Every first lady since Lou Hoover (1929-32) has had a Cattleya orchid created especially for her. The mastermind behind these hybrid orchids is Arthur Chadwick. author of "Classic Cattleyas". The orchid named for Michelle Obama is featured here.
Three former presidents, together with President Obama, are participating in the Civil Rights Summit currently being held at the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The occasion for the summit is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act which President Johnson signed into law in 1964.
This past week First Lady Michelle Obama commenced the planting for the sixth season of her kitchen garden. A new addition this year is a pollinator garden, which includes plants for pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Pollinators are under siege these days from, among other things, habitat loss and pesticides. The pollinator garden is located near the White House beehive.
Tonight is a special night for former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who will attend the premiere in Washington, D.C. of the play "Camp David", the story about the historic events that resulted in the 1978 Middle East peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The Carters cooperated in the making of the play, providing first-hand information about the parts they played in bringing about the Camp David Peace Accords. The play stars Richard Thomas, best known for his role as John Boy in the long-running television series "The Waltons" and currently appearing in The Americans" television series. Also in the Camp David cast is Ron Rifken, whose credits include the recent movie "Monument's Men". The real Camp David, named for former President Eisenhower's grandson, is still used as a presidential retreat, located in the Catoctin Mountains 60 miles outside Washington.
Marian Robinson, the mother of First Lady Michelle Obama, has been a presence in the White House almost from the moment the Obama family took up residence there. The First Lady asked her widowed mother to leave her home in Chicago to oversee the care of her granddaughters particularly when official duties take the President and First Lady away from Washington. Read how Mrs. Robinson has carved out a niche for herself and has made the White House her home.
Today is the opening day of the Major League Baseball season. President Taft inaugurated the tradition of throwing out the first ball on opening day of baseball season. Other presidents before him had been asked but none did so until Taft did at the start of the Washington Senators game on April 14, 1910. The home team in Washington now, the Washington Nationals, has Taft as a mascot.
First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education, and the Epicurious organization are again issuing a challenge across the country to young chefs ages 8 to 12 to enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Kids are invited to submit an original lunch recipe and if the recipe is selected it could mean a opportunity to attend a kids' State Dinner at the White House, hosted by Mrs. Obama. Recipes must be submitted by April 5, 2014. Get more information about how to enter @ www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com/
First Lady Michelle Obama is not the first U.S. First Lady to go to China. Have any idea who that First Lady was? It was Julia Grant who accompanied her husband, former President Ulysses S. Grant, in 1879 . She toured the Forbidden City just as Mrs. Obama is doing in the photograph accompanying this post. The day after Herbert and Lou Hoover married and, many years before Hoover assumed the presidency, the couple moved to China where the Hoovers learned to speak Chinese. In fact, both she and her husband would converse in Chinese when they lived in the White House and did not want the staff to know what they were talking about. Pat Nixon, as First Lady, accompanied President Nixon to China and it was she who suggested then Premier Chou-En-lai send two giant pandas to the Washington national zoo. Before George H.W. Bush became president he and Barbara Bush resided in China where Bush headed the U.S. delegation there. First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush joined their husbands on presidential trips to China. First Lady Hillary Clinton also went to China to address a United Nations conference on women.
In a moving ceremony at the White House yesterday President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 servicemen who displayed valor and bravery above and beyond the call of duty in conflicts in World War II, Korea and Vietnam but were denied medals because of their ethnicity. Read more about the ceremony and who these men were.
Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela, and Spec. Santiago J. Erevia stand with President Obama as they receive the Medal of Honor
It is difficult to conceive with more than five inches of snow on the ground that in just two days the annual Cherry Blossom festival will begin here in Washington. The public owes a debt of gratitude to First Lady Helen Taft whose vision of improving the landscape in the nation's capital led to the gift to the American people of more than 3,000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo.
The White House announced this week that the 136th annual Easter Egg Roll will be Monday, April 21. The White House also invited elementary and middle school children to enter the Easter Egg Roll Poster contest. The 2014 theme "Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape" promotes First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to combat childhood obesity. To get contest rules and guidelines go to: www.whitehouse.gov/EasterEggRoll/poster2014. The contest closes March 21st, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. EST. The poster featured here is last year's winner.