First family gets out for MLK Day
January 17th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

First family gets out for MLK Day

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama and the first family continued their tradition of public service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by visiting a DC mentoring program

The president and first lady stopped by Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington and greeted students and mentors who were part of the Greater DC Cares’ Mentoring Matters Initiative. The program hosted events in more than 30 schools in the DC area and focuses their efforts on keeping kids in school and striving for higher education.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama also helped to paint some cartoon characters on the walls in the cafeteria during their visit. The dancing-apples are meant to encourage healthy eating, one of Mrs. Obama’s main focuses as first lady.  Malia and Sasha lent their hands to painting as well, helping with painting college logos on canvases to hang on the walls.

“Dr. King obviously had a dream of justice and equality in our society, but he also had a dream of service, that you could be a drum major for service, that you could lead by giving back to our communities,” the president said. “After a painful week where so many of us were focused on tragedy, it’s good for us to remind ourselves what this country is all about.”

The Obamas have participated in service projects for the last three years on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Last year, they visited a DC soup kitchen and worked a food line, serving lunch to the homeless.

Topics: The Family • White House

Next entry »
« Previous entry
soundoff (22 Responses)


    January 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  2. Jay in NC

    What's up with Barry's hair? It was black with a little gray during his two week Hawaii vacation, then it was noticeably very gray in Arizona, now jet black.

    January 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • XWngLady

      Are you color blind? I see quite a bit of gray in his hair. Even so, he's not even 50 years old yet, why should we expect him to look like an old geezer? And anyway, Ronald Reagan was the KING of Clarol (the king of dying his hair).

      January 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Compare the picture for this story and the CNN story titled 'The hopes of a nation are here tonight', big change. You can not tell me that he did change his hair color. I understand him making it darker but why did he add the gray?

      January 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  3. Ppaaddr

    Dear CNN,

    The ugly typo: it should be "MLK day", not "MKL day". Please be more careful; it's an important day.


    January 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  4. Hannah

    MKL day? It's MLK day, right?

    January 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  5. XWngLady

    Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Obama. We don't do enough to help and encourage each other in this country. Thank you for leading by example!

    January 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  6. Jay in NC

    The news story says "The Obamas have participated in service projects for the last three years on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day." So this is just a photo op. Not a family tradition.

    January 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  7. Liz Carter in Georgia

    If my memory serves me correct, the very thing that you all tried to wage against BARACK OBAMA, as he was campaigning for president, was the 'fact' that he was not qualified because of WHAT? COMMUNITY ORGANIZER?!? He had NO prior governing service; no payroll experience, and other BS! All he had was years of working as legal services, laison activists, for communities, rehabs, school needs, elderly, and more! That says to me that they've been in 'service' for longer than 3 years! It's just being documented!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Barry worked as a paid community organizer from June 1985 to May 1988. The balance of his time has been spent writing his books, teaching at a university, and being a politician. I would hardly call that being community service oriented. Most Americans, aged 50+, have helped their communities while not expecting any recognition or pay. I can not find any reference to him helping at a rehab center or 'more.'

      The truth is that Barry and The First Date have only celebrated MLK day by participating in service projects for the past three years. This is a publicity stunt to try and make people feel good about them. They do not have experience in running a business, only experience working in a government or government sponsored organizations. This is very well documented.

      Barry lacks the fortitude that is required to build this country. Watch during he next two months, he will push for the debt ceiling to be raised above 15 trillion. Remember, in 2006 he voted against raising the debt ceiling. Said "The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt is a sign of leadership failure." Will now president Barry hold himself to the same standards that he expected from President Bush? I doubt it.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

    I'm sorry if this comes across as trivial, but could you please make a correction in your caption; it should be MLK....unless you were playing on the title?

    January 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  9. Liz Carter in GEORGIA

    I didn't say he worked at a 'rehab center'! I said 'rehabs'! That was to say rehabing communities and people; inclusive of the children; ie., mentoring. An operative statement admission made by you is 'I can not find any reference to him helping....'! YOU CAN'T FIND IT! There's probably much he's done in his life that has gone undocumented and unrecognized! As is with most AMERICAN aged 50+ people, you have carelessly claimed to have done community service work. You just won't give him credit for ANYTHING!

    January 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      What do you consider "rehabing communities", like when he sold drugs in Hawaii? Please show me proof that Barry ever mentored to children. He did not spend time with his own children let alone someone else's. Also please explain your statement that "you have carelessly claimed to have done community service work."

      January 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  10. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I think the reference I made about your claim that most AMERICANS 50+ was self explanatory! I don't believe you! You show me proof where 'most AMERICANS aged 50s+ have helped their communities while not expecting recognition or pay'! In reference to your treacherous smear, associating OBAMAS' rehabing communities with the claim that it must have been when he was allegedly selling drugs to the community in HAWAII, no comment! He did spend time with his girls! You show me proof where he didn't mentor!

    January 19, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  11. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I clearly stated as I made my comment that there was probably a lot he has done in his life that went undocumented and unrecognized; so how in the world could you request proof from me on each and everything I opinionate?

    January 19, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I clearly stated as I made my comment that there was probably a lot he has done in his life that went undocumented and unrecognized; so how in the world could you request proof from me on each and everything I opinionate? You have stated yourself on occasion you couldn't find a reference on this or that! Some things you say are based on your opinion like everybody else! Not everybody jumps out at you and tells you to prove it either! They address you on it, or just overlook it! People know you by now!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  13. Jay in NC

    About Barry spending time with his girls....

    Glamour Magazine, Today:
    Barry said "...She is the best mother I know. And our kids are a testimony to that, because she’s really had to raise them, oftentimes without me being there."

    People Magazine:
    Barry said "Although I have to admit that sometimes, because I'm more of the night owl, I wasn't always a full participant in these conversations. I'd sort of lie there ..." "A dead body," pipes in Michelle, completing his sentence.

    About Americans helping community. Read the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Volunteering in the United States, 2009, for your self.

    About Barry selling drugs.
    The late Marxist activist Frank Marshall Davis, frequently accompanied by young Barack Obama and his grandfather Stanley Armour Dunham, sold marijuana and cocaine from a "Chicago style" hot dog cart Davis operated near his home on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki in the early 1970s, WND has established.

    January 19, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Okaaay, Jay! Never fails! You DO believe and expound on anything that's said, written, or photographed about the OBAMAS; even the things they say that could be viewed, construed or twisted into something of a negative! Oh! You take that stuff to the bank! Anything that's good or could be percieved as a positive, your daily mission is to find a way to reduce, dismiss, demean and tear that down! Many working fathers could make the statement; they're out nights 'WORKING'; so their wives raised the children!

    January 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    My father worked for the southern railroad and was working out of town most of the time; but he still found a way to spend quality time with us when he was home. He gave my mother the same 'props' as BARACK gives MICHELLE for the most 'hands on' of the raising of us children. We understood our father had to work and was glad when he came home, because we knew, once he got a little rest; we were going to have our talks one on one and then he was going to take us out and we were going to have a good time!

    January 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    About your reference to him selling drugs in the HAWAIIAN community, it seems that DAVIS and his grandfather were the ones in charge of that, according to what you say! Was he ever caught, charged and convicted of it? NO! He may have just been along for the ride; his grandfather and their acquaintances were probably having to help watch him while his mother and grandmother worked! 'In the early 1970s', the man was still a young boy; being born in 1961! I concentrate on his adult life in community service!

    January 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    To your response on AMERICANS helping the community, I'm sure there maybe many working in communities; I and several of my relatives, especiall my mother and friends are or were community servicers and activists, but that doesn't say that 'most AMERICANS, aged 50+, have helped their communities while not expecting recognition or pay'! There may be MANY, but not MOST, OK? That's exactly why when they're uncovered or taken notice of by others, they stand out and are sometimes championed! Military/VOLUNTEERS!

    January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @XWngLady; I do so agree with your comments! I've been meaning to acknowledge you, but as I suppose you can see, I just hadn't had the time! However, keep up the good work! Thanks!

    January 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm |