The White House Blog: The First Lady

  • 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.


  • American Food 2.0: Representing the Presidential Delegation at Milan Expo 2015

    First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by student ambassadors at Milan World Expo

    First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by student ambassadors along with the US Delegation outside of the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan, Italy, June 18, 2015. The First Lady, in support of the "Let's Move!" initiative, leads a presidential delegation to the expo, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon) June 18, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

    We are incredibly proud to have joined the First Lady’s Presidential Delegation to the Milan Expo 2015, representing our steadfast commitment to a healthier nation at the World's Fair. As members of the Presidential Council for Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, we are especially thrilled by the USA Pavilion, “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” showcasing American leadership on global food and development issues, science and technology, climate change, nutrition, and health.

    We know raising healthy families isn’t just a challenge in the United States — it’s a challenge all over the world. We came to this Expo to listen, learn, and join others across the globe to come up with lasting solutions.


  • West Wing Week: 06/19/15 or, “Her Map & Compass”

    This week was Maker Week and Pollinator Week! The President was a busy bee himself. He stopped by a Congressional baseball game and a Congressional picnic, congratulated My Brother's Keeper mentees, and presided over the ceremonial swearing-in of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Meanwhile, the First Lady crossed the Atlantic in the name of Let Girls Learn and Let's Move! That's June 12th to June 18th or, "Her Map & Compass."


  • Michelle Obama, the Perfect Partner for Peace Corps and Let Girls Learn

    I was so inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks about the importance of girls’ education yesterday in London.


    “There are 62 million young women like all of the girls here and around the country who aren't getting an education, and their potential is just being lost. And we can't afford that. We can't afford that.”

     - First Lady Michelle Obama


    Earlier this year, the Peace Corps was proud to join the First Lady in a powerful new collaboration called Let Girls Learn, dedicated to expanding access to education for adolescent girls around the world. We know that an investment in girls’ education is the single greatest investment we can make – because when a girl is given the opportunity to learn, everyone in her life benefits.

    The First Lady Speaks on Lets Girls Learn in London

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at Mulberry School for Girls in London, England. The First Lady visits the school to discuss cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom to improve educational opportunities for girls around the world through the Let Girls Learn initiative June 16, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)


  • West Wing Week: 06/12/15 or, "Walking And Holding Hands"

    This week, the President honored the life of Beau Biden, traveled to Germany to meet with G7 leaders, celebrated the achievements of the Affordable Care Act, and met with a reporter who benefited from that very legislation. That's June 5th to June 11th or, "Walking And Holding Hands."


  • The First Lady Celebrates the Class of 2015

    Tonight the First Lady delivered her final commencement address of the season at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preparatory High School (King College Prep) in Chicago, IL. In addition to this commencement, this spring Mrs. Obama celebrated the graduates at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL, and Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH as a way to shine a spotlight on students who have gone above and beyond to reach higher, and help others do the same.

    Check out below for highlights of the First Lady’s 2015 commencements.

    Tuskegee University – Tuskegee, Alabama

    At Tuskegee University, Mrs. Obama spoke personally about her experience in college, on the campaign trail, and even as the first African-American First Lady.  She noted, however, that she has been able to overcome challenging situations by staying true to herself; she encouraged the graduates to do the same.


    “Graduates, that’s what I want for all of you. I want you all to stay true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves.”