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    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his 61st birthday on the Dixie Clipper

      President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his 61st birthday on the Dixie Clipper while flying from Trinidad to Miami. 1/30/1943

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    • President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Airplane, the Independence

      President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential airplane, the Independence, in flight over an unknown location. 1950

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    • The Columbine II Sits on the Tarmac in Washington, D.C.

      The Columbine II sits on the tarmac in D.C. awaiting the arrival of President Eisenhower. 2/23/1953. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

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    • President John F. Kennedy Arrives in Alameda, California

      President John F. Kennedy arrives in Alameda, California. 3/23/1962

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    • President Lyndon B. Johnson Holds Grandson Patrick Lyndon Nugent

      President Lyndon B. Johnson holds his grandson Patrick, who plays with the telephone as First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Luci Johnson look on. 3/2/68

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    • Arrival of Air Force One in Peking, China

      Arrival of Air Force One in Peking, China. 2/21/1972

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    • First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald Ford Inside Air Force One

      First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald Ford inside Air Force One after Sara Jane Moore’s assassination attempt. 9/22/1975

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    • President Jimmy Carter with White House Staff Aboard Air Force One

      President Jimmy Carter with White House staff aboard Air Force One. 7/20/1977

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    • President Ronald Reagan Sitting with the Crew in the Cockpit of Air Force One

      President Ronald Reagan sitting with the crew in the cockpit of Air Force One. 3/16/1982

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    • President George Bush is Welcomed by Military Personnel

      President George Bush is welcomed by Military Personnel to Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10/28/1990

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    • President William J. Clinton on Air Force One

      President William J. Clinton speaking on the telephone to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin from his office on Air Force One. 9/9/1993

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    • Air Force One Landing At Buyant-Ukhaa Airport

      Air Force One landing At Buyant-Ukhaa Airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 11/21/2005

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    • President Barack Obama Plays With Bo

      President Barack Obama plays with Bo aboard Air Force One during a flight to Hawaii. 12/23/2011 (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    • President Barack Obama Looks Out the Windows of Air Force One

      President Obama looks out of Air Force One with Nicky and Zachary DeParle. 12/23/2011 (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    • President Barack Obama and White House Staffers Aboard Air Force One to Paris

      President Obama and White House staffers aboard Air Force One look at Reggie Love's photos of Egypt on June 5, 2009. (Official WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    The President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. Fortunately, modern Presidents have access to a variety of transportation options, including flying aboard Air Force One. Strictly speaking, the term “Air Force One” is used to describe any Air Force aircraft when the President is on board, but since the middle of the 20th century, it has been standard practice to use the title to refer to specific planes that are equipped to transport the Commander-in-Chief.

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 8, 2014.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    In this week’s address, with schools getting ready to open their doors again over the next few weeks, the President talked directly to students and parents about the importance of preparing for an education beyond high school.

    In today’s economy, some higher education continues to be the surest ticket to the middle class, but for too many families across the country, paying for higher education is a constant struggle. The President and First Lady know this first hand -- they only finished paying off their student loans 10 years ago -- and that’s why they have made it a priority to help make college more affordable for families. They have taken action to reform student loans, expand grants and college tax credits, help make loan payments more manageable, and have proposed plans to make sure colleges also do their part to bring down costs. And just this week, as part of the President’s Year of Action, the administration announced a new series of commitments to support students who need a little extra academic help getting through college.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • This week, President Obama gave updates on the continuing humanitarian crisis in Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri; the White House announced progress on raising the minimum wage; and the Administration launched the U.S. Digital Service to help modernize our government.

    Check out what else you may have missed this week in our weekly wrap up.


    A Statement on Iraq and Ferguson

    Yesterday, President Obama delivered a statement about what's happening in Iraq. He said that although conditions are still dire for Iraqis who are "subjected to ISIL's terror throughout the country," the situation for civilians stranded on Mount Sinjar has "greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts."

    Watch on YouTube

    The President also spoke about the events in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. He called on the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney on the scene to work with local officials in making sure the investigation is open and transparent. "Now is the time for healing," he added.

    I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law; a basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest; a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us; and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

  • Seventy-nine years ago, on August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt said, "We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-stricken old age."

    With that, he signed the Social Security Act into law, ushering in an era of economic prosperity for middle-class families. The first American to get Social Security received 17 cents in benefits. Today, 79 years later, Social Security stands as a major source of income for 54 million Americans who have paid into the system for their entire working lives.

    President Obama understands that many seniors rely on Social Security, and believes that every one of them should be able to retire with dignity, which is why he’s acted to strengthen the Social Security system and ensure it remains solvent for years to come.

  • Welcome to a special Summer Edition of the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President focused on the developing situations both in Iraq and in our nation's heartland, in Ferguson, Missouri. Also, West Wing Week tagged along for the first few hours and days of one of the newest employees here at the White House, and for the launch of the newly created U.S. Digital Service. That's August 8-15 or, "Mikey Goes to Washington."

    Watch on YouTube

  • Each day, American businesses are firing on all cylinders to create jobs and drive America's economic growth. Just last month, our private sector added jobs for the 53rd straight month, the longest streak on record. In total, American businesses have added 9.9 million jobs since early 2010. This week, we saw another sign of progress, as the number of available jobs rose to the highest level in more than 13 years.

    American business owners advertised 4.67 million jobs in June, the highest number of openings since February 2001 — a clear signal that the economy is strengthening. Take a look at how we went from record lows during the Great Recession to hitting a new high this summer — then share the good news:

  • On Friday, August 1, President Obama signed a bill into law that again made it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones in order to take them to a carrier that best suits their needs. It marked the very first time a We the People petition led to a legislative fix.

    It's a win for consumers, and an important milestone for We the People -- which has generated more than 15 million users and 22 million signatures on over 350,000 petitions since it started in 2011.

    President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

    President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, in the Oval Office, Aug. 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Here's how it happened:

  • Ed. note: This is cross-posted from Tradeology, the official blog of the International Trade Administration. You can see the original post here.

    Whatever your fancy -- toes in sand, skis in fresh powder, or your golf ball in the middle of the fairway (we hope) -- your travel plans support millions of jobs throughout the United States.

    We have the data to prove it: New data from the Department of Commerce show the travel and tourism industry supported 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012.

  • Yesterday, the Department of Education unveiled a new grant opportunity to partner with states and local communities to expand the reach of high-quality preschool. The $250 million grant competition will provide thousands of additional 4-year-old children across the country with a high-quality preschool education. The Obama administration’s Preschool Development Grants program is a critical piece of the President’s plan to boost access to high-quality preschool and support early learning for every child in America, beginning at birth and continuing through school entry.

    The return on our dollar is highest when we invest in our youngest children, and we have recent research showing that sufficiently scaled Pre-K programs in cities like Boston and Tulsa are having a significant, positive impact on children’s literacy, language development, and math skills. Still, only approximately 28% of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in state preschool programs in the 2012-2013 school year. The high cost of private preschool programs and insufficient funding for public preschool in many communities narrows options for families, especially those in low-income communities.

    In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool education to every child in America. Last January, he challenged more Americans to join this effort — and governors, mayors, school superintendents, corporate and community leaders, foundations, and policymakers have responded.

  • This week, we welcomed outstanding students and teachers from across the country to the White House for the Presidential Environmental Education Awards National Recognition Ceremony. We were wowed by their smarts, their ingenuity, and their commitment to environmental issues. 

    Climate change and environmental problems are some of the greatest challenges of our time. Climate impacts threaten lives and livelihoods — from more frequent and intense drought, storms, fires, and floods to higher insurance premiums, property taxes, and food prices. Current and future generations of public servants, scientists, educators, and entrepreneurs will have to work together to solve these problems.

    Fortunately for all of us, these impressive students and teachers are doing great work, and the President’s Environmental Education Awards honor that spirit. Since 1971, the President has joined with EPA to recognize the importance of environmental education in protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. One outstanding student project and up to two outstanding teachers can be selected from each EPA region for national recognition. 

    When Deepika Kurup of New Hampshire came face-to-face with a lack of access to clean drinking water in India, she took action, building water purifiers that use a chemical reaction catalyzed by sunlight to kill common bacteria. Meanwhile, students in California created “Donate, Don’t Dump,” a campaign to get surplus and short-dated food from grocers, growers, and food companies to the hungry rather than sent to landfills. The campaign has grown into a teen-run nonprofit with 20 chapters in 4 states and 4,000 members.  

  • President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situations in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri, from Edgartown, Massachusetts

    President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situations in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri, from Edgartown, Massachusetts, August 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This afternoon, President Obama updated the nation on two issues that he's been monitoring closely over the past several days -- America's military operations in Iraq, and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

    Speaking first on Iraq, the President noted the progress the U.S. has made in carrying out "targeted military operations" in the country:

    Last week, I authorized two limited missions:  protecting our people and facilities inside of Iraq, and a humanitarian operation to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians stranded on a mountain.

    A week ago, we assessed that many thousands of Yezidi men, women and children had abandoned their possessions to take refuge on Mount Sinjar in a desperate attempt to avoid slaughter.  We also knew that ISIL terrorists were killing and enslaving Yezidi civilians in their custody, and laying siege to the mountain. Without food or water, they faced a terrible choice -- starve on the mountain, or be slaughtered on the ground.  That’s when America came to help.

  • White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford took Maker Camp campers on a virtual field trip of the White House Kitchen Garden

    White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford joins Maker Camp campers for a virtual field trip of the White House Kitchen Garden.

    Earlier today, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford took Maker Camp campers on a virtual field trip of the White House Kitchen Garden, and answered questions about what it’s like to cook for the First Family and for special guests of the White House.

    Campers from across the country chimed in and asked how Chef Comerford balances what fruits and vegetables are in season with the needs of the First Family, how the White House chefs prepare for large events such as state dinners, and finally about her path to becoming a “maker” at the White House. Comerford said that each morning she looks in the White House Garden to see what is ready to harvest and that she changes the menu based on what she can incorporate into upcoming meals. She also said that canning, jarring and pickling gives her flexibility to use fruits and vegetables in future meals.

  • Last January, I listened to the President ask hundreds of college presidents to increase college opportunity for all Americans. He asked them to help because a college degree remains one of the surest pathways into the middle class in America, and is an especially powerful engine of social and economic mobility.

    Over this decade, nearly 8 in 10 new jobs will require some postsecondary education or training beyond high school. And of the 30 fastest growing occupations, half require a college degree. At the same time, college graduates earn an average of 77 percent more per hour than a high school graduate. President Obama set forth a goal early in his first term to guide our work in education – to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. 

    And yesterday, I had the privilege of joining Secretary Duncan in meeting with community college leaders who have made new commitments to ensure student success, because, in order to make progress on our goal to be first in the world, we need to embrace some of the foundational challenges to college enrollment, persistence, and completion. 

    Our nation’s community colleges are the engines of our higher education system. As the largest part of America’s higher education system, these institutions provide the education and training to prepare our 21st century workforce and are an ideal place to raise the knowledge and skills of our workforce – and to meet the academic needs of a diverse population of learners, from recent high school graduates to adults seeking new skills.  

  • This afternoon, President Obama issued a statement on the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot on Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri:

    The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time.  As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.  I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding.  We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.  Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

  • In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour—a move that would boost the bottom lines of businesses and increase the earnings of 28 million hardworking Americans.

    It's a commonsense proposal that Republicans in Congress continue to block—which is why President Obama took action to raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts. And states, cities, and businesses across the country are doing their part, too.

    A new White House report released today looks at the progress businesses and communities are making in raising the minimum wage for millions of workers. In fact, since the President first called for a minimum wage increase in 2013, 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to increase their minimum wage, which will benefit about 7 million workers.

    The economic evidence is clear: It's time to give America a raise. Find out how many more workers would benefit if Congress would take action to raise the wage:

  • Watch the Maker Camp Field Trip below starting at 2 p.m. ET

    Get ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty! White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford is inviting you to join a virtual Maker Camp Field Trip to the White House Kitchen Garden on Wednesday, August 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

    Google and Make have come together to put on Maker Camp, a free online summer camp for building, tinkering and exploring available online and in local neighborhoods. With Maker Camp, teen inventors and artists around the world can make awesome projects, participate in epic virtual field trips and meet the world’s coolest makers. Tomorrow, Chef Comerford will give participants a look inside the First Lady's Kitchen Garden, share tips for cooking and gardening at home, and more.

    Here’s how you can join:

    • Watch the virtual field trip live right here or on Maker Camp's Google+ page on Wednesday, August 13 at 2 p.m. ET
    • Got a question about the White House garden? Ask it during the event right here.

    In June, President Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire to celebrate America's students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future with new technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools. The event brought together more than 100 students, entrepreneurs, engineers, and researchers from 25 states ­all of whom love to "Make" stuff.

  • President Obama released a statement this evening, following the passing of legendary stand-up comedian and actor Robin Williams:

    Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien -- but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most -- from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.

    Robin Williams in Afghanistan

    Comedian Robin Williams visits with Commanding General of Combined Task Force 101 U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John F. Campbell after the USO Holiday Tour show at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Dec.15, 2010. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, U.S. Navy, and his wife Deborah are hosting the holiday tour featuring Williams and comedians Lewis Black and Kathleen Madigan, Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and country musicians Kix Brooks and Bob Dipiero touring the Central Command area of responsibility. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy. (Released)

  • Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, President Obama gave an update on the most recent developments in Iraq.

    First, the President noted that U.S. forces have "successfully conducted targeted airstrikes to prevent terrorist forces from advancing on the city of Erbil, and to protect American civilians there." He also addressed our ongoing humanitarian efforts to help those who are stranded on Mount Sinjar, adding that we've deployed a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team to help.

    "Some have begun to escape their perch on that mountain," he said, "and we’re working with international partners to develop options to bring them to safety."

    The President reiterated that "the only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government," and highlighted important steps Iraq is taking in that effort:

  • As technology changes, government must change with it to address new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. This Administration has made important strides in modernizing government so that it serves its constituents more effectively and efficiently, but we know there is much more to do.

    Last year, a group of digital and technology experts from the private sector helped us fix HealthCare.gov – a turnaround that enabled millions of Americans to sign up for quality health insurance. This effort also reminded us why the President’s commitment to bringing more of the nation’s top information technology (IT) talent into government is so critical to delivering the best possible results for our customers – the American people.

    A core part of the President’s Management Agenda is improving the value we deliver to citizens through Federal IT. That’s why, today, the Administration is formally launching the U.S. Digital Service. The Digital Service will be a small team made up of our country’s brightest digital talent that will work with agencies to remove barriers to exceptional service delivery and help remake the digital experience that people and businesses have with their government.

    We are excited that Mikey Dickerson will serve as the Administrator of the U.S. Digital Service and Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer. Mikey was part of the team that helped fix HealthCare.gov last fall and will lead the Digital Service team on efforts to apply technology in smarter, more effective ways that improve the delivery of federal services, information, and benefits.

  • President Obama has authorized the U.S. military to execute targeted airstrikes in Iraq.

    The President takes no decision more seriously than the use of military force. So it's worth taking a few minutes to make sure you understand exactly what is happening in Iraq right now, who is involved, and why we are taking action. Here are a few answers to some key questions Americans may be asking:

    1. What exactly did the President do?

    On August 7, 2014, President Obama authorized two operations in the northern region of Iraq. First, he authorized the military to use limited airstrikes to protect American diplomatic and military personnel serving in the city of Erbil. Second, the United States is delivering humanitarian aid to thousands of Yezidis, Iraqi civilians, who have been forced to flee their homes and are now stranded on a mountainside — facing near-certain death without our assistance.

    2. Why are airstrikes needed now?

    Terrorist forces known as ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) have been advancing across Iraq. ISIL had moved toward the city of Erbil, where many American diplomats and military advisors are currently serving. By August 7, ISIL forces had taken positions only minutes from Erbil.

    In order to stop ISIL’s advance from threatening our people and facilities, the President ordered targeted airstrikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward Erbil.

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