The Oldest Living Veteran Meets the President

This afternoon, President Obama invited 110-year-old Emma Didlake -- believed to be the country's oldest living veteran -- to the Oval Office. "It's a great honor to have her here." the President said.

President Obama meets the nation's oldest vet, Emma Didlake

President Barack Obama greets the nation’s oldest living veteran, Emma Didlake, in the Oval Office, July 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Emma Didlake was a 38-year-old wife and mother when she decided she wanted to join the military. In 1943, she signed up for the Women’s Auxiliary Corp (WAC) and served as an Army private and driver for almost a year during World War II.

read more

Read more »

President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina

Last night, a gunman opened fire at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people including pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney. The Department of Justice is opening a hate crime investigation into this tragedy.&... Read more »

Behind the Lens: Photographing an American Hero

Six years ago — on June 6, 2009 — I photographed Cory Remsburg for the first time.

It was amid a whirlwind day in France for President Obama — and for me. We’d had an event with U.S. embassy personnel in Paris; a flight on Air Force One from Paris to Caen; a state visit with then-President Sarkozy; a picturesque helicopter ride into Normandy; the 65th anniversary of D-Day; a helicopter, then a plane ride back to Paris; and finally a tour with the Obama family at the Cathedral de Notre Dame. The President and First Lady greeted hundreds of people that day, including a small group of Army Rangers in Normandy.

Eight months later, I accompanied the President as he made his regular quarterly trip to visit wounded warriors at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. The 10th patient he visited that day did not at all look familiar to me. The patient, an Army Ranger, had suffered a severe brain injury caused by a roadside explosion in Afghanistan.

His name was Cory Remsburg.

read more

Read more »

National Jewish American Heritage Month: What It Means to Be Part of the Jewish American Community

Jewish American values are woven into the fabric of American life and have shaped the progress we’ve made as a country. That history has fundamentally shaped the President’s personal views and leadership. As he told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: 

"To me, being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish is part and parcel with the values that I've been fighting for since I was politically conscious and started getting involved in politics. There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law."

Today at 11:00 am ET, in honor of National Jewish American Heritage Month, President Obama will address the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, D.C., the first synagogue in the U.S. to be addressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Watch his remarks live:

But before he speaks, he will meet with a few leaders in of the Jewish faith, who help tell our American story. See what these remarkable individuals have to say about the Jewish American heritage:

read more

Read more »

Behind the Lens: Somewhere Under the Rainbow

When people ask me how I do what I do, I often recite the words of Bob Dylan: “I was just doing what I could with what I had where I was.” That kind of sums up my approach to my job as the President's photographer.

Every once in a while, you also just get very lucky. Such was the case last week, when a rainbow came along just as the President’s helicopter was arriving at the airport in Kingston, Jamaica, where he would board Air Force One for the flight to Panama. Fortunately, I was manifested aboard the second helicopter–which always arrives before Marine One–giving me a few minutes to prepare for photographing the rainbow.

In the first photograph, I framed the rainbow above Marine One as the President disembarked the helicopter.

read more

Read more »

West Wing Week 10/24/14 or, “A Chip and PIN”

This week, the President took action to make consumers' credit transactions more secure, voted early at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Chicago, welcomed the new Ebola Response Coordinator on his first day on the job, and talked science and tech with some of his top advisors. That's October 17th to October 23rd or, "A Chip and PIN"

Read more »

President Obama: “No Nation Is Immune” to Climate Change

Watch on YouTube

"For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week -- terrorism, instability, inequality, disease -- there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate."

Those were President Obama's words at today's U.N. Climate Summit -- a meeting of world leaders that showcased climate action commitments from governments, local leaders, and the private sector. In his remarks, the President detailed the ambitious clean energy investments and carbon emission reductions the U.S. has made, but made clear that all of the world's major economies also need to step up in order to protect our planet.

read more

Read more »

West Wing Week: 05/24/13 or “Justice for Everybody”

This week, the President continued his Jobs & Opportunity tour, this time highlighting bold new efforts in education and manufacturing in Baltimore, gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, invited the President of Myanmar, eight immigra... Read more »

New Book: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam

 by Steven R. Corman CSC researcher Jeffry Halverson has published a new book on Muslim nonviolence.  Titled Searching for a King: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam, the book is available through the publisher, Potomac Press and at Amazon. At a time when violent images of the Muslim world dominate our headlines, people are growing increasingly interested in a different picture of Islam, specifically the idea of Islamic nonviolence, and what it could mean […] Read more »

The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 Years Old

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. This copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, w... Read more »