As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy approaches, a documentary will be released in selected theaters throughout the country this week in which eighteen Hollywood actors read messages of condolences First Lady Jackie Kennedy received following the assassination of her husband. The film is based on Ellen Fitzgerald's book "Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation." The documentary will also air on the television channel TLC during the month of November.
Opening in movie theaters this week (August 16) is a film "The Butler", starring Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, about a man named Eugene Allen. Who was Eugene Allen? He was an African American, employed by the White House as a butler for over 34 years, who worked for eight presidents from Truman through Reagan. The film is based on an article by Washington Post report Will Heygood and also a book by the same author entitled "The Butler: A Witness to History".
Tonight President Obama will host a screening at the White House of the new movie ""42", about Jackie Robinson who was the first player to break Major League Baseball's color barrier. The President and invited guests, including the cast of the movie, will watch it in the Family Theater. It was converted in 1942 from a cloakroom and the 40-seat theater + 4 big armchairs has been used by presidential families with varying degrees of frequency ever since. President Dwight Eisenhower loved westerns and he watched over 200 of them during his eight-year term. One of his favorite westerns was "High Noon" which was also a favorite of Presidents Reagan and Clinton. President George Bush apparently liked war movies. President Carter viewed over 480 films during his four years in office. President Obama's choices seem less centered on one specific genre.
Did you know that First Lady Grace Coolidge was the first to invite movie stars to the White House? This past week Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt stopped in at the White House and got a tour of the Oval Office from President Obama. The Hollywood couple was in town for the premiere at the Holocaust Museum of the movie In the Land of Milk and Honey, Jolie's directorial debut about the Bosnian War. Later in the week, George Lucas, the director of Star Wars fame, came to the White House for the screening of his new film Red Tails about the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the 2011 Kennedy Honors recipients at the White House today prior to their appearance at the taping at the Kennedy Center gala. Recipients of the honor are recognized for lifetime achievement in the performing arts. This year's honorees are: Barbara Cook, Sonny Rollins, Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep and Yo-Yo Ma.
It wasn't difficult to spot some fmaous faces (other than politicians) around town this week. They dined in local restaurants, attended a movie screening, conducted soccer drills on the White House south lawn, even toured a breast cancer center. Sarah Jessica Parker and Cindi Lauper were at the 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign dinner; Jennifer Aniston, Partricia Clarkson, and Jeanne Tripplehorn attended the premiere of the Lifetime film series "Five" which follows five women diagnosed with breast cancer. Jennifer Aniston toured a new state of the art breast cancer treatment center with Dr. Jill Biden and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (view video here.) Members of the U.S. Women's Soccer team conducted skill drills with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative, and the Chicago Bears 85' Super Bowl champs finally made it to the White House just a little late. Their trip to the White House in 1986 didn't happen because it coincided with the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy but Mike Ditka and the team finally got a tour of the White House this week from Bears fan President Obama. Finally, some future super stars also visited the White House as President Obama welcomed winners of the first Google Science Fair. Over 10,000 students from 91 countries entered online.
Fancy yourself in a Steven Spielberg movie? The famous director will start filming a movie this month in Virginia about President Lincoln and his cabinet, based on the book by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin called Team of Rivals. The casting crew is looking for Caucasian and African-American men to portray soldiers. Some of the requirements are that men be between 6 ft. 1" or under and weigh less than 200 lbs. The pay? $79.75/day . Applicants should send a recent photo along with height, weight and contact info to email@example.com
First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Virginia Beach, VA this morning to tour Oceana Naval Air Station's Summer Youth Program. In conjunction with the Joining Forces Movie series, there will also be a special screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. The Movie Series is part of Warner Bros., Disney, Universal and Fox studios commitment to provide special movie screenings for military families. Later in the day, the First Lady will travel to Fayetteville, North Carolina to participate in ABC's Extreme Makeover-Home Edition to build a house for homeless female veterans.
Dad-in-Chief (President Obama) will host a special movie screening of the Disney-Pixar's Cars 2 for military dads and their kids at the White House late this afternoon in honor of Father's Day. It is this year's initial event for the President's mentoring program, Strong Fathers, Strong Families. The event dovetails nicely with the commitment movie studios have made to host screenings for military families throughout the year in conjunction with Joining Forces, the initiative undertaken by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to lend support to military families.
Later in the evening, the President will join Mrs. Obama to host a picnic on the White House lawn for members of Congress.