Tag: The White House

President Barack Obama Calls on Americans to Embrace Diversity on 9/11 Anniversary

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and others, pause on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington as they observe a moment of silence to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. President Barack Obama is joining the nation in remembering the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Obama is observing the somber anniversary with a moment of silence in the White House residence at 8:46 a.m. EDT. That’s when the first of four hijacked airplanes were slammed into the north tower of New York City’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and others, pause on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington as they observe a moment of silence to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. President Barack Obama is joining the nation in remembering the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

article via abcnews.go.com

President Barack Obama on Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by calling on Americans to embrace the nation’s character as a people drawn from every corner of the world, from every religion and from every background. He said extremist groups will never be able to defeat the United States.

Obama spoke to hundreds of service members, and relatives and survivors of the attack that occurred at the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Defense Department’s headquarters, killing 184 people. The youngest victim was only 3 years old.

In all, about 3,000 people lost their lives that day as a result of the planes that crashed into New York City’s World Trade Center and in a Pennsylvania field.

The president said extremist organizations such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaida know they can never drive down the U.S., so they focus on trying to instill fear in hopes of getting Americans to change how they live.

“We know that our diversity, our patchwork heritage is not a weakness, it is still and always will be one of our greatest strengths,” Obama said. “This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.”

Obama spoke on warm, mostly sunny morning, noting that the threat that became so evident on Sept. 11 has evolved greatly over the past 15 years. Terrorists, he said, often attempt strikes on a smaller, but still deadly scale. He specifically cited attacks in Boston, San Bernardino and Orlando as examples.

In the end, he said, the enduring memorial to those who lost their lives that day is ensuring “that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.”

“How we conduct ourselves as individuals and as a nation, we have the opportunity each and every day to live up to the sacrifice of those heroes that we lost,” Obama said. Continue reading “President Barack Obama Calls on Americans to Embrace Diversity on 9/11 Anniversary”

President Obama Welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the White House

President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office
President Barack Obama welcomes the Jackie Robinson West All Stars to the Oval Office, Nov. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

Yesterday the Jackie Robinson West All Stars — the U.S. champions in this year’s Little League World Series — stopped by the White House for a visit with the President and the First Lady.

Hailing mainly from the South Side of Chicago, Jackie Robinson West captured the world’s attention this summer on their extraordinary run through the Little League World Series. Along with being the first Chicago-area team to make it to the Little League World Series in 31 years, Jackie Robinson West also made history as the first all-black team to win the U.S. title.

Before the world championship game against South Korea, the President tweeted that “we’re all so proud” of the team. Even though South Korea won the final game 8-4, Jackie Robinson West had already secured a special place in the hearts of Americans across the country.

The young players’ victorious run held even more meaning, however, for the city that they came from. Chicago has grabbed headlines nationwide for its increased gun violence and high murder rate, and many of the Jackie Robinson West players come from neighborhoods suffering from this violence as well as disproportionate levels of poverty. But the team’s run this summer helped provide a respite from some of the city’s troubles, with the players’ hard work and upstanding example ultimately bringing hope, inspiration, and unity to their community.

article by David Hudson via whitehouse.gov

70 Years Ago Today: Etta Moten Barnett Becomes 1st African-American to Sing at the White House

Etta Moten Barnett (Photo: Chicago Library)

Broadway star and film actress Etta Moten Barnett sang at the birthday party for President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Jan. 31, 1943, becoming the first African-American to perform at the White House.

She performed “Remember My Forgotten Man,” which she also sang in the movie Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), although she was not listed in the credits. A conaltro vocalist, she was best known for her starring role in the 1942 revival of Porgy and Bess on Broadway. 

Barnett was born November 5, 1901, in Weimar, Texas. She married Claude Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press, in 1934. In her later years, Barnett was active in many community organizations including the National Council of Negro Women, the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the African American Institute. She passed away from pancreatic cancer on January 5, 2004, at age 102.

article by Britt Middleton via bet.com

President Obama Recognizes 150 Anniversary Of Emancipation Proclamation

President Barack Obama views the Emancipation Proclamation with a small group of African American seniors, their grandchildren and some children from the Washington DC area, in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

January 1st, 1863, is the day that the 16th President of the United States of America, President Abraham Lincoln, issued the Emancipation Proclamation, proclaiming that all slaves in the Confederacy were “forever free” because these Southern states refused to rejoin the Union and were in “rebellion” against the United States of America.

Ironically, the Union states were allowed to maintain their slaves because President Lincoln did not want to risk friction among them. Subsequently, freedmen fled to the North to join the Union Army, and slavery became the pivotal focus of the Civil War. The initial conflict began over various other reasons regarding states’ individual rights, such as taxation, the South demanding control over their own political and socio-economic infrastructure, as well as states’ resources.

Continue reading “President Obama Recognizes 150 Anniversary Of Emancipation Proclamation”

Activists Peacefully Advocate for Change; Plead With Obama For Gun Control Action

White House Vigil Gun Control

Gun control advocates and past victims of gun violence gathered outside the White House on Friday evening urging President Barack Obama to address gun laws. (Photo credit: Jennifer Bendery)

WASHINGTON — Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Conn., put the spotlight on President Barack Obama politically and, for many people, it was personal, as dozens turned up outside the White House gates begging him to take action on gun control.  Activists, sympathetic parents, and those affected by gun violence in the past gathered to collectively grieve at the impromptu vigil. They chanted, lit candles handed out by advocacy groups, and pleaded for political action in the wake of the latest episode of gun violence to afflict the nation.

Continue reading “Activists Peacefully Advocate for Change; Plead With Obama For Gun Control Action”