The White House Blog: The First Lady
- Posted byon August 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM EDT
Earlier this week, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida to announce that 2,000 private sector businesses had hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces.
Check out behind the scenes footage from the announcement event in this new video, and hear veterans discuss what this initiative has meant to them as they transition back to civilian life and look for work that allows them to use the skills and experience they gained in the military to continue serving our country.
Watch the video on the Announcement of 125,000 Hires Through Joining Forces, here.
- Posted byon August 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM EDT
On Sunday, August 5, a gunman tore into the Sikh Gudwrara in Oak Creek, turning that temple, and the lives of community members within it, upside down. Six people were killed and others wounded, some severely. There’s no explanation for why that gunman did what he did. But what we do know is this: this horrible tragedy has revealed the courageous story of the Sikh community, and it reminds us that their story is an American story.
Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama visited with the Sikh American families affected by the tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It was a time for condolences and for healing, and a day that the First Lady and the families of the victims will never forget.
As she hugged grieving husbands and wives, comforted granddaughters and grandsons, and embraced sons and daughters, the First Lady lifted up the Sikh American story yesterday. She not only expressed her condolences but also underscored how strong those who died were, and how strong the Sikh community continues to be. Since the first Sikhs arrived at Angel Island in California almost 100 years ago, they have been woven into the fabric of our country. Doctors, artists and lawyers, politicians and priests, Sikh Americans have strengthened the United States in innumerable ways. The First Lady expressed her pride in the community yesterday, and looked into the eyes of the children in the room and said that she expects them to achieve ever greater things as well.
- Posted byon August 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM EDT
Earlier today, I joined with First Lady Michelle Obama at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida as she announced that 2,000 companies had hired or trained an amazing 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year through Joining Forces.
This effort, combined with policies and legislation put in place by the President have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in veteran unemployment compared to this time last year.
It was an extraordinary event, set among several Navy Seahawk helicopters, that kicked off with a new Joining Forces video telling the story of how we got to today's announcement. Hundreds of Sailors from on Navy's premier warships and helicopter squadrons were in attendance along with their families.
The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, was there and delivered inspiring remarks.
Leaders of businesses who have been hiring literally thousands of veterans were there -- and they brought with them veterans and spouses who they hired in the past year.
As several of the veterans told me, Joining Forces has made a significant impact on their lives.
- Posted byon August 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first-ever Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House, welcoming 54 budding chefs to a formal luncheon in the East Room. The guests, all between the ages of 8 and 12, represent all U.S. states, three territories and the District of Columbia.
Each of the guests, along with their parents, submitted a healthy recipe as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, which invited families to create an original lunchtime recipe that is healthy, affordable and delicious, and follows the nutritional guidelines of MyPlate.
“Believe it or not, more than 1,200 kids submitted recipes for this challenge -- 1,200. It's a big competition,” the First Lady said. A panel of judges from the organizations that teamed up with Mrs. Obama on this initiative -- Epicurious, the Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture—tasted each of the recipes that made it to the final round of the competition and picked their favorites from each state, as Mrs. Obama explained.
And they spent hours trying to decide which ones were the healthiest and the tastiest and the most fun to cook and eat. And it wasn't easy to choose one winner from every single state. You were the winner in your state -- the whole state. You guys won! Cool!
But you're here because your recipes truly stood out, right? And that’s really saying something. You came up with dishes that were packed with nutritious, delicious ingredients; dishes that are good for you, but more importantly, they taste good, too. See? It can happen -- healthy and tasty at the same time.
- Posted byon August 20, 2012 at 6:05 AM EDT
You can watch the Kids' State Dinner live today at 10 am EST
Today's Kids' State Dinner is a White House original in many ways -- it's not only the first time the guests of honor are ALL under the age of 13, it's also the first time the White House kitchen has served a formal meal where the entire menu was created by "chefs" who have no formal training. But Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses say they learned a thing or two about healthy cooking from the young winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge -- watch it here:
- Posted byon August 3, 2012 at 4:28 PM EDT
Go behind the scenes with First Lady Michelle Obama and members of Team USA past and present, as they join military kids and 2,000 American military children and American and British students at Let’s Move! London, an event held to spread the spirit of the Olympic Games in London. Watch here:
- Posted byon July 30, 2012 at 6:26 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama was in the stands on Saturday as Team USA scored its first gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In her unofficial capacity as First Fan, Mrs. Obama had the chance to cheer on swimmer Ryan Lochte as he won the men's 400 meter individual medley.
That afternoon, the First Lady took in the tennis competition from Wimbledon, watching Serena Williams knock off Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1 from a seat beside Oracene Price, Serena’s mom.On Sunday, the First Lady gave each member of Team USA – up to and including the coaches – a hug after they moved past France in the first round of the basketball competition.Mrs. Obama and the U.S. delegation, which included Olympians Dominique Dawes, Brandi Chastain, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders, and Paralympian Gabriel Diaz de Leon, also attended the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.Before the Olympic Games began, the First Lady hosted Let’s Move! London at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, where 2,000 American and British children showed off their skills at at sports stations and got a chance to meet athletes, including David Beckham.
- Posted byon July 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined 2,000 American military children and American and British students at Let’s Move! London, an event held to spread the spirit of the Olympic Games in London. The First Lady is leading the U.S. Delegation to the Summer Games and Let’s Move! London was designed to turn the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games into action by encouraging kids to get moving.
“That’s what Let's Move is all about. It’s about helping kids like you live happier, healthier lives,” Mrs. Obama told the crowd gathered at the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in London. “And that’s really why we brought you all here today… because we want you to see that there all kinds of ways that you can stay active and have fun doing it. You don't have to be an Olympian. You don't have to join a team. But there are so many ways that you can have fun and keep yourselves moving.”
Taking her own advice, the First Lady participated in a whirl of activities -- starting with a soccer game alongside David Beckham, Brandi Chastain, players from Manchester United, and Spongebob Squarepants as the goalie. Next up was the NBA Fit station, where Mrs. Obama practiced ladder hurdles with Grant Hill and Dikembe Mutumbo and passed the basketball with young players. Other activities included running a shuttle relay with Carl Lewis, watching a field hockey game with Gabriel Diaz De Leon, competing in a game of tug-o-war with Apolo Ohno, Jeff Sutphen, and Nastia Luikin and then assorted games with Summer Sanders, Bart Conner, and Ian Baranski, before finally joining a doubles match on the tennis courts with Shawn Johnson.
- Posted byon July 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama will lead the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and you can follow her visit through the @LetsMove Twitter account.
— Let's Move! (@letsmove) July 27, 2012
While in London, the First Lady and the delegation -- including Olympic and Paralympic greats Brandi Chastain, Dominique Dawes, Gabriel Diaz de Leon, Grant Hill, and Summer Sanders -- will attend the Opening Ceremony, meet with U.S. athletes competing in the games, and encourage American children to be active in their daily lives.
- Posted byon July 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM EDT
Today, July 18, marks the fourth annual Nelson Mandela International Day. Below, read the statement from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama honoring the day, and Mandela's life and work.
On behalf of the people of the United States, we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 94th birthday and the fourth annual Nelson Mandela International Day. Mandela’s extraordinary life and steadfast commitment to the principles of democracy and reconciliation continues to be a beacon for people of all backgrounds who strive for dignity, justice, and freedom.
Nelson Mandela’s personal story is one of unbreakable will, unwavering integrity, and abiding humility. On a personal note, our family has been inspired by Madiba’s example, and has deeply appreciated the time we have spent with him, and his wisdom, grace and generosity of spirit. By any measure, Nelson Mandela has changed the arc of history, transforming his country, continent, and the world.
In 2009, the United States joined 192 United Nations member states in the creation of Nelson Mandela International Day. On this important occasion, we honor Madiba’s commitment to service and the betterment of our communities. There is no more fitting tribute to a man who has demonstrated to the world the extraordinary power of non-violence, of tolerance, and of unwavering service to our fellow men and women.