contact centers located in close proximity to active military bases. These contact centers often support military families through: family-friendly scheduling, maintaining service accrual records, enabling the seamless transfer from one contact center to another in an event of a relocation, as well as extensive training and immense growth opportunities from agents to supervisors.
These companies and their associated job opportunities will also be integrated into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), a Department of Defense-led effort with more than 100 companies in the private sector who have committed to a focused effort on military spouse employment. MSEP was launched by Dr Jill Biden last summer.
Additional information specifics of the commitments can be found at: www.joiningforces.gov/commitments
- Posted byon April 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM EST
Desde el primer día del Presidente Obama en el cargo, cuando él y la Primera Dama sorprendieron y dieron la bienvenida a los visitantes que disfrutaban de un tour público de la Casa Blanca, los Obama se han centrado en abrir de verdad las puertas de la “Casa del pueblo” y hacer que la 1600 Avenida Pennsylvania sea más accesible para todos los estadounidenses. Hoy, nos complace muchísimo iniciar una nueva etapa en este esfuerzo continuo, un tour en línea de 360 grados de los salones públicos de la Casa Blanca.
“Miles de personas han recorrido las salas y contemplado las obras de arte. Han observado los retratos de Washington, Lincoln y Kennedy. Se han imaginado la historia que ha tenido lugar aquí. Y ahora usted puede hacer todo eso sin salir de casa. Así que adelante, mire a su alrededor, disfrute de la historia y la belleza de estos salones. Porque después de todo, esta es su casa también”, dijo la Primera Dama en un video anunciando la participación de la Casa Blanca en el proyecto de arte Art Project, que utiliza la tecnología de Google Street View para permitir a los visitantes navegar por las habitaciones en la planta baja y el Piso de Estado (primer piso), y ver las obras de arte y el mobiliario en alta resolución.
- Posted byon April 3, 2012 at 12:01 AM EST
Since President Obama's first day in office, when he and the First Lady surprised and welcomed visitors enjoying the public tour of the White House, the Obamas have been focused on truly opening the doors of the "People's House" and making 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue more accessible to all Americans. Today, we are excited to roll out a new phase in this ongoing effort, an online 360 degree tour of the public rooms of the White House.
“Thousands of people have walked these halls and gazed at the artwork. They’ve examined the portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. They’ve imagined the history that’s unfolded here. And now you can do all of that without leaving your home. So go ahead, look around, enjoy the history and the beauty of these rooms. Because after all, this is your house, too,” said the First Lady in a video announcing the White House's participation in the Art Project, which uses Google's Street View technology to enable visitors to navigate through the rooms on the ground and State floors, and view the art and furnishings in high resolution.
- Posted byon April 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM EST
On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard commissioned its newest cutter -- the USCGC Stratton. First Lady Michelle Obama is the ship's sponsor. Nearly two years ago, she christened the Stratton by breaking a bottle of champagne against its hull, and this weekend, she was on hand for the ceremony to mark the start of the ship's service.
The cutter is named after Captain Dorothy Stratton -- the first woman to serve in women's reserve of the Coast Guard in World War II. A former professor at Purdue University, she organized the reserve and gave the group its nickname -- SPARs, a combination of the Coast Guard motto, "Semper Paratus" and its English translation, "Always Ready."
More than 40 veterans of the SPARs were on hand for this weekend's ceremony, and in recognizing their service, the First Lady said, "These women are heroes. They served this country so bravely, and broke so many barriers. They paved the way for generations of women who came after them, and they helped build a world where young women all across America -- young women like my daughters -- to know that they can become anything they can imagine, even an admiral."
The USCGC Stratton will begin patrols in the Pacific later this month. For more information, check out this blog post from the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Posted byon March 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM EST
Ed. note: This was cross-posted from the Let's Move blog.
The White House held a poster competition and invited elementary and middle school students nationwide to submit poster designs for the 2012 Easter Egg Roll. Students from over 20 states submitted entries. First Lady Michelle Obama selected winning designs for the 2012 Official Easter Egg Roll program cover and 2012 Official Easter Egg Roll Poster. Posters will be handed out as a prize to children who win the Easter Egg Roll or Egg Hunt.