Honoring the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day


In this week’s address, the President honored the 70th anniversary of V-E Day. On this occasion, we commemorate the Allied victory in Europe during World War II. It is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who decades ago served and sacrificed for the cause of freedom. This was the generation that, by ending the war, literally saved the world, laying a foundation for peace.

The President asked that in addition to commemorating this important anniversary, we honor the men and women in uniform who currently serve our country, and recommit ourselves to the values we share with our allies in Europe and beyond: freedom, security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.

Watch the President’s Weekly Address here.

Watch the President's address here.

P.S. — Make sure to see the President’s exchange with World War II veteran Ernest Lovato, who served in the Army Air Corps’ 100th Bombardment Group.

The President hikes with his family in Maine.

President Barack Obama and his family hike on Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine, July 16, 2010.

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From Community College to the White House: Meet These Three Staffers

From students just out of high school to those returning to the classroom for more training or a career change, community college students make up 40 percent of the Americans enrolled in higher education.

Here at the White House, we understand the impact that community colleges are having on students throughout the country. On National College Signing Day, three White House staffers shared their story of attending community college and credited their schools with helping them reach their full potential.

Listen to the stories of these three staffers.

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“We’ve Got to Learn the Right Lessons”

Yesterday, the President dropped by Nike headquarters in Oregon to talk about the impact his trade deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — will have on American businesses, large and small.

President Obama talks about trade at Nike

Manufacturing and exports help drive the success of our businesses and the financial security of our workers. Companies that export their goods and services pay their employees up to 18 percent more, and are more able to expand and hire.

In fact, Nike announced that the President’s trade deal, if secured, could lead to the creation of up to 10,000 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs — and up to 40,000 indirect supply chain and services jobs — here in the U.S. over the next decade.

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To see more from the past week, watch the latest edition of West Wing Week here.

history… may 9


1429 – Joan of Arc defeated the besieging English at Orleans.

1502 – Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.

1671 – Thomas “Captain” Blood stole the crown jewels from the Tower of London.

1754 – The first newspaper cartoon in America showed a divided snake “Join or die” in “The Pennsylvania Gazette.”

1785 – Joseph Bramah patented the beer-pump handle.

1825 – The Chatham Theatre opened in New York City. It was the first gas-lit theater in America.

1901 – In Australia, the Duke of Cornwall and York declared the First Commonwealth Parliament open.

1904 – The Great Western Railway Number 3440 City of Truro became the first railway locomotive to exceed 100 miles per hour.

1915 – German and French forces fought the Battle of Artois.

1926 – Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole.

1930 – A starting gate was used to start a Triple Crown race for the first time.

1936 – Fascist Italy took Addis Abba and annexed Ethiopia.

1936 – The first sheet of postage stamps of more than one variety went on sale in New York City.

1940 – Vivien Leigh debuted in America on stage in “Romeo and Juliet” with Lawrence Olivier.

1941 – The German submarine U-110 was captured at sea by Britain’s Royal navy.

1945 – U.S. officials announced that the midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

1946 – King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicated and was replaced by Umberto.

1955 – West Germany joined NATO.

1958 – Richard Burton made his network television debut in the presentation of “Wuthering Heights” on CBS-TV.

1960 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale an oral birth-control pill for the first time.

1961 – Jim Gentile (Baltimore Orioles) set a major league baseball record when he hit a grand slam home run in two consecutive innings. The game was against the Minnesota Twins.

1962 – A laser beam was successfully bounced off Moon for the first time.

1974 – The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment.

1978 – The bullet-riddled body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in an automobile in the center of Rome. The Red Brigades had abducted him.

1980 – A Liberian freighter hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida. 35 motorists were killed and a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapsed.

1987 – Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers were married.

1994 – Nelson Mandela was chosen to be South Africa’s first black president.

1996 – In video testimony to a courtroom in Little Rock, AR, U.S. President Clinton insisted that he had nothing to do with a $300,000 loan in the criminal case against his former Whitewater partners.

2002 – In Bethlehem, West Bank, a deal was reached that would end the 38-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity. Thirteen suspected militants were to be deported to several different countries. The standoff had begun on April 2, 2002.

2002 – In Kaspiisk, Russia, 39 people were killed and at least 130 were injurde when a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade.

2002 – In Bahrain, people were allowed to vote for representatives for the first time in nearly 30 years. Women were allowed to vote for the first time in the country’s history.

on-this-day.com

Why the Founder of Mother’s Day Turned Against It : by Sarah Pruitt


a repost

Beginning in the 1850s, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia started Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in order to teach women proper child-care techniques and sanitation methods. In the years following the Civil War, these same clubs became a unifying force for a country ripped apart by conflict. In 1868, Jarvis and other women organized a Mothers Friendship Day, when mothers gathered with former soldiers of both the Union and Confederacy to promote reconciliation. After Ann Reeves Jarvis died in 1905, it was her daughter Anna Jarvis who would work tirelessly to make Mother’s Day a national holiday.

Fairtradeflowers

Anna Jarvis, who had no children of her own, conceived of Mother’s Day as an occasion for honoring the sacrifices individual mothers made for their children.

In May 1908, she organized the first official Mother’s Day events at a church in her hometown of Grafton, West Virginia, as well as at a Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, where she lived at the time. Jarvis then began writing letters to newspapers and politicians pushing for the adoption of Mother’s Day as an official holiday. By 1912, many other churches, towns and states were holding Mother’s Day celebrations, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association. Her hard-fought campaign paid off in 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Jarvis’ conceived of of Mother’s Day as an intimate occasion—a son or daughter honoring the mother they knew and loved—and not a celebration of all mothers. For this reason, she always stressed the singular “Mother’s” rather than the plural. She soon grew disillusioned, as Mother’s Day almost immediately became centered on the buying and giving of printed cards, flowers, candies and other gifts. Seeking to regain control of the holiday she founded, Jarvis began openly campaigning against those who profited from Mother’s Day, including confectioners, florists and other retailers. She launched numerous lawsuits against groups using the name Mother’s Day, and eventually spent much of her sizeable inheritance on legal fees.

In 1925, when an organization called the American War Mothers used Mother’s Day as an occasion for fundraising and selling carnations, Jarvis crashed their convention in Philadelphia and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Later, she even attacked First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for using Mother’s Day as an occasion to raise money for charity. By the 1940s, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the calendar. Her efforts were to no avail, however, as Mother’s Day had taken on a life of its own as a commercial goldmine. Largely destitute, and unable to profit from the massively successful holiday she founded, Jarvis died in 1948 in Philadelphia’s Marshall Square Sanitarium.

The sad history of Mother’s Day founder Anna Jarvis has done nothing to slow down the popularity—and commercialism—of the holiday. According to an annual spending survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $168.94 on Mother’s Day in 2013, a whopping 11 percent increase from 2012. In total, Mother’s Day spending is expected to reach $20.7 billion this year. In addition to the more traditional gifts (ranging from cards, flowers and candy to clothing and jewelry), the survey showed that an unprecedented 14.1 percent of gift-givers plan to buy their moms high-tech gadgets like smartphones and tablets.