When the White House needs a woman’s touch, American leaders have turned to the First Lady. 

Historians point to the wife of the fourth U.S. president,Dolly Madison, as the woman who set the bar as national hostess,back in the early 1800s.
CCTV’s Jessica Stone reports on events of the day leading up to Friday night’s state dinner and how the significance of the role of first lady continues to increase.

More details:

  • China’s first lady Peng is forging her own personal diplomacy with the United States. Last year, she invited Michelle Obama, her mother, and two daughters to Beijing. They left with a Chinese proverb – inscribed by Peng Liyuan.
  • In 1972 American First Lady Pat Nixon would use her role as presidential spouse to help usher in a new era of U.S.-China relations. She wore an eye-catching red coat in the color of the Chinese flag, sampled Chinese dim sum and fell in love with Giant Pandas.  Her comments helped bring pandas to the National Zoo in Washington. 

Laura Shwartz on planning a state dinner

Orchestrating a state dinner for world leaders can be quite a stressful task. CCTV America’s Mike Walter found out more about what goes into planning such events from Laura Schwartz in Chicago. Laura is the author of the book ‘Eat, Drink and Succeed’, and is the former White House Director of events during the Clinton administration. She has planned over a thousand events for the White House.