First Lady Michelle Obama, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha Obama arrive in London
The First Lady hosts a roundtable discussion with representatives from the Research for Equitable Access and Learning Centre and the Peace Corps, former prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard and students on expanding access to girls education around the world, Mulberry School for Girls, London
Holds a Q&A session with students, Mulberry School for Girls
Meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Downing Street
Meets with Harry ‘Prince’ Windsor, Downing Street
The First Lady, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha leave for Milan
The First Lady meets with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife in Milan
The First Lady and the Presidential Delegation visit the Milan Expo 2015, tour the USA Pavilion at the Expo and participate in activities to promote efforts to support healthier families and communities.
With the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the Expo Milan is promoting a global dialogue about the future of our food system.
The USA pavilion is titled “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet,” and it showcases American leadership on global food and development issues, science and technology, climate change, nutrition and health.
The First Lady, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha travel to Vicenza
The First Lady visits the US Army North to meet American military families, Vicenza
The First Lady, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha travel to Venice
The First Lady, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha tour the canal-crossed UNESCO World Heritage site, Venice
The First Lady, Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha depart Venice for Washington DC
FLOTUS and the girls arrive in the UK to begin their tour of London, Milan and Vicenza to promote her initiatives. http://t.co/TUcg4LnzZJ
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is in Cambodia where she spoke Saturday at a Peace Corps training event in the city of Siem Reap, home to Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temple complex. The visit is part of a two-nation trip meant to highlight a new global women’s education initiative.
Obama thanked the Peace Corps volunteers for the work that they are doing to educate and empower girls in Cambodia. She called the volunteers the “living, breathing” embodiment of what her program, “Let Girls Learn,” is all about.
Earlier in the day, Obama met with a group of girls at a school on the outskirts of the city.
Accompanied by Bun Rany, the wife of Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen, Obama told the schoolgirls to stay in school and take advantage of their education to demand greater freedoms in their impoverished country.
“Let girls learn’ is about giving girls like you here, all the girls who are here, giving you a voice in your communities and in your country,” she said.
The trip is the first time that the wife of a sitting U.S. president has visited the Southeast Asian country.
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Manaka Hirose after playing the Taiko with the Akutagawa high school Taiko (Japanese traditional drum) Club at the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
Today (all times Eastern)
12:0: White House Press Briefing
2:25: The President hosts the Second-Annual White House Student Film Festival; East Room
@FLOTUS: Flying over Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, on the way to Kyoto.
AP: First Lady gets taste of Japan’s ancient culture in Kyoto
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama was treated to a serene classical Noh performance and then tried the taiko drums as she ended her visit to Japan on Friday with a taste of traditional culture in Kyoto, one of the country’s ancient capitals.
Mrs Obama viewed the Noh performance at Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple founded in 780 that is one of the most famous sights in Japan, sitting on a forested hill overlooking the city.
Local college students in kimono performed a brief piece of Noh, a classical Japanese musical drama that usually employs elaborate costumes and stylized masks to symbolize roles of women, ghosts and other characters.
While at Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose name means “clear water,” Mrs. Obama observed a traditional tea ceremony. She then traveled across town to the 1,300-year-old Fushimi Inari shrine, a place of worship for Japan’s other major religion, Shinto….
There she watched a rousing performance by the award-winning Akutagawa High School Taiko Club, who drummed, jumped and gesticulated with all their might…. The students then invited Mrs. Obama to join them, and performed a number as she and a student drummed on a big, round taiko drum.
Soon after, Mrs Obama left Japan, one of Asia’s richest nations, for Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest.
@FLOTUS: Taking in a beautiful view of Kyoto from the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple with Ambassador @CarolineKennedy
First Lady Michelle Obama & Jack Schlossberg, son of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, visit the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto
First Lady Michelle Obama, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, Kennedy’s son John Schlossberg and Buddhist monk Eigen Onishi watch a Noh performance, a form of classical Japanese musical drama, on the main temple stage as they visit at Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto, western Japan
First Lady Michelle Obama watches a student perform a Noh play during a visit to the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto
On This Day: President Obama walks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following the arrival of First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia, at the Palacio do Alvorada in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern)
11:15: The President attends an event at the Department of Energy
12:0: White House Press Briefing
2:05: The President meets with Charlie and Camilla Windsor of England
The First Lady in Japan
@FLOTUS: Say cheese! All smiles with kids at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
First Lady Michelle Obama meets with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese PM
First Lady, US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy & Akie Abe, wife of Japanese PM, at a Joint Girls Education Event in Tokyo
First Lady Michelle Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe share a chuckle
On This Day
Senator Barack Obama at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles, March 19, 2005
President Obama practices his golf swing at an outdoor hold prior to an event at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and L.A. Mayor Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa prior to an event at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama gestures while speaking at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shares a moment with Jay Leno off set of the Tonight Show at NBC Studios, Burbank, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks to a Member of Congress while en route to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., to deliver remarks on health insurance reform, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama speaks on health insurance reform at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia on March 19, 2010
President Obama calls a Member of Congress to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama calls a Member of Congress about health care reform from the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Arriving at Brasilia Air Base, Brazil, March 19, 2011
President Obama talks on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office, March 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama is interviewed during a taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, N.Y., March 19, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Oval Office of the White House, March 19, 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Japan And Cambodia
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has arrived in Japan for a three-day visit designed to highlight her global women’s education initiative.
The First Lady landed late Wednesday in the capital, Tokyo.
On Thursday, she will hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie. She also plans to meet with the Emperor and Empress of Japan before heading to Kyoto, on Friday.
A White House statement said the First Lady will announce a partnership between the U.S. and Japan on the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to help educate the 62 million girls globally who do not attend school.
On Friday, she will head to Cambodia, which is one of 11 countries initially included in the initiative. It is the first time that a sitting U.S. first lady has visited the Southeast Asian country.
In Cambodia, Michelle Obama will meet Bun Rany, the Cambodian first lady. She will also meet meet volunteers with the U.S. Peace Corps program, which will play a key role in helping expand access for schooling for girls.
This week, I will be traveling to Japan and Cambodia — and I want young people like you across America to join me!
This trip technically starts today when I leave the White House and get on a plane for a long flight to Asia. But really, this visit is part of a journey that began decades ago, back when I was a little girl.
Like many of you, I came from a pretty modest background. My family didn’t have much money, and my parents raised me and my brother, Craig, in a tiny apartment in Chicago, Illinois. While my mom and dad never had the chance to attend college, they were determined to see me and Craig get the best education possible.
School was the center of our lives, and I worked as hard as I could to learn as much as possible. I often woke up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to study, because that was the only time our little apartment was ever really quiet.
With my parents’ encouragement and a lot of hard work, I was able to get into college and get the financial aid I needed to pay for it — and my college education opened doors of opportunity I never could have dreamed of back in that tiny apartment. I studied subjects I was passionate about — like English literature, African American history and sociology. I met classmates and professors from all over the world who opened my mind to all kinds of new ideas. And because I got my college degree, I was able to attend law school, become a lawyer, work in city government and as a hospital executive, and even run a non-profit organization that trained young people in Chicago to serve their communities.
Unfortunately, so many girls just like me and like many of you — girls who are so curious and hungry to learn, and so willing to work hard — never have the chance to get an education. Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school at all. Many of them simply can’t afford the school fees (unlike in America, where every student can go to school for free, in many countries, parents have to pay to send their children to school). Sometimes, even if their parents can afford it, the nearest school might be miles away, and it’s simply not safe for girls to walk there and back each day. Sometimes, a school will be located nearby, but it might not have bathrooms for girls, so they simply can’t attend. And in some countries, girls are forced to get married and have children at a young age — sometimes before they’re even teenagers — instead of getting an education.
This is such a heartbreaking loss, not just for those girls, but for their families, communities and countries. Studies show that girls who attend school have healthier families, earn higher salaries and even help boost their entire countries’ economies.
That’s why, earlier this month, the United States Government launched a new initiative called Let Girls Learn that will help girls worldwide go to school and stay in school. Through Let Girls Learn, we’ll be supporting education projects across the globe — leadership programs and mentorship programs, and so much more.
But the United States can’t address the global girls’ education crisis all by ourselves — it’s just too big. We need countries around the world to step up and help. That’s why I’m starting my trip in Japan — because this week, the United States and Japan will be announcing a new partnership to educate girls worldwide, and we’ll be calling on other countries to join us in this effort.
After spending a few days in Japan, I will be heading to Cambodia, which is one of the very first countries where Let Girls Learn programs will operate. I will visit a school and meet with girls whose lives are being transformed by the power of education.
But while the focus of Let Girls Learn is international, this effort is also very much about inspiring young people like you here at home to truly commit to your own education.
Through Let Girls Learn, I hope that more girls — and boys — here in America will learn about the sacrifices that girls around the world are making just to go to school each day: working multiple jobs to pay their school fees, enduring threats and harassment from people in their communities who think girls shouldn’t attend school, walking for hours each way to school, and more.
I want all of you to be inspired and motivated by these girls. I want you to realize that while your own school might be far from perfect — and my husband is working as hard as he can to fix that — you still need to show up to your classroom every day and learn as much as you can.
And finally, I want young people like you to be citizens of the world — I want you to connect with other young people of every background and nationality and learn about what’s happening in countries across the globe.
That’s why, as I travel, I will be using all kinds of social media to share my trip with you — and I’ll be taking questions from kids across America as I go.
First Lady Michelle Obama waves upon her arrival at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo Wednesday, March 18. The First Lady is visiting Japan and Cambodia, who are among Asia’s richest and poorest nations, to highlight cooperation on helping girls finish their educations
Love these classy gestures: First Lady wore a dress by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada on her arrival in Tokyo today http://t.co/XdTrma5HdB
This day, many hadn’t come
But all that was for naught
Because no one really noticed.
Those who came could have
Closed their eyes and still felt
The singular beauty of the place.
Could have still heard the silenced voices
Of the old warriors, and could have
Heard the sound the old bridge made
With the wind softly moving through it
And the shoes passionately walking over it
All voices still silent.
See and hear the beauty of the place
Look out into the rivers of time
Touch each other in
And feel the beauty of the day.
The remarkable memories it brought
Were enough. I wouldn’t change a thing.
No need to change the name of the bridge, either
That bridge belongs to everyone and no one, anyway.
It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.
Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:
No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.
Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government — all you need for a night behind bars — John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.
President Bush and Mrs. Bush, Governor Bentley, Members of Congress, Mayor Evans, Reverend Strong, friends and fellow Americans:
There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war — Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character — Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.
Selma is such a place.
In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history — the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher — met on this bridge.
It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.
And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. King, and so many more, the idea of a just America, a fair America, an inclusive America, a generous America — that idea ultimately triumphed.
As is true across the landscape of American history, we cannot examine this moment in isolation. The march on Selma was part of a broader campaign that spanned generations; the leaders that day part of a long line of heroes.
We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching toward justice.
They did as Scripture instructed: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And in the days to come, they went back again and again. When the trumpet call sounded for more to join, the people came — black and white, young and old, Christian and Jew, waving the American flag and singing the same anthems full of faith and hope. A white newsman, Bill Plante, who covered the marches then and who is with us here today, quipped that the growing number of white people lowered the quality of the singing. To those who marched, though, those old gospel songs must have never sounded so sweet.
In time, their chorus would reach President Johnson. And he would send them protection, echoing their call for the nation and the world to hear:
“We shall overcome.”
What enormous faith these men and women had. Faith in God — but also faith in America.
The Americans who crossed this bridge were not physically imposing. But they gave courage to millions. They held no elected office. But they led a nation. They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, and countless daily indignities — but they didn’t seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before.
The visitors’ book at Raj Ghat: “What Dr Martin Luther King Jr said then remains true today. The spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in the spirit of love and peace – among all people and nations.”
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to arrive in India at 11:30 PM ET (tonight) – but you know how it is, Air Force One might have the wind at its back, so they could arrive early – or vice versa!