President Obama Kicks Off Europe Tour in Ireland

The New York Times and other sources are reporting on President Obama's current trip to Europe, beginning with his arrival today in in Ireland to make a familiar pilgrimage for an American president: returning to a country that lays claim to being one of his ancestral homes.

Previous U.S. Presidents who have made this journey include Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton. During this visit, Obama will be visiting Moneygall, the farming hamlet where his great-great-great-grandfather lived before immigrating to the United States in 1850.

Obama, who the Times calls a "product of Kenya and Kansas," only learned of his Irish roots in 2007, after an "inquisitive churchman" tracked down his family’s records.

The President and his first lady were welcomed by Ireland's President Mary McAleese, a lawyer and native of Northern Ireland, who watched as Obama helped plant an Irish upright oak tree — following, again, in the tradition of previous American presidents.


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