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November, 2011 Archives

Okay, this guy is straight up crazy, but he looks like a lot of fun.

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Let's Move event participants in the Diplomatic Reception Room, Oct. 11, 2011, prior to launching a challenge on the White House South Lawn to help break the Guinness Book of World Records title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. Participants include: John Cassidy, Guinness Book of World Records holder, who performs a balloon act.

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First Lady Michelle Obama with Balloon Artist John Cassidy:

Michelle, Sasha, Malia, and Bo the First Dog get the White House Christmas Tree. Don't they make quite the cute group?

First Lady Michelle Obama is joined by Malia Obama and Sasha Obama for the presentation of the Official White House Christmas Tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 25, 2011. The 19-foot-tall balsam fir came from Schroeder’s Forevergreens near Neshkoro, Wisconsin and will be displayed throughout the holiday season in the Blue Room of the White House.

The tree from Schroeder's Forevergreens in Wisconsin is being decorated to honor of military families.

Schroeder's is one of approximately 800 Christmas tree lots and farms in the US that participates in the Trees for Troops program, which gives free Christmas trees to military families. This year they hopes to deliver their 100,000th tree.

The First Lady is presented with the White House Christmas Tree, which will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House and decorated to honor military families. November 25, 2011.

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Michelle, Sasha, Malia, and Bo Obama Receive the White House Christmas Tree:
First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia, and Bo Receive the White House Christmas Tree:

First Lady Michelle Obama sat down during Thanksgiving week to call Jessica Allen, a military spouse whose husband Chaz was injured in combat. Jessica spends her free time helping other military spouses in situations like hers, and so the First Lady called to thank her.

If you want to thank our military heros, just visit the USO's website and post a message letting them know you're grateful for them.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Calls Military Spouse Jessica Allen:

The First Family took some time the day before Thanksgiving to volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington DC.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and Marian Robinson greet people as they fill care packages with food for Thanksgiving at the Capital Area Foodbank in Washington, D.C., Nov. 23, 2011.

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Barack, Michelle, Sasha, Malia, and Marian Serve at the Capital Area Food Bank for Thanksgiving:

In one of those silly yet fun traditions, President Obama, with Sasha and Malia at his side, pardoned two turkeys this Thanksgiving. I guess he didn't want to sacrifice Liberty or Peace, which marks the 64th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation.

President Barack Obama, with daughters, Malia and Sasha, pardons 'Liberty', the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2011. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga.

Both Liberty and Peace are 19 weeks old, weigh 45 pounds, and were raised by students at Willmar High School in Minnesota under the supervision of National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga.

After the pardoning, the turkeys were given to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. They will be on display for visitors during Christmas at Mount Vernon. After the holidays, Liberty and Peace will call a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility their home.

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Well, it is wonderful to see all of you here today. Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to the White House.

Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an American. It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company. But it’s also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. (Laughter.) They don’t have it so good.

The rare exception, of course, are the two birds who’ve joined me today. Now, is Peace here, or just Liberty? Just Liberty is here, but Peace is back here somewhere. Some of you may know that recently I’ve been taking a series of executive actions that don’t require Congressional approval. (Laughter.) Well, here’s another one. We can’t wait to pardon these turkeys. (Laughter.) Literally. Otherwise they’d end up next to the mashed potatoes and stuffing.

I want to thank Richard Huisinga, the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and his wonderful family for donating this year’s turkey from his farm in Willmar, Minnesota. The turkey’s name is Liberty -- there he is -- and along with his understudy named Peace, he has the distinction of being the luckiest bird on the face of the Earth. Right now, he’s also probably one of the most confused. (Laughter.)

Liberty was chosen from a flock of about 30 other contestants for the honor of being here today. And for the first time in history, these two turkeys were raised by four students from nearby Willmar High School.

Now, I’m told that in order to prepare Liberty and Peace for their big day, the students exposed them to loud noises and flash bulbs so that they’d be ready to face the White House press corps. This is actually true. They also received the most important part of their media training, which involves learning how to gobble without really saying anything. (Laughter.)

So Liberty is ready for his turn in the spotlight. And after he finishes a round of cable hits and a few Sunday shows, he’s going to retire to a life of leisure at Mount Vernon -- the same place where George Washington spent his golden years.

And later today, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will also be taking two unnamed turkeys, who weren’t so lucky, to a local food bank here in D.C. that helps those in need. And I want to thank the folks at Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, for donating these dressed birds for the third year in a row.

A great writer once called Thanksgiving the “one day that is ours … the one day that is purely American.”

When we gather around our tables tomorrow to share the fruits of our blessings, let’s remember what that means. Let’s be grateful for what we have. Let’s be mindful of those who have less. Let’s appreciate those who hold a special place in our lives, and make sure that they know it. And let’s think about those who can’t spend the holiday with their loved ones –- especially the members of our military serving overseas. I’d like to thank all our men and women in uniform and their families for their incredible service and devotion.

And that’s what being an American is all about. Even when times are tough, we look out for each other. We lift each other up. And we remind ourselves just how lucky we are here, together, in the greatest country on Earth.

So from our family to yours, I want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

And now, since Liberty and Peace have been so patient, it is my privilege to grant them the official pardon. And I’m going to -- I’ve got to give them a little symbol. (Laughter.)

(The turkeys are pardoned.)

THE PRESIDENT: All right, you are hereby pardoned. (Laughter.) Give them a round of applause. (Applause.)

President Barack Obama pardons 'Liberty', the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony on the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2011. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga.

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President Obama Pardons Liberty and Peace, the Thanksgiving Turkeys, with Daughters Sasha and Malia:
Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning:
President Obama Pardons Liberty and Peace, the Thanksgiving Turkeys:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama linked arms with the Bidens and other dignitaries as they sang "We Shall Overcome" at the historic dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden link arms and sing "We Shall Overcome" during the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Joining them, from left, are: Harry Johnson, Sr.; Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; and Herman "Skip" Mason.

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Sing “We Shall Overcome” at the Dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial:

In March Michelle, Barack, Sasha, Malia, and Grandma Marian Robinson took a trip to El Salvador.

As you'll see below, the First Lady's wardrobe choices on the trip were excellent, even by her always high standards.

The standout garment choice was a white and gold L'Wren Scott.  In fact, you voted it as your favorite piece of the First Lady's formal evening gowns in our recent poll. Almost unbelievably, it received nearly half of all votes cast. Talk about a runaway winner!

(More Pictures Below)

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at an Arrival Ceremony in San Salvador:
First Lady Michelle Obama and Sasha Paint a Mural in El Salvador:
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Toast at an Official Dinner Hosted by President Mauricio Funes and First Lady Vanda Pignato at the National Palace in San Salvador:
Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama with Marian Robinson Outside Air Force One Returning from South America:

When the President and First Lady traveled to England earlier this year, they hosted a dinner at Winfield House–the U.S. Ambassador to England's official residence–in honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. They were also the honored guests at a State Banquet put on by the Queen.

First Lady Michelle looked stunning at the Winfield House event, wearing a black Ralph Lauren evening gown. It was an off-the-shoulder number with a satin bodice and crepe skirt. In fact, this dress was voted as readers' second favorite of the First Lady's evening gowns in our recent poll.

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with soccer star David Beckham at a dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth II at Winfield House in London, England, May 25, 2011.

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Michelle Obama and David Beckham:
Barack and Michelle Obama Attend a State Banquet Held by Queen Elizabeth II of England:
President Obama, Tom Hanks, and Others Toast Queen Elizabeth II of England:
Barack and Michelle Obama Welcome Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh:
Barack and Michelle Obama Talk with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh:
Barack and Michelle Obama Talk with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), Ambassador Louis Susman, and Mrs. Margaret Susman:
President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II of England Greet Colin Firth:

The First Lady looked incredible in her red Alexander McQueen that she wore to the state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao. In our poll of your favorite of the First Lady's formalwear, this stunning piece tied with a yellow Prabal Gurung for third place.

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President Barack Obama, President Hu Jintao of China, and First Lady Michelle Obama descend the Grand Staircase of the White House:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Greet President Hu Jintao of China for a State Dinner:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to a State Dinner:
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Marine Corps Band Wait for Chinese President Hu Jintao before a State Dinner:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Say Goodbye to Chinese President Hu Jintao:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama Prepare to Welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao:
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Admiral Michael Mullen, Greet Chinese President Hu Jintao:
Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama Greet Chinese President Hu Jintao:

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