The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • West Wing Week 05/23/14 or, “Straight A’s? Whoa!”

    This week, the President spoke on the importance of raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, and bringing jobs and tourism back to America; invited the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks to the White House; and designated a new National Monument. The First Lady honored Brown v. Board of Education, and the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Romania and Cyprus.


  • The First Lady Visits Topeka for Senior Appreciation Day

    On Friday, the First Lady traveled to Topeka, Kansas to celebrate the high school class of 2014 and mark the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Families, friends, teachers, counselors, and elected officials all gathered and packed the 10,000-seat Expocentre to cheer on the students in their caps and gowns and welcome Mrs. Obama to Topeka. The First Lady's words celebrated the students of Topeka, while framing their graduation in the larger context of spreading their experience of diversity and tolerance across the country and across generations.

    Her message was clear: "When you grow up in a place like Topeka, where diversity is all you've ever known, the old prejudices just don't make any sense." The experience and exposure of the Topeka class of 2014 has made them all the richer. Going to school with students of different races, creeds, cultures, and religions has made them understand and appreciate diversity as second nature. Something almost unimaginable in 1954.


  • The First-Ever White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show

    White House Talent Show

    Student performers react to seeing President Barack Obama as he drops by the White House Talent Show hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) May 20, 2014.

    Yesterday was a special one over at the White House. As Honorary Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed student performers from across the country as they took the stage in the East Room for the first-ever White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show. But this wasn't just any talent show. These performances were part of a larger administration effort to leverage art, artists, and significant Department of Education resources to turnaround the nation's worst performing schools.

    The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities partnered with the Department of Education's School Turnaround program to bring the arts to some of our most troubled schools. Because we know that the arts serve to inspire young people to reach higher and that students involved in the arts do better in school and are more likely to enroll and complete college. The results of the Turnaround Arts program has been so successful in these difficult to serve communities that the program will be quadrupling in size. This fall the program will be adding 35 schools in 11 states, and serving over 10,000 students, ensuring they have access to arts education.


  • West Wing Week 05/16/14 or, “Go Solar!”

    This week, the President praised the power of solar, honored this year's TOP COPS, awarded the Medal of Honor and traveled to New York for the opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.


  • Visiting Topeka with First Lady Michelle Obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama is in Topeka, Kansas today to talk education ahead of the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

    Topeka is home to the historic case in which the Supreme Court's decision outlawed racial segregation in our nation's schools -- declaring education "must be made available to all on equal terms."

    Tonight, the First Lady will celebrate the achievements of seniors from Topeka high schools at "Senior Recognition Day," and they'll be live streamed at 7 p.m. ET.

    Watch First Lady Michelle Obama's remarks celebrating the high school seniors of the Topeka Public Schools:


  • A Mother’s Day Tea with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

    P051214CK-0103

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden help children create Mother's Day cards and crafts in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 12, 2014. The cards and crafts were to be presented later during a Joining Forces initiative tea honoring military mothers in the State Dining Room. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on The White House Blog. See the original post here.

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden invited more than 100 military mothers and their families to the White House for a Mother’s Day Tea. The military mothers in attendance included military spouses, active duty and reserve service members, and women veterans.

    While the military moms enjoyed tea and refreshments, more than 60 children made special gifts for their mothers including planting beans, decorating ceramic pots, and gift wrapping special White House honey lemon soap. The cards and crafts were presented during the tea ceremony in the State Dining Room.

    Before Grammy award-winning artist Norah Jones performed for the crowd, Dr. Biden and Mrs. Obama offered some words of thanks. Dr. Biden spoke of her own experiences as a military mom, and the support her family received during her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.

    While our sons and daughters serve so selflessly, having a community share the burden makes all the difference in the world. And so for Mother’s Day, we wanted to simply say thank you to all the mothers who have loved and supported us. Thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.


  • A Mother’s Day Tea with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

    P051214CK-0103

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden help children create Mother's Day cards and crafts in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 12, 2014. The cards and crafts were to be presented later during a Joining Forces initiative tea honoring military mothers in the State Dining Room. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden invited more than 100 military mothers and their families to the White House for a Mother’s Day Tea. The military mothers in attendance included military spouses, active duty and reserve service members, and women veterans.

    While the military moms enjoyed tea and refreshments, more than 60 children made special gifts for their mothers including planting beans, decorating ceramic pots, and gift wrapping special White House honey lemon soap. The cards and crafts were presented during the tea ceremony in the State Dining Room.

    Before Grammy award-winning artist Norah Jones performed for the crowd, Dr. Biden and Mrs. Obama offered some words of thanks. Dr. Biden spoke of her own experiences as a military mom, and the support her family received during her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.

    While our sons and daughters serve so selflessly, having a community share the burden makes all the difference in the world. And so for Mother’s Day, we wanted to simply say thank you to all the mothers who have loved and supported us. Thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your sacrifice on behalf of our country.


  • The First Lady: "One of the Greatest Lessons I Learned from My Mom"

    In honor of Mother's Day, First Lady Michelle Obama shared a message about one of the greatest lessons she learned from her mom: the importance of education. Through the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, she’s reaching out directly to young people to encourage them to take charge of their futures and complete their education past high school. You can read the First Lady’s Mother’s Day message below, or at MomsRising.org.


    One of the greatest lessons I learned from my mom was about the importance of education. Neither she nor my father had gone to college, but they were determined to see me and my brother get a good education. So starting when I was young, my mom volunteered at my school, helping out in the front office and making sure my teachers were doing their jobs and my school was running like it should be.

    My mom wasn't a teacher, or principal, or school board member, but she believed that our education was very much her business. And while I was occasionally mortified by her presence at my school, in retrospect, I have no doubt that my classmates and I got a better education because she was there, keeping an eye on things.


  • Weekly Address: The First Lady Marks Mother’s Day and Speaks Out on the Tragic Kidnapping in Nigeria

    In this week’s address, First Lady Michelle Obama honored all mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day and offered her thoughts, prayers and support in the wake of the unconscionable terrorist kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Climate Change Is Here, the President Is Taking Action, and More

    This week, the President attended the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner; the most comprehensive report on the effects of climate change was released, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with educators at the White House; and more. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    President and Comedian-in-Chief

    Over the weekend, the President attended the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner and, in keeping with the dinner's tradition, assumed the role of Comedian-in-Chief in his remarks. From poking fun at the administration to jabs at the news media, many were roasted and few were spared.

    President Obama ended his remarks on a high note, thanking the White House Correspondents' Association for all of their hard work as the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary.

    Watch on YouTube

    And in case you missed it, two Vice Presidents opened the White House Correspondents' Dinner in a great new video.