The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • Our 4 Favorite (Gif) Moments from this Week's Episode of West Wing Week: 07/31/15 or, "Jambo Kenya"

    Here's something not enough people know about: Every week, a team of White House videographers puts together a short episode encapsulating what the President did that week -- who he met with, where he traveled, and all sort of other fun moments in between.

    This week's episode covers the President's trip to Kenya and Ethiopia -- where he attended the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and met with leaders across government, business, and civil society -- and it's stocked with some pretty breathtaking images. Here are four of our favorites, complete with timestamps — but you should really want the full thing for yourself.

    Happy watching! Come back next week for a new episode.

    00:06 When the President disembarked from Marine One -- and Kenyatta University said hello.


  • The First Lady Hosts the "Beating the Odds" Summit

    Watch on YouTube

    Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed 140 college-bound students to the White House for the Reach Higher "Beating the Odds" Summit.

    These young people represented a wide range of communities -- urban, rural, foster, homeless, immigrant, special needs, and more. All of them have overcome great odds to go to college, and many are even first in their family to pursue further education after high school.

  • West Wing Week: 07/17/15 or, "Barack-amole"

    This week, the President secured a historic nuclear deal with Iran, traveled to Oklahoma to highlight the administration's work on criminal justice reform and the ConnectHome Initiative, designated three national monuments, spoke at the White House Conference on Aging and dropped by the Kids' "State Dinner."

  • West Wing Week: 07/10/15 or, “Bask in the Glory”

    This week, the President celebrated the 239th birthday of the United States, chatted with some World Cup champions, met with his national security team to discuss our anti-ISIL strategy , and hosted an historic Oval Office visit. That's July 3rd to July 9th or, "Bask in the Glory."

  • West Wing Week: 07/03/15 or, “Amazing Grace”

    This week, the President signed a bipartisan trade deal, welcomed the President of Brazil to the White House--and showed her one of our national treasures--hosted 50 girls in green on the South Lawn for a campout to celebrate the great outdoors, answered questions about healthcare in Tennessee and online, and traveled to Wisconsin to announce new overtime protections for hard-working Americans. That's June 26th to July 2nd or, "Amazing Grace."

  • Asked and Answered: Hannah's Song

    This is the latest post in our "Asked and Answered" series, in which we periodically feature an exchange between the President -- or a Senior Administration Official -- and an American who wrote him. If you'd like to write the President yourself, you can do so here.

    Meet Hannah, a rising 9th grader at Indian River High School in the North Country region of New York, home to many families from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum. As the daughter of Lt. Col. Todd E. Bajakian, former commander of Fort Drum’s Warriors in Transition Battalion, Hannah knows first-hand how important it is that we give our military families the support they need.

    This past May at the White House’s annual Mother’s Day Tea, Hannah had the opportunity to meet the First Lady and give her the lyrics to her original song, “All On The Line.”

  • See the First White House Tour Photos Taken in More than 40 Years:

    I run the White House Visitors' Office, and I wanted to share a big change the President and First Lady just made to the White House visitors photo policy:

    The longstanding ban on photography in the White House -- in place for more than 40 years -- is being lifted. Watch the First Lady share why they did this:

    So starting today, guests at the White House are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime.

    We're posting our favorites all day right here. 

    Want to visit the White House or take a virtual tour? Get the details about how you can sign up here.

    We're so excited -- and we can't wait for you to come visit!

    Ellie Schafer is Director of the White House Visitors Office.

  • West Wing Week: 06/26/15 or, “This Is Healthcare In America”

    This week, the President talked with podcast star Marc Maron in Los Angeles, spoke with Mayors at a conference in San Francisco, and hosted an LGBT reception back in the People's House. The First Lady wrapped up her trip to Europe. And the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, ensuring millions of Americans will continue to receive tax credits to make their health insurance more affordable. That's June 19th to June 25th or, "This Is Healthcare In America."

  • In Pictures: The First Lady’s Trip to the U.K. and Italy

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the First Lady's Medium account. See the original post here.

    Last week, the First Lady headed to the U.K. and Italy on a trip that took her from talking to girls about their education, to helping share tips for healthy living at the Expo, to visiting with our military families stationed abroad.

    #LetGirlsLearn: London, U.K.

    In London, the First Lady was inspired and impressed by the hard-working students she met at the Mulberry School for Girls. More than 62 million girls around the world are not in school. That’s a devastating loss for all of us who are missing out on their promise. That’s why while at the Mulberry School, the First Lady also announced a nearly $200 million British and American partnership to continue their collective support for adolescent girls’ education, part of which will be directed to countries affected by conflict and crisis.

    FLOTUS Europe 1

    Students welcome First Lady Michelle Obama at Mulberry School for Girls in London, England, June 16, 2015. The First Lady visited to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

  • The First Lady Celebrates Military Families Stationed in Italy

    Michelle Obama delivers remarks at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Joining Forces Initiative event at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza in Vicenza, Italy, June 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Today the First Lady and her daughters, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama, and her mother, Marion Robinson, visited the military service members and families stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza, Italy. Knowing that children of military families face unique challenges when their parents are deployed, the First Lady began her visit by meeting with the children of service members. This portion of the event was part of “Books on Bases,” a partnership between Disney and Blue Star Families aimed at positively impacting the lives of military children through the power of reading. Mrs. Obama and her daughters met with more than 300 military-related children and read them two books. The First Lady and the Garrison Commander, Colonel Robert Menist, shared a book titled Don’t Play with Your Food, while Sasha and Malia Obama read the children Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great. This fun and engaging event, featuring Mickey Mouse himself, focused on the positive power reading can have on the children’s outlook on life during times of parental separation. In addition, each child in Grades 1-3 went home with a selection of books donated by Disney.

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia Obama help serve ice cream to military families

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia Obama help serve ice cream to military families as part of a Joining Forces Initiative event at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza in Vicenza, Italy, June 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Next, the First Lady and her family participated in a base-wide barbecue hosted by the USO. During her remarks to the audience, the First Lady personally thanked the military service members and families in attendance for their service to our country and reminded them that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed by the American people. Then, the First Lady and her family volunteered to help serve food to the troops and families in attendance. It was a wonderful opportunity for the members of the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza and their families to relax together, enjoy great food and music, and be reminded that the American people are grateful for their service overseas.

    First Lady Michelle Obama surprises a baby shower in Italy

    First Lady Michelle Obama surprises new mothers and mothers-to-be during a Joining Forces Initiative surprise baby shower and discussion about the opportunities and challenges of raising military families while stationed overseas, at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza in Vicenza, Italy, June 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    Finally, the First Lady surprised 28 soon-to-be and new moms with a fantastic baby shower. The expectant parents were overjoyed to learn that a roundtable discussion with Mrs. Obama was actually an Operation Shower baby shower. Each family received a box of gifts for their new baby, and gift cards from Operation Shower. The women were also treated to a "shopping spree" of clothing, accessories, and beauty products hosted by GLAM4GOOD, a fashion and beauty initiative. Of note, this was Operation Shower’s 60th baby shower, and their first overseas event. The First Lady was excited to celebrate with these military spouses. While some of these soon-to-be fathers won’t be there for Father’s Day, the First Lady wanted to ensure these new moms were treated to a day they’ll never forget. Once the shock of the surprise sunk in, the expectant and new moms were able to share their thoughts on life as a military family overseas and even exchanged some parenting advice with the First Lady.

    Nicole Malachowski is the Executive Director of Joining Forces.