From the Archives: State Dinners at the White House
King David Kalākaua of Hawai’i was the first head of state to be honored with a White House State Dinner on December 12, 1874 by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. In the years that have followed, State Dinners have come to signify the utmost respect for visiting heads of state. Each State Dinner is an historic event with the power to cement friendships with allies and foster cooperation with warming relations.
Months of meticulous planning go into a State Dinner and thorough research is conducted to celebrate the guest of honor’s country, culture, and favored preferences. Hallmarks of American culture are also chosen, often by the First Lady. Together, these considerations are translated into details both large and small, including invitations, menus, guest lists, and entertainment. The results can be a form of diplomatic dialogue between the host and guest cultures.
List of White House State Dinners given by President Barack Obama:
Nov 24, 2009 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
May 19, 2010 Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Jan 19, 2011 Chinese President Hu Jintao
Jun 7, 2011 German President Angela Merkel
Mar 14, 2012 United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron
Feb 11, 2014 French President François Hollande
Apr 28, 2015 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
Sep 25, 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping
September 15, 2015
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China
President Obama will host Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, at the White House for an official State Visit on September 25, 2015. This reciprocates President Obama’s State Visit to China in November 2014.
President Xi’s visit will present an opportunity to expand U.S.-China cooperation on a range of global, regional, and bilateral issues of mutual interest, while also enabling President Obama and President Xi to address areas of disagreement constructively.
The President and Mrs. Obama will host President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan at an official State Dinner on the evening of September 25
Thursday, September 25, 2015
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Chinese President Xi Sa and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan to the White House
President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a bilateral meeting
The Oval Office
President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a press conference
First Lady Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Liyuan accompanied by students from The Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School visit to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo
First Lady Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Liyuan delivers remarks
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington D.C.
President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping deliver toasts at the State Dinner
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the State Dinner Reception for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan
State Dining Room
Friday, September 25, 2015
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
host a State Dinner for
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan