President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the U.S. Navy’s first contingent of women submariners to be assigned to the Navy’s operational submarine force, in the Blue Room of the White House on Memorial Day. The 24 women were accepted into the Navy’s nuclear submarine program after completing an intensive training program and serve on ballistic and guided missile submarines throughout the Navy. Also attending were Admiral Mark Ferguson, left, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right.
There was some serious star power in the East Room of the White House Tuesday and it had nothing to do with politics. The Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy including star players David Beckham, forward Robbie Keane, midfielder Landon Donovan and their team mates were honored by President Obama and dozens of young soccer fans invited to the White House.
Calling them the "Miami Heat of soccer" the president commended the team for their success.
"[T]ogether you pulled off one of the toughest feats in team sports: You lived up to the hype. You combined star power, hard work; it paid off."
The president poked a little fun at David Beckham telling the 36 year old, "I said half his teammates could be his kids."
"We're getting old, David. Although you're holding up better than me," the president laughingly told Beckham.
But he thanked the team for agreeing to stay and talk with children invited to the White House to meet the players.
"As a soccer dad, I know you've inspired a lot of kids. And today you're giving them an experience that they will never forget," the president told them.
After the East Room event, the players joined Michelle Obama and about 60 children invited for the event in the State Dining Room as part of a Let's Move program, the first lady's initiative to instill healthy eating habits in children.
Mrs. Obama said she hoped to hold a soccer clinic outside on the White House lawn but rain forced them inside. She told the kids about the importance of sports and remaining active.
"[W]e want to show kids just like you that there are all kinds of ways to be active, and that being active is also a whole lot of fun. So a lot of what we do while there are soccer drills and things like that going on, we're doing a lot of playing around and laughing, and realizing that that's what being healthy is about. It's not always work; most of the time it's a lot of fun."
She left admonishing the children to "eat your vegetables."
A sentiment that was echoed by star soccer player Beckham who when asked by one child was his favorite food is he hesitated only briefly and answered, carrots!
The space shuttle Discovery made three passes by the White House and the National Mall on its farewell flight to the Smithsonian's Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. Members of the White House Press Corps gathered on the north side of the White House to see the shuttle over the West Wing. No word yet on whether President Obama caught a glimpse of the shuttle.
NASA's shuttle program ended under the Obama administration after funding was cut by $1.5 billion dollars. Obama has said the closing of the program "propels us into the next era of our never-ending adventure to push the very frontiers of exploration and discovery in space."
The U.S. Park Service does a bit of painting here and there while preparing for the official visit of British P.M. David Cameron.
While most people celebrate birthdays with a few balloons, some cake, and, if they’re lucky, presents, America’s leaders tend to celebrate with a bit more flair. Barack Obama, for example, rang in the big 5-0 with celebrity friends like Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder. Back in 1962, Marilyn Monroe serenaded John F. Kennedy with a seductive song that burned its way into American history. Even George H. W. Bush took a step toward making presidential birthday history when he stepped off a plane (aka skydived) in honor of his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays.
George Washington, however, surpasses them all, as he’s the only president with an entire federal holiday dedicated to his memory.
Now before you race to your web browser and send us a Wikipedia link that says the holiday is actually called “President’s Day,” we encourage you to take a closer look. Despite the promotional emails that have exploded into your inboxes this morning from car dealerships, mattress stores and electronic giants like Best Buy, today is not President’s Day. In fact, it’s not even Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (which, by the way, passed by last week on the 12th).
Brace yourself, because today’s legal name is “Washington’s Birthday.”
At least that’s what the U.S. Office of Personnel Management says, anyway.