March 5th, 2010
01:09 PM ET
5 years ago

First lady donates dress to Smithsonian

 The first lady will donate her dress to the Smithsonian.
The first lady will donate her dress to the Smithsonian.

Washington (CNN) - First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday will donate her 2009 inaugural gown to the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian and the White House announced.

The gown, designed by New York designer Jason Wu, is the one-shoulder, white-chiffon dress that the first lady wore to all 10 inaugural balls the evening of President Obama's inauguration.

Wu plans to attend the presentation on Tuesday.

According to Melina Machado at the history museum, the frock will be the center point of a new gallery entitled "A First Lady's Debut." It will be surrounded by 10 other gowns, nine of which are also gowns worn at the first inaugurals of previous presidents.

The exhibit spans 56 years, representing former First Ladies starting with Mamie Eisenhower.


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soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    For the petty: The Obama's pay for their own clothes and the Inaugural gown was designed at no charge on the assumption that it would be donated to the Smithsonian. That has been asked an answered a number of times.

    Now, if all the petty little people would realize how blessed they are to have nothing more than this nonsense to worry about, it would be a better world.

    Mrs. Obama never said an unkind word about Sarah Palin's clothes. I'm a Democrat but I thought it was completely appropriate for the GOP to pay for clothes for her appearances. She shouldn't have returned them but I understand why she would have been terribly hurt over the pettiness.

    March 5, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. julibear

    to the commenter who asked who pays for these gowns, the designers DONATE them. This is free publicity for them and they vie for a chance to have this gracious and beautiful public figure wear their clothes. It is the designer's pleasure and privilege to donate these gowns to US history.

    March 5, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Jim K.

    No matter how much crap is thrown at Barack & Michelle Obama by the hate-fueled right-wing hysterical maniacs, they continue to rise above it and show the true meaning of honesty, integrity, and class.

    God bless them both.

    March 5, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. RLE

    totus 4 president, President and First lady Obama pay for their own clothes in case you didn't know they had more income before the president was elected. as far as sarah Palin, she stepped out of the trailer park and onto the political scene and did not have the funds to buy her own clothes, so you see there is no comparison...

    March 5, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Mary Lou

    First Lady Michelle looked so beautiful that night dancing with our President! One of a kind gown! She only gets more beautiful too.

    Inaugural ball gowns are the first thing I want to view when I finally get to visit The Smithonian!

    March 5, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. kgh

    A piece of history ... a nice gesture on behalf of the first lady.

    I'm surprised at all the acrimony on comment string. I didn't much like dubbya but I'm sure his wife did the same and it too was a nice gesture.

    March 5, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom

    @ TOTUS...... please you are ridiculous! ALL First Ladies have worn American designers clothing! Even Nancy Reagan and Laura Bush!

    You just can't help putting Mrs. Obama down, can you? Pathetic!

    March 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Ra

    Whooopeee!!!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    I wonder who paid for it. Don't first ladies usually donate them after the inaugural. She sure hung on to it a long time. Judging from all the liberal swoon, I guess it must be gracious and no one had ever done it before. She probably didn't because of Bush, or the Republicans screwing it up. Dominican mama 4 obama keep yourself under control.

    March 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. kailua67

    Well, "Obama Victim," you would know about arrogance.

    March 5, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. LacrosseMom

    @ Obama Victim "the arrogance of the........" Hate much? WHAT arrogance? ALL First Ladies have worn designer clothing!

    Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Tricia Nixon...... Barbara Bush...... Hillary Clinton.

    I think you are just green with envy and angry that a beautiful, brilliant, African American woman is our First Lady!

    March 5, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Historian

    Come on some of you this has been done for the last 56 years. Get some culture and visit the Museum with your family and you will see the other First Ladies Gowns. Unlike the Palins, The President and First Lady can pay for their own clothes. Many of us that have worked hard can also afford to pay for our clothes. Hope this doesn't burst your bubble but there are many people in this country just like the President and First Lady.

    March 5, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. capmorgs

    Who cares... but it will look better on a hanger than that bag!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. mike from atlanta

    I see that some people don't miss a chance to cut down the president and I don't get it.I am a 53 year old white man from Atlanta and I think he is very intelligent,patriotic and trying his best to get this country back on it's feet.Republicans are just trying to spread hate and discontent so they can win some elections.That's hurting all of us.

    March 5, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. not-pure-bred 04

    If everyone in this country were as classy as the First family, we'd be far better off. Racism is rearing it's ugly head and I think it's pathetic. Show some class!!!!!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. RCasson

    Wonderfull. Can't wait to see the second one there as well!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Edna

    It is so sad when an event that occurs all the time can not be done without people denigrating the First Lady. Such hateful people. I am so grateful that we have a President and First Lady who are in it for the long haul and love the American people, all of the American people, even these disrespectful ones who continue to call them names. They are a beautiful couple and I am thankful that they are in the White House.

    March 5, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Proud American

    Same old bitter, losers, and hateful Republicans. Do any of you Morons ever work?

    March 5, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    @Obama victim? Really, arrogance. How old are you because you sound like a 13 year old who hasn't beena around to know that first ladies donate their dress to the Smithsonian all the time.
    Why is this arrogance on their part?
    @capmorgs – jealous that she can wear a beautiful dress and that you can't. Regardless of whether you are a woman or a man?

    March 5, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Tammy

    For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of Michelle Obama.

    March 5, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Linda C in Cal

    Sorry guys, but Michelle Obama is not a pretty woman - not a classy first lady and/or tactful as Laura Bush.

    Safe to say that MO will always be remembered for her infamous comment during her husband’s campaign, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country…”

    March 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Sujith, NE

    All those who cry arrogance are plain racist who cant still come to terms with the fact that their president is black ! pathetic, you guys !

    March 5, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. honorer

    America look Republicans don't want new change in this country,their are a bunch of prejudice, with no progress,all their are looking for in Washington is "power" and waste money in Iraq?

    March 5, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. D.

    Donate her what..???
    This is crazy, we have a totally detached first couple celebrating, while we are in the dumpster, and the WH deals with nonsense (healthcare so called reform which is a tax plan, DADT, lawyers for terrorists, now reducing nuclear power, probably reducing US military power). What about jobs, robust recovery, stronger country.?Why deal with all these liberal fringe's interests when we all suffer and people are out of jobs? Seems like the usual left strategy to capitalize on suffering and crisis and advance the "so called agenda."

    March 5, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. ab

    This is very generous and graceous of the First Lady Michelle Obama to donate her 2009 Inaugural Ball Gown to the Smithsonian Museum for the good of public education and historical posterity. What I admire even more about the First Lady is her attention to the issue of public health and the fight against obesity and its medical consequences and to cultivating healthy food in our communities. This is very much in keeping with President Obama's health reform initiative to expand insurance coverage and to lower medical costs.

    March 5, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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