Black American History: The Patterson-Greenfield Automobile Company. The Only African American Automobile Company.




Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.




A Page From Our American Story

At the dawn of the Automobile Age in the early 20th century, hundreds of small auto companies sprouted up across America as entrepreneurs recognized that society was transitioning from horse-drawn carriages to transportation powered by the internal combustion engine. Some of these early companies grew to become giants that are still with us today, such as Ford and Chevrolet. Many others remained small, struggling to compete against the assembly lines of the larger manufacturers.


One such company was C.R. Patterson & Sons of Greenfield, Ohio, makers of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile from 1915 to 1918. Though its name is little recognized today, there is in fact a very important reason to ensure that it is not lost to history: it was, and remains to this day, the only African American owned and operated automobile company.



Charles Richard Patterson was born into slavery on a Virginia plantation in 1833. Not much is known about his life on the plantation, and historians have to sift through conflicting reports about how he came to settle in Greenfield, Ohio, a town with strong abolitionist sympathies. Some say his family arrived in the 1840s, possibly after purchasing their freedom; others suggest Patterson alone escaped in 1861. In any case, he learned the skills of the blacksmith and found work in the carriage-making trade, where he developed a reputation for building a high quality product. In 1873, he formed a business partnership with another carriage maker in town, J.P. Lowe, who was white, and eventually became sole proprietor of the renamed C.R. Patterson & Sons in 1893. It was a successful business employing an integrated workforce of 35-50 by the turn of the century, and Charles Patterson became a prominent and respected citizen in Greenfield. His catalog listed some 28 models, from simple open buggies to larger and more expensive closed carriages for doctors and other professionals.


When Patterson died in 1910, the business passed to his son Frederick, who was already something of a pioneer. He was college-educated and was the first black athlete to play football for Ohio State University. He was also an early member and vice president of the National Negro Business League founded by Booker T. Washington. Now, as owner and operator of the enterprise his father started, Frederick Patterson began to see the handwriting on the wall: the days of carriages and horse-drawn buggies were nearing an end.


At first, the company offered repair and restoration services for the “horseless carriages” that were beginning to proliferate on the streets of Greenfield. No doubt this gave workers the opportunity to gain some hands-on knowledge about these noisy, smoky and often unreliable contraptions. Like his father, Frederick was a strong believer in advertising and placed his first ad for auto repair services in the local paper in 1913. Initially, the work mostly involved repainting bodies and reupholstering interiors, but as the shop gained more experience with engines and drivetrains, they began to offer sophisticated upgrades and improvements to electrical and mechanical systems as well.


This valuable experience allowed C.R. Patterson & Sons to take the next great step in its own story as well as in African American history: in 1915, it announced the availability of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile at a price of $685. From the company’s publicity efforts, it is evident they were bursting with pride:


“Our car is made with three distinct purposes in mind. First — It is not intended for a large car. It is designed to take the place originally held by the family surrey. It is a 5-passenger vehicle, ample and luxurious. Second — It is intended to meet the requirements of that class of users, who, though perfectly able to spend twice the amount, yet feel that a machine should not engross a disproportionate share of expenditure, and especially it should not do so to the exclusion of proper provisions for home and home comfort, and the travel of varied other pleasurable and beneficial entertainment. It is a sensibly priced car. Third — It is intended to carry with it (and it does so to perfection) every conceivable convenience and every luxury known to car manufacture. There is absolutely nothing shoddy about it. Nothing skimp and stingy.”



Orders began to come in, and C.R. Patterson & Sons officially entered the ranks of American auto manufacturers. Over the years, several models of coupes and sedans were offered, including a stylish “Red Devil” speedster. Ads featured the car’s 30hp Continental 4-cylinder engine, full floating rear axle, cantilever springs, electric starting and lighting, and a split windshield for ventilation. The build quality of the Patterson-Greenfield automobile was as highly regarded as it had been with their carriages.


The initial hope and optimism, however, proved to be fairly short-lived. In an age of increased mechanization and production lines, small independent shops featuring hand-built, high quality products weren’t able to scale up production or compete on price against the rapidly growing car companies out of Detroit. In small quantities, parts and supplies were expensive and hard to come by when major manufacturers were buying them by the trainload at greatly reduced costs. Plus, the labor hours per car were much higher than that of assembly line manufacturers. As a result, the profit margin on each Patterson-Greenfield was low.


In 1918, having built by some estimates between 30 and 150 vehicles, C.R. Patterson & Sons halted auto production and concentrated once again on the repair side of the business. But they weren’t done yet. In the 1920s, the company began building truck and bus bodies to be fitted on chassis made by other manufacturers. It was in a sense a return to their original skills in building carriage bodies without engines and drivetrains and, for a period of time, the company was quite profitable. Then in 1929, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression set in. As with many small businesses, sales dried up and loans were hard to obtain. The company, now run by the sons of Frederick Patterson, soldiered on until 1939 when, after 74 years, C.R. Patterson & Sons closed its doors forever.


Sadly, no Patterson-Greenfield automobiles are known to survive today. But we should not let that dim the fact that two great entrepreneurs, Charles Richard Patterson and his son Frederick Patterson built and sustained a business that lasted several generations and earned a place not just in African American history, but in automotive history as well.



The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution’s family of extraordinary museums. The museum will be far more than a collection of objects. The Museum will be a powerful, positive force in the national discussion about race and the important role African Americans have played in the American story — a museum that will make all Americans proud.


We can only reach our $250 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider making a donation or becoming a Charter Member today.


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Where In The World Is Barack™: Fort Belvoir, Virginia.




The President will travel to Fort Belvoir, Virginia to deliver remarks and sign H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.  The bill provides the Department of Veterans Affairs the resources to improve access and quality of care for veterans.


White House Schedule – August 7, 2014



In the morning, the President will travel to Fort Belvoir, Virginia to deliver remarks and sign H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014.  The bill provides the Department of Veterans Affairs the resources to improve access and quality of care for veterans. The President’s remarks are open to pre-credentialed media; the deadline to RSVP has closed.


In the afternoon, the President will meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.


Thursday, August 7th 2014 All Times ET


Office of the Press Secretary
Thursday August 7th, 2014




11:20 AM: The President delivers remarks and signs H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, Wallace Theater – Fort Belvoir.


The President delivers remarks and signs H.R. 3230, the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014; Fort Belvoir, Virginia




12:15 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Brady Press Briefing Room. White House LIVE Streaming


4:00 PM: The President meets with senior advisors, Oval Office.



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Statements and Releases/Speeches and Remarks – August 6th, 2014


Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko


FACT SHEET: Partnering to Counter Terrorism in Africa


FACT SHEET: Security Governance Initiative


FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Peacekeeping in Africa


President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to attend the Inauguration of His Excellency Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia


Statement by the Chair of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit


Investments Announced at Symposium for African Spouses Hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Former Lady Laura Bush


A Conversation Between First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush Moderated by Cokie Roberts at “Investing in our Future,” a Symposium for Spouses on Advancements for Women and Girls in Africa


Remarks by the President at Press Conference After U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit


Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at “Investing in Our Future,” a Symposium for Spouses on Advancement for Women and Girls in Africa


Remarks by the President at Opening Session of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit





President Obama Engages with African Leaders on Final Day of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit


President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the “Investing in Africa’s Future” session during the U.S.-Africa Leaders SummitPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at the “Investing in Africa’s Future” session during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama and African leaders took part in three action-oriented sessions today as part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit is the largest event any U.S. president has held with African heads of state and government, and builds on President Obama’s trip to Africa last summer.


In remarks at this morning’s opening session, the President explained the purpose of the event and noted the progress across the African continent — and what that means for America:


We come together this week because, even as the continent faces significant challenges, as I said last night, I believe a new Africa is emerging.  With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, a growing middle class, and the youngest and fastest-growing population on Earth, Africa will help shape the world as never before.

Moreover, Africa’s progress is being led by Africans, including leaders represented here today.  More governments are embracing economic reforms, attracting record levels of investment.  Gains in development, increasing agricultural production, declining rates in infectious diseases are being driven by African plans.  African security forces and African peacekeepers are risking their lives to meet regional threats.  A new generation of young Africans is making its voice heard.

Africa’s rise means opportunity for all of us — including the opportunity to transform the relationship between the United States and Africa.  As I said in Cape Town last year, it’s time for a new model of partnership between America and Africa — a partnership of equals that focuses on African capacity to solve problems, and on Africa’s capacity to grow.  And that’s why we’re here.


Read More.



Join a Twitter Q&A on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit


President Obama at the U.S.-Africa Business ForumPresident Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel during the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of activity in Washington focused around strengthening our economic and diplomatic ties with Africa. Last week, President Obama took part in a town hall for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which is part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). And this week, the President hosted the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which brought 50 African leaders to Washington, making it the largest event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government.


During the summit, the President highlighted Africa’s impressive economic growth, and made clear that America will be a partner in its success — “a good partner, an equal partner, and a partner for the long term.” He also announced a series of steps that the United States is taking to boost trade and investments with Africa — commitments from the private and public sectors which total some $33 billion.


This is an important step for both the United States and Africa — and we want to spend a little more time talking about it with you this week. So Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Tomorrow, August 7 at 2 p.m. ET, join Ben Rhodes and the ONE Campaign for a Twitter Q&A on YALI and this week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.


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August 2014: Photos of the Day


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5 reasons why Congress should fund educational children’s television


By Amy Jordan, contributor, The Hill.


The recent success of LeVar Burton’s Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $5 million to bring back the classic PBS show “Reading Rainbow,” illustrates just how hungry Americans are for high-quality educational programming. I am wowed by the impact of crowdsourcing, but I am also worried that Congress will take this as a sign that it no longer needs to invest federal dollars into educational children’s television.


Federal funding has set up the infrastructure for a truly impressive Public Broadcasting Service and programming that would never otherwise have gained a foothold if left to the vagaries of the marketplace economy. Without the support of the American people, long-running series like “Sesame Street” might not have reached generation upon generation of children. Programs that teach literature (“Wishbone”) or science (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”) or computer literacy (“Cyberchase”) might never have found their audience. The evolution of government-supported educational media for children reflects not only imagination (Peg+Cat), but also serious research on what works and what doesn’t for kids’ TV created with learning — not selling — as the primary outcome.


1. Public television is free, and cable television is expensive.

A reasonable question might be: Why do we need federal funding to support educational content on broadcast TV when there are whole cable channels specifically devoted to children? Well, 10 percent of U.S. homes have only broadcast TV. And these broadcast-only homes, according to Nielsen research, are significantly poorer than the rest: The median household income for families with cable or satellite is almost twice that of families with only broadcast TV. While there are examples of high-quality programs on children’s channels like Nickelodeon (“Dora the Explorer”) and the Disney Channel (“Doc McStuffins”), they are the exception rather than the rule. The goal of their companies is to make money, not educate children (and I don’t have a problem with that). But neither of these channels does the kind of research that is essential to understanding how their lessons are being received, whether they are making a difference in children’s cognitive growth and, most importantly, whether they are reaching those children who can benefit most because they have the fewest resources.


2. The formula that works for the “marketplace” economy does not work for children’s educational television.

PBS shows aren’t designed to capture a huge audience. To be educationally successful, curriculum-based shows must be targeted to a narrow developmental age or stage. That’s why we see so many shows on commercial stations like Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel taking a different approach and teaching “prosocial” lessons — for example, the importance of being a good friend or the value of honesty. These shows need to appeal to a huge swath of the child audience (and therefore advertisers), but let’s be real: Kids have already learned these so-called lessons. Educationally driven shows aren’t designed with obvious licensing and merchandizing opportunities. Funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and the local public stations that make excellent children’s shows (such as WGBH in Boston) gives them greater freedom to create formats that are pedagogically sound, rather than commercially oriented.


3. The quality of educational television on stations that are mandated by law to provide educational content for children is dismal.

Although Congress passed the Children’s Television Act in 1990 and the Federal Communications Commission established clear guidelines spelling out exactly what kind of programming would count as “core” educational content (with a minimum of three hours per week), our studies at the Annenberg Public Policy Center reveal that many of the so-called E/I shows on broadcast TV are of dubious educational value. The network that stands above the rest in quality and educational value? PBS, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona.


4. The research is clear: television shows that are designed to be beneficial really are beneficial, particularly for children with fewer educational opportunities in the home and community.

A landmark 2001 study conducted by Daniel Anderson and colleagues tracked children’s television viewing and academic success over 10 years. They found that children who watched educational programming like that found on PBS (at that time, “Barney & Friends,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street”) arrived at school more ready to learn. The advantage they received from exposure to educational fare during preschool years was still evident when the researchers re-contacted these children as high-schoolers. Controlling for the variables we know would affect adolescent academic success (including parent education, home environment and family income), child viewing of educational TV still predicted higher grades, reading more books and greater creativity.


5. What’s good for children who watch PBS can be good even for those who don’t.

Public broadcasting has served as a kind of Petri dish of ideas that commercial broadcasters and channels have appropriated — once they see that it works. Angela Santomero, creator of the Nickelodeon series “Blue’s Clues,” has said that “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” inspired her to create a host who would talk directly to children and invite them to respond because she saw that it worked for Fred Rogers. Other groundbreaking shows like “Bill Nye” and “The Magic School Bus” showed that TV can teach complex concepts (in fact, both of these shows found homes in syndication on commercial channels). PBS raises the bar, and families across the nation expect more and better for their children.


Jordan, Ph.D., is associate director for Policy Implementation at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. She is also president-elect of the International Communication Association.


Thank you Amy Jordan, contributor, & The Hill.





By Associated Press.


The body of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene was returned home to the U.S. Thursday morning in solemn proceedings at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.


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DOVER, Del. (AP) — The body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan “insider attack” has arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.


A C-17 cargo plane carrying the body of 55-year-old Maj. Gen. Harold Greene landed Thursday morning at Dover, home to the nation’s largest military mortuary.


White-gloved soldiers solemnly carried a flag-draped metal case with Greene’s remains to a waiting mortuary vehicle as Army officials and other dignitaries saluted.


Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War. Greene, a 34-year U.S. Army veteran, also is the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Thank you Associated Press.




Today at 2 p.m. ET: Join a Twitter Q&A on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit


From last week’s meeting of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, to this week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, there’s been a lot going on here in Washington focused on strengthening our economic and diplomatic ties with Africa. So as the summit comes to a close, we’re giving you an opportunity to chat with us about what this means for the future of Africa and the United States.


Today, at 2 p.m. ET, join Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the ONE Campaign for a Twitter Q&A.


Ask your questions now and follow the Twitter Q&A live right here.




Dr. Walt Whitman & The Soul Children of Chicago Jamming with the FLOTUS!




HEATED: Ben Shapiro, Peter Beinart Get Personal Over Gaza


Published on Aug 7, 2014

Shapiro, Beinart Get Personal Over Gaza: ‘Hamas Celebrates Every Moment You’re On Television’
CNN Tonight 8/6/2014: Liberal commentator Peter Beinart and conservative pundit Ben Shapiro viciously tore into one another Wednesday night over the conflict in Gaza after Beinart accused the pro-Israel Shapiro of being “the true ideological partner of Hamas.”



Sometimes the best way to prove idiocy, is to allow idiots to speak.



Daily Press Briefing: August 5, 2014


Published on Aug 7, 2014

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on August 5, 2014. A transcript is available at…




Russians mock Obama with laser show on U.S. Embassy


Published on Aug 7, 2014

A racially charged laser show of Barack Obama eating a banana was projected on the U.S. embassy in Moscow.




Laura Bush and Michelle Obama talk spotlight and criticism


Published on Aug 7, 2014

Dozens of first ladies of the world met during this week’s African Summit in Washington. Former First Lady Laura Bush called the line of women a “sorority” in her public discussion with First Lady Michelle Obama during the event. Major Garrett reports from the White House.




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Alexis Murphy missing poster

Patch for Afghanistan

Shattered Lives Radio, Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice



The President Speaks On The Economy: Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center In McLean, Virginia.

The Militant Negro...Jueseppi B.

The Militant Negro…Jueseppi B.









The President Speaks on the Importance of Our Nation’s Infrastructure



President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research CenterPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia, July 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


This morning, President Obama took a quick trip across the Potomac to visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, a facility in McLean, Virginia that focuses on highway technologies that help make driving safer and smarter.


In the President’s remarks, he talked about the importance of investing in new infrastructure technologies and renewing the Highway Trust Fund, as well as Congress’s continued inaction on important policies that would positively benefit millions of Americans.


The President opened his remarks contextualizing the time and money that Americans spend on transportation:


One study shows that Americans spend 5.5 billion hours stuck in traffic each year, which costs us $120 billion in wasted time and gas — that’s 800 bucks per commuter. Then you’ve got outdated roads and bridges that mean businesses pay an extra $27 billion in freight costs, which are then passed on to consumers. So, all told, transportation eats up more of the typical family’s household budget than anything except the rent or a mortgage.


Funding infrastructure projects helps our families, it fuels our economy, and it better positions America for the future.


But funding for infrastructure projects is about to run out because Congress has failed to act. The Highway Trust Fund, which supports infrastructure projects around the country, is in danger of running dry.


That could put nearly 700,000 jobs at risk, including more than 17,000 right here in Virginia. More than 100,000 active projects across the country — projects where workers as we speak are paving roads and rebuilding bridges and modernizing our transit systems — those projects would be slowed or stopped. And some states have already had to put some projects on hold because they don’t trust Congress to get its act together.


There are bipartisan bills moving forward in both the House and the Senate to fund the Highway Trust Fund for the short term — bills that the President supports. But he reiterated that there must be a long-term, comprehensive solution.


President Barack Obama prepares to drive a Saturn SL1 vehicle simulatorPresident Barack Obama prepares to drive a Saturn SL1 vehicle simulator during a tour of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va., July 15, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)


That’s why, earlier this year, the President produced his own plan that would rebuild our infrastructure in a comprehensive and responsible way. It is a plan that invests in our future, instead of just kicking the can down the road.


It would support millions of jobs. It would give cities and states, and private investors the certainty they need to plan ahead and hire more workers. It would help small businesses ship their goods faster. It would help parents get home to their kids faster. It would mean less wear and tear on your car. It would mean less money on gas. It would save people money. It would support cutting-edge research like the work that you’re doing here, which could end up cutting back on the number of traffic fatalities.

But as is so often the case these days, House Republicans have refused to act on this — and they haven’t come up with their own ideas, either.


“Do something: That’s my big motto for Congress right now. Just do something.”


The President wants everybody — Republicans and Democrats — to work together on this issue, and others, to help move this country forward. But where Congress fails to act, the President is going to continue to act on his own to expand opportunity for all Americans.


So I’m proud of you. I want you to keep on doing what you’re doing. We’re going to try to make sure Congress actually does as good of a job at what they’re supposed to be doing as you guys are doing on yours. If we do, then you’re going to have some parents who are getting home a little earlier. You’re going to have folks who aren’t going to have to go to the body shop quite as often. You’re going to be seeing millions of people across the country saving money at the pump. We’re going to see airline delays reduced, so when you plan that Thanksgiving trip, you’re not spending the whole time in the airport. All that can make a huge difference.


Learn more about why we need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, and watch the President’s full remarks below:


The President Speaks on the Economy


Published on Jul 15, 2014

After touring the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia, President Obama delivers remarks on the economy, July 15, 2014.










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If you hate traffic jams:

Since our earliest days, the American transportation system has comprised our economic backbone — part of what’s made us great as a nation.


But right now, there’s a big problem with our roads and bridges: Over the years, we’ve invested in them less and less. They haven’t kept up with the needs and demands of our growing economy.


That’s why the President has been clear: Investing in our infrastructure is a top priority, and it’s why he’s put out a long-term plan that shows we can invest in our infrastructure and pay for it in part by closing unfair tax loopholes and making commonsense reforms to our tax system.


With funding for surface transportation running out, and hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, we simply can’t afford to stop investing in our transportation.


65% of America’s roads are already in less than good condition, and a quarter of our bridges require significant repair or can’t handle today’s traffic.


Take a look at our new interactive state-by-state map to learn more about the current condition of your state’s roads and bridges.


The President has a plan to fix our nation’s infrastructure for the long run — making targeted investments in the short term and laying the groundwork for increased efficiency down the road. But in the meantime, he’s calling on Congress to avoid a lapse in funding of the Highway Trust Fund.


His long-term plan to invest in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure would (among other things):


  • Invest $302 billion over four years into our highways, railroads, and transit systems
  • Provide certainty that cities, states, and investors need to break ground on major projects
  • Build a world-class freight network that gets our products out to overseas markets


Find out more about the roads and bridges in your state — and what will happen if Congress fails to act.













The Last 24™: The White House.









The Last 24™: The White House.




President Obama Gives the Commencement Address at Worcester Tech in Massachusetts




This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts to deliver the commencement address at Worcester Technical High School.


In his remarks, the President congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments, letting them know that they stand out among other high schools across the country:


I’m here today because there is nothing ordinary about Worcester Tech or the Class of 2014.  You have set yourselves apart.  This high school has set itself apart.

Over the past four years, some of you have learned how to take apart an engine and put it back together again.  Some of you have learned how to run a restaurant, or build a house, or fix a computer.  And all of you are graduating today not just with a great education, but with the skills that will let you start your careers and skills that will make America stronger.

“The thing I really want to do,” he said, “is make sure that what we’ve learned here at this high school we can lift up for the entire nation. I want the nation to learn from Worcester Tech.”


Read More


Remarks by the President at Worcester Technical High School Commencement Ceremony (Full Transcript)





Worcester Technical High School


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A Step Toward Cleaner Air and Healthier Communities



Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released a vital component of the President’s Climate Action Plan – proposed common-sense carbon pollution standards for existing power plants. Since air pollution from power plants can worsen asthma and other breathing problems, EPA’s guidelines will help protect the health of vulnerable Americans, including children and the elderly.


In a big step forward, yesterday the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates, a body representing more than 500 medical associations and organizations, voted to formally reaffirm their support for carbon pollution standards for power plants and committed to submit comments on the EPA’s proposal underscoring the need to keep strong standards that protect public health. AMA’s vote puts them alongside other public health organizations that have taken leadership on this issue, including the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association.


In addition to cutting carbon emissions from the power sector by about 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, EPA’s plan will also decrease that sector’s emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by about 25 percent. From the soot and smog reductions alone, for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families will see up to $7 in health benefits.


In the first year that these standards go into effect, up to 100,000 asthma attacks and up to 2,100 heart attacks will be prevented. These standards will also help more kids to be healthy enough to show up to school – with up to 72,000 fewer absences in the first year. The benefits increase each year from there.


Read More





President Obama: “There’s No Advanced, Developed Country on Earth That Would Put Up with This”




During yesterday’s Tumblr Q&A at the White House, the President answered a question on the epidemic of gun violence in America.


“My biggest frustration so far,” he said, “is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.” Talking about the increasing frequency of school shootings across the country, the President noted that the U.S. is the only developed country where this is routine.


“The country has to do some soul-searching about this,” President Obama said. “This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”


He also stressed that the only thing that is going to reverse this alarming trend is public opinion. “If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”


Until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say, enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t sort of the price we should be paying for our freedom, that we can have respect for the Second Amendment and responsible gun owners and sportsmen and hunters can have the ability to possess weapons but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening — until that is not just the majority of you — because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that. But until that’s a view that people feel passionately about and are willing to go after folks who don’t vote reflecting those values, until that happens, sadly, not that much is going to change.


President Obama noted that he has issued more than 20 executive actions this year to try to tighten up some of the rules in the law, but it’s not possible to get even the slightest restrictions through Congress right now, “and we should be ashamed of that.”


President Obama’s Tumblr Q&A at the White House




President Obama Answers the Question “Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?”




Remarks by the President in Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr (Full Transcript)


Tumblr ROCKS!!!









#LunchWithFLOTUS: The First Lady’s Twitter Q&A on Healthy School Lunches



Today, millions of kids across America are eating better school meals because of healthier lunch standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Thanks to the hard work of school chefs and food service workers around the country, 90 percent of our schools are now meeting modern nutrition standards — and the USDA is working to provide greater flexibility and more assistance to help the remaining schools catch up.


As part of her Let’s Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama has helped raise awareness around the importance of our kids eating healthy and getting the nutrition they need — and now she’s taking to Twitter to answer your questions.


Tomorrow, Thursday, June 12, at 2:30 p.m. ET, join the First Lady for a Twitter Q&A on school nutrition and healthy school lunches on her Twitter handle, @FLOTUS.


Here are the details:


  • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #LunchWithFLOTUS
  • Follow the Q&A live through the @FLOTUS Twitter handle
  • If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on and


Learn more about the First Lady’s initiative to encourage healthy eating at, and then join the First Lady for a Twitter chat on @FLOTUS on Thursday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET.


Upcoming Guidance for First Lady Michelle Obama

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Washington, DC * 3:30 PM – The First Lady will join local students and school nutrition directors from across the country to harvest the summer crop from the White House Kitchen Garden.  In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! initiative.  Since Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! in 2010, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children.  And thanks to these efforts, we are moving toward a healthier new norm all across the country.


To help with this summer’s harvest, the First Lady invited local school children whose schools are successfully implementing national school lunch standards.  Children from these Washington, D.C. schools joined Mrs. Obama in April for the spring garden planting and will now have the opportunity to harvest the produce they recently planted:


  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • Friendship Public Charter School
  • Kimball Elementary School
  • Bancroft Elementary School
  • Harriet Tubman Elementary School


Mrs. Obama is also inviting school nutrition directors from Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, and West Virginia to participate in the harvest.  These school nutrition directors have seen success in their new school lunch programs thanks to the standards put in place by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  Today, thanks to the hard work of school chefs, food service providers, and school nutrition directors across the country, 90 percent of schools are now meeting modern nutrition standards, including the schools in attendance at the harvest.  Because of these improvements, consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains has significantly increased, and over 600,000 kids are now getting a nutritious breakfast.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided greater flexibility and is working to give more assistance to help the remaining schools meet these standards.


The following school nutrition directors will participate in this summer’s garden harvest:


  • Lora Gilbert, MS, RD, FADA, SNS, Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, FL
  • Richard Goff, MBA, Executive Director, Office of Child Nutrition, West Virginia Department of Education
  • Dora Rivas, MS, RDN, SNS, Executive Director, Food and Child Nutrition Services Department, Dallas Independent School


This event will be livestreamed at


First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Announce Winning Recipes in Townwide “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge”




Thoughts on Fatherhood in the 21st Century



This was originally posted on the Huffington Post, and is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families in the 21st century, leading up to the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014.


You can learn more about the Summit and how you can get involved at



Growing up, if I wanted to play catch, I often had to play it alone. Sometimes I’d even aim at a tree for lack of person with a glove at the other end of the yard. I admit, the tree wasn’t a very good replacement. But when you’re a kid — and you don’t have a dad to play catch with — you’ll toss a ball at anything. Even if that thing is a 40-foot-tall oak and unlikely to toss the ball back.


In this respect, I’m probably not unique. Far too many children grow up without a dad in their lives, like I did. And for many, the effects cut deeper and last longer than being forced to have a one-way game of catch.


I’m a father now. My daughter was born 10 years ago, and my son soon after. And one of my greatest challenges, having never grown up with a father myself, is figuring out what a dad is supposed to do. I got the memo about taking out the garbage. And I change more light bulbs than Thomas Edison. But when it comes to preparing your kids for the slings and arrows of life, that’s something I’ve only learned about fairly recently.


And here’s the key: I only learned about it because I was able to make the time.


Read More




Statements and Releases – June 11th, 2014


Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice Keynote Address at the Center for a New American Security Annual Conference


Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice
“The Strength of American Leadership, the Power of Collective Action”

Keynote Address at the Center for a New American Security Annual Conference
Washington, DC

As Prepared for Delivery




Thank you so much Richard for that kind welcome.  And, to my good friends and former colleagues— Michele Flournoy and Kurt Campbell— I can’t help but note how well-rested you both look.  I’m only a little bitter.  Still, I want to thank you for your stellar service to our country both from inside government and now, again, as leading thinkers on national security.


CNAS, which you founded, does a remarkable job of preparing our next generation of national security leaders.  That work is critical, because our nation needs bright, dedicated young women and men who care deeply about our world.  We need a diverse pipeline of talent ready and eager to carry forward the mantle of American leadership.  So, thank you all.


As President Obama told West Point’s graduating class two weeks ago, the question is not whether America will lead the world in the 21st century, but how America will lead.  No other nation can match the enduring foundations of our strength.  Our military has no peer.  Our formidable economy is growing.  We are more energy independent each year.  Our vibrant and diverse population is demographically strong and productive.  We attract hopeful immigrants from all over the world.  Our unrivaled global network of alliances and partnerships makes us the one nation to which the world turns when challenges arise.  So, American leadership is and will remain central to shaping a world that is freer, more secure, more just and more prosperous.




At West Point, President Obama outlined how America will lead in a world that is more complex and more interdependent than ever before.  As we move out of a period dominated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will lead by drawing on every element of our national power.  That power starts with our unparalleled military might, used wisely and when necessary to defend America’s core interests – the security of our citizens, our economy, and our allies.  We will lead by strengthening effective partnerships to counter an evolving terrorist threat.  We will lead by rallying coalitions and marshaling the resources of our partners to address regional and global challenges.  And, we will lead by standing firm in defense of human dignity and equality, while steering the course of history toward greater justice and opportunity for all.


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