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
March 10, 2016 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
December 28, 2015
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Official Visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
President Obama and the First Lady will welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, to the White House for an Official Visit with a State Dinner on Thursday, March 10, 2016. The visit will be an opportunity for the United States and Canada to deepen their bilateral relationship, which is one of the closest and most extensive in the world and is based on a shared history, common values, and a vast and intricate network of cultural, familial, and commercial ties. The visit also is intended to advance cooperation on important bilateral and multilateral issues, such as energy and climate change, security, and the economy.
- 3/10/16 U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership
- 3/10/16 FACT SHEET: United States – Canada Relationship
- 3/10/16 Attendees at Tonight’s Canada State Dinner
Details about the State Dinner are available HERE.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau to the White House
President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a bilateral meeting
The Oval Office
President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a joint press conference
First Lady Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau hold a “Let Girls Learn” event
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama take an official photo with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau
President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver toasts at the State Dinner
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosts the State Dinner Reception for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mrs. Grégoire-Trudeau
State Dining Room