Obamas travel to DC school for King holiday

First lady Michelle Obama, center, embraces daughter Sasha, 9, as she is surprised by everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to her as she and President Barack Obama arrived at the Stuart Hobson Middle School in Washington to observe the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday by participating in a community service project, Monday, Jan. 17, 2011. Daughter Malia, 12, is at right. The first lady turns 47 today. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

January 17, 2011 10:30:46 AM PST
President Barack Obama honored the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday by participating in a painting project at a school on Capitol Hill.

On the federal holiday named for the slain civil rights leader, Obama brought his family to Stuart Hobson Middle School, where he and first lady Michelle Obama helped paint apple characters on pillars in the lunchroom to encourage healthier eating.

Obama said King's legacy is also about service and urged Americans to get out into their communities on Monday - a step he suggested would have special meaning following the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.

"After a painful week where so many of us were focused on the tragedy, it's good for us to remind ourselves of what this country is all about," he told reporters.

Monday also happened to be Michelle Obama's 47th birthday. To mark it, the crowd at the school sang the Stevie Wonder version of "Happy Birthday," which the musician wrote to honor King.