Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2014


Irish-American Heritage Month

Each March, the United States celebrates Irish-American heritage month. The U.S. and Ireland have always shared strong bilateral relations, deep cultural ties, and a commitment to positive change in the world. The industry, creativity, and imagination of Irish Americans have enriched every facet of American society. Nineteen Presidents of the United States have claimed Irish heritage and President Obama is proud to be one of them. One-third to one-half of the American troops during the Revolutionary War and at least 8 of the 56 signatures on the Declaration of Independence were Irish Americans.

March 17 is the feast day of Ireland’s patron saint, the cleric Patrick (386–461), in the Catholic liturgical calendar and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, and in Northern Ireland. But it is celebrated informally worldwide by people of every ethnic background. The first recorded celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the American colonies was in Boston in 1737, and the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1756. Nowadays, St. Patrick’s Day parades are wildly popular, even in areas without any sizeable Irish-American population, and tend to take on a regional flavour. Chicago dyes its rivers green on parade day; other cities settle for painting green the traffic stripes on parade routes. The largest parades are held in Dublin (Ireland), New York City, Montreal, and Boston.

Offaly County Council's 2011 Civic Welcome to the Obamas
Offaly County Council’s 2011 Civic Welcome to the Obamas
Henry Healy's gift to his fifth cousin, President Obama. President Obama drinking Guiness in front of the White House (L) and his ancestral home of Moneygall (R), drawing by  Brian Fogarty,
Henry Healy‘s gift to his fifth cousin, President Obama. President Obama drinking pint in front of the White House (L) and his ancestral home of Moneygall (R), drawing by Brian Fogarty.


lá sona naomh Pádraig


Happy St. Patrick’s Day 


Friday, March 14, 2014
President Obama and First Lady Michelle host
The White House St. Patrick’s Day Reception




24 thoughts on “Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2014

  1. WH

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama welcomes Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny to the White House.

    Vice President Biden hosts the Taoiseach for breakfast
    Naval Observatory

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    President Obama meets with the Taoiseach; Vice President Biden also attends
    Oval Office

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden attends the traditional St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol

    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Briefs the Press

    1:41 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at The Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit
    Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.

    2:00 PM
    Vice President Biden meets with First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:10 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a reception to celebrate their sixth St. Patrick’s Day. Moneygall, Ireland representatives Ollie Hayes and Henry Healy (President Obama’s cousin also attend)
    White House

    President Obama and the Taoiseach participates in the annual Shamrock ceremony started under President Truman.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. shamrock

    White House St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

    March 12, 2014

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

    President Obama will welcome Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny of Ireland to the White House on Friday, March 14. The United States and Ireland share a strong bilateral relationship; deep cultural, historic, and people-to-people bonds; and a shared commitment to advancing peace, security, and prosperity in the world. In the morning, the Vice President will host the Taoiseach for breakfast at the Naval Observatory, and the President will meet with the Taoiseach in the Oval Office. Subsequently, the President and the Vice President will attend the traditional St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol. In the early evening, the President and the First Lady will host a reception to celebrate their sixth St. Patrick’s Day at the White House. During the reception, the President and Kenny will participate in the annual Shamrock ceremony started under President Truman.

    Also on March 14, the Vice President will meet with First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland at the White House to discuss progress toward building a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Northern Ireland.’

    • March 14, 2014

      FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Peace and Prosperity in Northern Ireland

      For decades, the United States has supported the efforts of the people and leaders of Northern Ireland to realize a prosperous, lasting peace.

      Promoting Peace and Prosperity

      The United States has always stood with the people of Northern Ireland and will continue to do so as they continue to build a strong society, vibrant economy, and enduring peace. We remain fully committed to promoting a lasting peace, advancing prosperity for all, and supporting Northern Ireland’s institutions. The United States is proud of all that Northern Ireland has achieved, including the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and 2007 St. Andrews Agreement. We encourage the political parties of Northern Ireland to renew their efforts on the all-party talks to tackle sensitive issues such as parades, flags/symbols, and matters dealing with the past.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/14/fact-sheet-us-support-peace-and-prosperity-northern-ireland

    • The Spirit of St. Patrick in Washington, DC

      Published on Mar 14, 2014

      On Friday, March 14th, the President traveled with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the Capitol Building for the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon, where they joined Vice President Biden and top congressional leaders, enjoyed a bit of Irish folk music, and even partook in some rounds of singing.

  3. Wholesale Prices in U.S. Unexpectedly Drop on Services

    Mar 14, 2014 5:54 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    Producer prices in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in February, held back by the biggest decrease in the cost of services in almost a year.

    The 0.1 percent decrease in the producer-price index followed a 0.2 percent rise the prior month, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. None of the 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a decrease. Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices rose 0.9 percent, the smallest year-to-year gain since May.

    Clothing retailers, airlines and residential real-estate brokers were among the service providers that saw their pricing power diminish last month. Weak inflation gives Federal Reserve policy makers meeting next week room to maintain low borrowing costs.

    The weakness “could be weather-related as these firms try to clear some inventories,” said Sean Incremona, a senior economist at 4cast Inc. in New York, who was among those with the lowest projection. “There could be some near-term hit, but generally the picture is pretty stable. It’s a gradual, very gradual step up toward the Fed target over the next couple years.’

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-14/wholesale-prices-in-u-s-unexpectedly-drop-on-cheaper-services.html

  4. West Wing Week 03/14/14 or, “What’s Up, Captain America?”

    Published on Mar 14, 2014

    This week, the Vice President and Dr. Biden traveled to Chile to attend the President’s inauguration, while this President worked on improving access to college for students, raising the minimum wage, and negotiating a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. He also got out the word about this year’s March 31st deadline for health insurance applications, congratulated NCAA champs, and designated a new national monument.

  5. piday

    Pi Day

    Five Excellent Ways to Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14
    It’s time to celebrate Pi! And if the very thought of the irrational number is making you hungry for knowledge, you’re not alone.

    Pi Day (3/14) is the unofficial holiday dedicated to pi. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it’s an irrational number, so it can’t be expressed as a simple fraction of two integers. The number starts out with 3.14, but it goes on for infinity!

    This special day is also the perfect time to plan STEM-themed activities for your classroom or with your children at home.

    Here are five excellent ways to celebrate Pi:

    1. Head to your local or school library and check out a book about Pi! These three titles are a good place to start.

    2. Demonstrate Pi in the real world. San Francisco’s Exploratorium has an entire webpage devoted to simple and easy hands-on activities that introduce the concept of Pi using everyday objects.

    3. Make Pi plates. Have students trace the Pi symbol on a piece of construction paper and then cut it out a glue it to a paper plate. Decorate the border of the plate with Pi’s digits.

    4. Write a Pi-ku, a math version of the traditional 5-7-5 syllabic haiku. A Pi-ku of course, follows a 3-1-4 syllabic pattern.

    For example:

    Math is fun
    Mixed with some pie

    And, of course, you could always bake a Pi-themed pie!
    Find more fun Pi facts and resources free.ed.gov.

    Dorothy Amatucci is a new media analyst in the Office of Communications and Outreach

    • March 14, 2014

      Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Kenny of Ireland after Bilateral Meeting

      Oval Office

      11:15 A.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, it is wonderful to have Taoiseach Kenny back here in the Oval Office. This is one of my favorite times of year because I’m able to join with our friends from Ireland to celebrate the incredible bond that exists between our two countries. I think it’s fair to say that there are very few countries around the world where the people-to-people ties are so strong.

      And in addition to sharing values and sharing a commitment to democracy, we also share these family ties that go back generations. And I want to once again thank the people of Ireland for the incredible hospitality that they showed me and Michelle and the girls each time that we’ve had an opportunity to visit Ireland.

      I started the meeting today congratulating Taoiseach Kenny on the economic progress that’s been made over the last several years in Ireland. Obviously Ireland was hit hard by the financial crisis and problems with its banking system. It required some very tough decisions that Taoiseach Kenny was willing to take. But what we’ve now seen is Ireland emerge from its assistance program in a much stronger position on the global stage and in global markets. And as a consequence, I think it’s really well positioned to start building for the future and attracting businesses with a highly skilled and well-educated workforce.

      And there is tremendous investment by U.S. companies in Ireland. There’s tremendous investment here in the United States by Irish companies. We’re an example of the mutually beneficial trade that can take place across the Atlantic. And that’s why we appreciate Taoiseach Kenny being a strong leader as we move forward on the Transatlantic trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the United States and the EU.

      We had an opportunity to discuss a range of global affairs. Obviously on our minds right now is the situation in Ukraine. Ireland has been a strong voice in the European Council for the need to send a clear message of support for Ukrainian democracy and self-determination, and a strong message to Russia that it should not violate the integrity and the sovereignty of its neighbor. We continue to hope that there’s a diplomatic solution to be found, but the United States and Europe stand united not only in its message about Ukrainian sovereignty but also that there will be consequences if, in fact, that sovereignty continues to be violated.

      We had an opportunity to discuss the fact that Ireland does tremendous work around the world on a whole range of issues. It punches above its weight when it comes to humanitarian efforts. We very much appreciate that.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/14/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-kenny-ireland-after-bilateral

  6. Watch President Obama’s Interview with WebMD Readers

    Kori Schulman March 14, 2014 08:00 AM EDT

    This week, President Obama sat down for an interview with WebMD to answer questions from consumers and discuss the importance of signing up for health insurance by March 31. In the days leading up to the interview, WebMD readers – from young adults to seniors representing all 50 states – submitted thousands of questions for the President. Now, you can watch the full Q&A.

    “My most important recommendation is for people to go to the website healthcare.gov and look for themselves at what plans are being provided,” said the President. During the conversation with the site’s health care reform expert Liza Zamosky, the President discussed health care costs, access to care, Medicaid expansion, and more.

    Watch the full video of the interview at WebMD.com/AskObama and below, or jump to the question that you’re most interested in below.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/14/watch-president-obama-s-interview-webmd-readers

  7. March 14, 2014

    Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland

    Vice President Biden met today with the leaders of the Northern Ireland Executive, First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The Vice President commended the leaders for the remarkable progress achieved since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and 2007 St. Andrews Agreement. The Vice President also stressed the importance of Northern Ireland continuing to move forward toward a shared future of peace and prosperity for all.

    The Vice President commended the efforts of Dr. Richard Haass, the independent chair for the talks among Northern Ireland’s political parties on sensitive issues of parades, flags/symbols, and matters dealing with the past. While noting his disappointment that the all-party talks have not yet reached agreement, the Vice President urged the First Minister, deputy First Minister, and Northern Ireland’s political leaders to continue talks on these sensitive issues. The Vice President pledged continuing U.S. support for Northern Ireland, including efforts to strengthen the economy and bring prosperity to the island.

  8. 1:41 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at The Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit
    Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.

    • March 14, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady at The Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit

      Hilton Hotel
      Washington, D.C.

      1:41 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Yay to everyone! (Applause.) Thank you so much. You all, rest yourselves. It is a pleasure to be here with all of you today.

      Let me start by thanking Larry, not just for his very kind introduction but for his outstanding leadership at PHA, as well as the entire staff of PHA, the board, Jim Gavin — all of you deserve a huge round of applause for your outstanding work. I’m so proud of you all. Thank you so much. (Applause.) PHA is doing critically important work to engage partners across the private sector, and over the past two days we’ve seen the fruits of their efforts.

      And I am thrilled about the extraordinary commitments that have been announced at this summit, so I want to take a moment to recognize Dannon, Del Monte, Knowledge Universe, Kwik Trip, Nutri Ventures, and Sodexo. So let’s give them another huge round of applause. (Applause.) These are major steps to making sure our families can lead healthier lives, and we are extremely grateful.

      And of course, I want to thank all of you, the advocates and experts who’ve been working on the issue of childhood obesity long before it came into the national spotlight. You all are truly our brain trust on this issue. You know better than anyone where we’ve been and where we need to go. And that’s really what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about how much we’ve achieved, but more importantly, how much more we have left to do.

      So let’s start with the good news: Because of what we have all done together, today, 32 million kids are getting healthier school meals. Tens of thousands of schools are removing junk food ads from their classroom. Fifteen thousand childcare centers will be providing healthier snacks and getting those cute little kids up and moving. Food and beverage companies have cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products. We will soon have better nutrition labels on 700,000 food items. Hundreds of new or renovated grocery stores are reaching millions of people in underserved communities — I could go on. These are just a few of the highlights. Absolutely amazing. (Applause.)

      And today, slowly but surely, healthy habits are becoming the new norm in this country. Today, according to a recent CDC report that I know you have all discussed, obesity rates have fallen by 43 percent among children ages two to five years old. And I think we should all be very proud of what we are achieving together, because in a fight this hard, we should celebrate every small victory we can get.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/14/remarks-first-lady-partnership-healthier-america-s-building-healthier-fu

    • First Lady Michelle Obama on Veterans Health Care

      Published on Mar 14, 2014

      First Lady Michelle Obama on how the Affordable Care Act honors our commitment to Veterans by strengthening affordable health care options for their families. The First Lady encourages veterans not covered by the VA and veteran families to sign up for healthcare in advance of the March 31 deadline.

  9. 5:10 PM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a reception to celebrate their sixth St. Patrick’s Day at the White House.

    President Obama and the Taoiseach participates in the annual Shamrock ceremony started under President Truman.

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • Remarks at the 2014 White House St. Patrick’s Day Reception

      Published on Mar 14, 2014

      President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Prime Minister Kenny deliver remarks at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in the East Room of the White House. March 14, 2014.

  10. WH

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

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  11. Today In History

    March 16, 1995 – Mississippi formally ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

  12. March 15, 2014

    Weekly Address: Rewarding Hard Work by Strengthening Overtime Pay Protections

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    March 15, 2014

    Hi, everybody. In this year of action, I’m doing everything I can, with or without Congress, to expand opportunity for more Americans. This week, I ordered a review of our nation’s overtime rules, to give more Americans the chance to earn the overtime pay they’ve worked for.

    Here’s why this matters. Our businesses have created 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years. But in many ways, the trends that have battered the middle class for decades have grown even starker. While those at the top are doing better than ever, average wages have barely budged. Too many Americans are working harder than ever just to keep up.

    We’ve got to build an economy that works for everybody, not just a fortunate few. We know from our history that our economy grows best from the middle out, when growth is more widely shared. So we’ve got to restore opportunity for all – the idea that with hard work and responsibility, you can get ahead.

    Now, for more than 75 years, the 40-hour workweek and the overtime protections that come with it have helped countless workers climb the ladder of success. But today, an overtime exception originally meant for highly-paid employees now applies to workers who earn as little as $23,660 a year. It doesn’t matter if you do mostly physical labor, or if you work 50, 60, even 70 hours a week. Your employer may not have to pay you a single extra dime.

    In some cases, this rule makes it possible for workers earning a salary to actually be paid less than the minimum wage. And it means that business owners who treat their employees fairly can be undercut by competitors who don’t. That’s not right. So we’re going to update those overtime rules to restore that basic principle that if you have to work more, you should be able to earn more. And we’ll do it by consulting workers and businesses, and simplifying the system so it’s easier for everyone.

    Americans have spent too long working more and getting less in return. So wherever and whenever I can make sure that our economy rewards hard work and responsibility, that’s what I’m going to do. Because what every American wants is a paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic security, and pass down some hope and optimism to their kids. That’s something worth fighting for. And I’ll keep fighting for it as long as I’m President.

    Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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