Category Archives: Washington, DC

First Lady Michelle Obama Graces the Cover of Condé Nast Traveler

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama hits the cover of Conde Nast’s Traveler talking about living in Washington. Excerpt from Conde Nast Traveler story on Mrs. Obama’s Washington…

Mrs. Obama shares a few of the First Family’s favorite Washington spots:

The Newseum, is an interactive museum of news and journalism located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. The seven-level, 250,000 square foot museum features 15 theaters and 14 galleries. The Newseum’s Berlin Wall Gallery includes the largest display of sections of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany. The Today’s Front Pages Gallery presents daily front pages from more than 80 international newspapers.

First Lady: High recommendations (from the kids). They love the Newseum.”

Monticello is located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia. Monticello, along with the nearby University of Virginia, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

First Lady: It is just incredibly beautiful, and that beautiful garden that he planted that is three times the size of anything that you’d ever do. It brings it to life, not just for my kids but for me.”

Luray Caverns is a large, celebrated commercial cave just west of Luray, Virginia, USA, which has drawn many visitors since its discovery in 1878. The underground cavern system is generously adorned with speleothems (columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, mirrored pools, etc). there are hundreds of basins, varying from 1 to 50 feet in diameter, and from 6 inches to 15 feet in depth. The water in them contains carbonate of lime, which often forms concretions, called pearls, eggs, and snowballs, according to their size.

First Lady:Yes! We saw the egg. Barack was very jealous — he’s a Tour Guy.”

Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States Government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. In addition to paper currency, the B.E.P. produces Treasury securities; military commissions and award certificates; invitations and admission cards; and many different types of identification cards, forms, and other special security documents for a variety of Government agencies.

First Lady:We did the Bureau of Engraving (and Printing tour).”

The May 2010 issue of Condé Nast Traveler will be on newsstands April 14.

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White House Butler for 8 Presidents Dies

Posted by: Bluedog89

WP~Eugene Allen, who endured a harsh and segregated upbringing in his native Virginia and went on to work for eight presidents as a White House butler, died March 31 of renal failure at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. He was 90.

Mr. Allen and his wife, Helene, were profiled in a Washington Post story in 2008 that explored the history of blacks in the White House. The couple were excited about the possibility of Barack Obama’s historic election and their opportunity to vote for him. Helene, however, died on the eve of the election, and Mr. Allen went to vote alone. The couple had been married for 65 years.

Afterward, Mr. Allen, who had been living quietly in a simple house off Georgia Avenue NW in the District, experienced a fame that he had only witnessed beforehand. He received a VIP invitation to Obama’s swearing-in, where a Marine guard escorted him to his seat. Eyes watering, he watched the first black man take the oath of office of the presidency.

Mr. Allen was besieged with invitations to appear on national TV shows. There were book offers and dozens of speaking requests, all of which he declined. He also received hundreds of letters, some from as far away as Switzerland, from people amazed at the arc of his life and imploring him to hold on while thanking him for his service to the nation. People in his neighborhood would stop him and explain to their children the outlines of his life.

“He liked to think of himself as just a humble butler,” his only child, Charles, said Thursday. Aside from his son, Mr. Allen is survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Allen was born July 14, 1919, in Scottsville, Va. He worked as a waiter at the Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va., and later at a country club in Washington. In 1952, he heard of a job opening at the White House and was hired as a “pantry man,” washing dishes, stocking cabinets and shining silverware for $2,400 a year.

He became maitre d’, the most prestigious position among White House butlers, under Ronald Reagan. During Mr. Allen’s 34 years at the White House, some of the decisions that presidents made within earshot of him came to have a direct bearing on his life — and that of black America.

Allen, far right, while working for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Mr. Allen was in the White House when Dwight D. Eisenhower dealt with the Little Rock desegregation crisis. Eisenhower once asked him about the cancellation of Nat “King” Cole’s TV show, which the president enjoyed. Mr. Allen told him that the show had difficulty attracting advertisers, who were worried about white Southern audiences boycotting their products.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Mr. Allen was invited to the funeral. He declined for the most generous of reasons: “Somebody had to be at the White House to serve everyone after they came from the funeral,” he told The Post. When first lady Jackie Kennedy returned to the White House afterward, she gave him one of the president’s ties. Mr. Allen had it framed.

Mr. Allen served entertainers including Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey and Elvis Presley. He flew aboard Air Force One. He sipped root beer at Camp David with Jimmy Carter and visited Eisenhower in Gettysburg after he left the White House. There were always Christmas and birthday cards from the families of the presidents he had served.

He looked up one evening in the White House kitchen to see a lone figure standing in the doorway: It was Martin Luther King Jr., who had insisted on meeting the butlers and maids. Mr. Allen smiled when King complimented him on the cut of his tuxedo.

Allen, far right, with President Lyndon B. Johnson, Archbishop Humberto Medeiros of Boston, and President Richard M. Nixon.

Mr. Allen served cups and cups of milk and Scotch to help Lyndon B. Johnson settle his stomach when protesters were yelling outside the White House gates during the Vietnam War. He longed to say something to Johnson about his son, who was serving in Vietnam at the time but dared not — save for acknowledging that his son was alive when Johnson asked about him.

It pained Mr. Allen to hear vulgar words, sometimes racially charged, flowing from Johnson’s mouth; and it delighted him when Johnson signed the historic civil rights bills of 1964 and 1965.

Mr. Allen serves a party hosted by President Gerald Ford.

Sometimes Mr. Allen’s own life seemed to stop beneath the chandeliered light. First lady Nancy Reagan came looking for him one afternoon, and Mr. Allen wondered whether he or a member of his staff had done something wrong. She assured him that he had not but also told him that his services would not be needed at the upcoming state dinner for German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Mr. Allen tensed, wondering why.

Mr. Allen with President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan.

“She said, ‘You and Helene are coming to the state dinner as guests of President Reagan and myself,’ ” he recounted in the Post interview. Mr. Allen thought he was the first butler to receive an invitation to a state dinner. He and Helene — she was a beautiful dresser — looked resplendent that night. The butlers on duty seemed to pay special attention to the couple as they poured champagne for guests — champagne that Mr. Allen himself had stacked in the kitchen.

Mr. Allen was mindful that with the flowering of the black power movement, many young people questioned why he would keep working as a butler, with its connotations of subservience. But the job gave him great pride, and he endured the slights with a dignified posture.

“He was such a professional in everything he did,” said Wilson Jerman, 81, whom Mr. Allen hired to work at the White House in the early 1960s. “When my wife, Gladys, died in 1966, he told me not to worry about a thing. I didn’t think I could get through that period, and he just took me by the hand. I’ll never forget it.”

Mr. Allen retired in 1986, after having been promoted to maitre d’ five years earlier. He possessed a dazzling array of framed photographs with all of the presidents he had served, in addition to gifts and mementos from each of them.

The last item to be framed and placed on Eugene Allen’s basement wall was a condolence letter from George W. and Laura Bush. It arrived from the White House just after the death of Helene.

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March For America: Protesters In D.C Demand Immigration Reform

Posted by: Audiegrl

Seven-year-old Luis Leon from Chicago and other protestors participate in a March For America demonstration calling for immigration reform March 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. According to the organizers of the March for America hundreds of groups from almost every state are taking part to march for immigration reform from the National Mall to RFK Stadium. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images North America)

AP~Frustrated with the lack of action to overhaul the country’s immigration system, tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied on the National Mall and marched through the streets of the capital Sunday, waving American flags and holding homemade signs in English and Spanish.

Supporters traveled from around the country in hopes the rally would re-energize Congress to take up the volatile issue. Some lawmakers oppose any attempt to help an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens while others insist on stronger border controls first.

President Barack Obama, who promised to make overhauling the immigration system a top priority in his first year, sought to reassure those at the rally with a video message presented on giant screens at the National Mall. The president said he was committed to working with Congress this year on a comprehensive bill to fix a “broken immigration system.”

Obama said problems include families being torn apart, employers gaming the system and police officers struggling to keep communities safe.

The president, whose comments were released as he worked to get last-minute votes on a health care overhaul, said he would do everything in his power to forge a bipartisan consensus on immigration reform. The House was expected to vote on the landmark health care legislation late Sunday.

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Latinos Launching Campaign Exposing Tea Party Racism

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Host the Annual Governors Ball At the White House

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (C) and first lady Michelle Obama (L) at the 2010 Governors Ball at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

The nation’s governors and their spouses gathered at the White House on Sunday night for the Governors’ Ball hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle. The ball is a annual black-tie event held in the State Dining Room. President Obama in the evenings first toast, praised the nation’s state leaders for “helping to right the ship” during the economic crisis in the United States the past couple of years. President Obama began his toast by joked “This is not too stiff of an affair, because last year, Ed Rendell led a conga line. We still have photographs that we may use.” He also added, “to our spouses and families who make extraordinary sacrifices…Michelle is starting to clink already,” as he glanced and smiled playfully at his wife.

Each of you in your own respective states saw how brutal it was on so many families — hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs every month, home foreclosures, small businesses having to shut down unable to make payroll and people not sure about the future,” President Obama said. “It is worth this organization taking some extraordinary credit for helping to right the ship.”

He attributed the success of a portion of the recovery efforts to the governors and their willingness to work across state and party lines for the good of the people.

The annual Governors’ Ball is seen as an opportunity for the leaders of each of the 50 states to get together in a non-working environment, allowing them to get to know one another on a personal level.

Gov. Douglas (R-Vermont) also delivered a toast, despite the president prematurely ushering the ceremony to the first course, only to renege on the announcement, “Dinner is served.”


For all the foodie details out there, please check out the excellent behind the scenes coverage of the ball from our friends at Obama Foodorama, they’ve got ‘all the juice‘ on the dinner menu, wines, place settings, linens, and flower arrangements. Check them out here

The seating arrangement according to the pool report:

“Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was seated to the right of FLOTUS. Neither he nor any other guest was seen measuring drapes, though of course the pool can only attest to the 10 minutes it was in the room.

In the back row: Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida – well beyond hugging range – at Table 3 with Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mike Beebe of Arkansas, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of Calif. sat beside Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle, with Interior Sect. Salazar two seats to Arnold’s right, and the two governors clicked glasses at the toasts.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who got a shoutout from Obama during his pre-toast remarks, was in a striking emerald jacket at Table 12 with FLOTUS and Pawlenty.

Also spotted, at separate tables: Gov. David Paterson of NY, Gov. Bill Richardson of NM. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were seated together.

Vice President Biden was at the table in the middle, with a head-on view of the lectern.

Apologies to the many other VIPs. Presumably, all the governors in town for the NGA were at the dinner, but no attendance list was available. I can report that Texas’ chief executive, Rick Perry, nine days from the primary and never a fan of the NGA anyway, was home campaigning today.”

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Filed under Barack Obama, Culture, Dancing, Entertainment, Fashion, Government, Governor's Ball 2010, Governors, History, Hollywood, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, States, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts the White House Governors Ball Talent Preview

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. First lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

Today the First Lady gave a group of Washington, DC music students a special preview of the 2010 Governors’ Ball performance. Grammy Award Winning artist, Harry Connick Jr. spend time talking to students and closed out the event with a song, joined by a few residents from the New Orleans Musicians’ Village. The Musician’s Village was conceived by New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to rebuild homes for many of New Orleans cherished but displaced artists, those who have defined the city’s culture and created the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.



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Filed under Artists, Change, Children, Culture, Dancing, Education, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, Musicals, New Orleans, LA, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

The Chicago Tribune Names First Lady Michelle Obama One of the 2010 Good Eating Award Winners

Post by: Audiegrl

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Chicago Tribune~There’s a 1,100-square-foot organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden on the South Lawn of the White House. That patch of earth planted in March — the first time vegetables have been grown at the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the ’40s — has yielded 700-plus pounds of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, collards and more for meals at the White House and a nearby homeless shelter.

That garden, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters, is “one of the greatest things that I’ve done in my life.” It also signaled the first lady’s efforts to improve America’s eating habits, tackle childhood obesity and encourage fitness. She began by bringing those efforts to her new home, where chef-working mom Cristeta Comerford runs the White House kitchen, by adding chef Sam Kass (whose track record includes work at Avec) to mentor her local-sustainable efforts.

2010 Good Eating AwardOther first ladies have urged healthy eating at the White House ( Hillary Clinton pushed for a low-fat menu, while Laura Bush encouraged organic foods). But Michelle Obama has, in her first year, moved food and nutrition issues front and center. Her efforts dovetail with our appetite for the food-tube (she kicked off this year with an appearance on “Iron Chef America“) and America’s awareness that what you eat plays a major role in your health.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Charity, Childhood Obesity, Children, Culture, Education, First Lady Michelle Obama, Green, Health, Hunger, Media and Entertainment, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Announce 2010 Easter Egg Roll Theme Ready, Set, Go!

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle, and their daughter Sasha welcome people to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event dates back to 1878 and is named for races where children push colored eggs across the grass using wooden spoons. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

The President and First Lady have announced that this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 5, 2010 with the theme of “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. All of the activities will encourage children to lead healthy and active lives and follow the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity.

Souvenir White House Eggs

The 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll souvenir eggs will be available for purchase online at the National Park Foundation website. Each wooden egg is expertly crafted, painted, and includes the signatures of the President and First Lady.

The White House will open its South Lawn for children aged 12 years and younger and their families. Full ticketing information is below. We hope to see you at the White House!

Ticketing Information

The First Lady with daughter's Sasha and Malia Easter 2009

The First Lady with daughter's Sasha and Malia Easter 2009

White House Easter Egg Roll tickets will be distributed through an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate in a tradition that dates back to 1878.

Entries for the 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll Online Lottery will be accepted from Thursday, February 25 through Sunday, February 28. One entry per person may be submitted at anytime during the lottery period. All entries will have an equal chance of being selected.

The lottery will be run on March 1. Lottery results will be available starting Thursday, March 4, 2010. Please visit www.recreation.gov to apply for the online ticket lottery.

Here’s a video roundup of the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll

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Filed under Barack Obama, Children, Culture, Easter, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Holidays, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pop Culture, Presidents, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women