A buttoned-down Prince Harry joined Michelle Obama in honoring military families Thursday and toured an exhibition in Congress about land mines, opening a weeklong U.S. visit devoted to the wounded victims of war.
The British soldier-prince had one of America’s most storied wounded warriors, Sen. John McCain, at his side as he viewed a display of land-mine photos, maps and mine-detection equipment, staged by a charity held dear by his late mother, Princess Diana.
From there it was on to the White House for a previously unannounced visit with the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and military mothers and children at an afternoon tea.
For the prince, the Washington settings were a world away from the Afghanistan war zone where he recently served for 20 weeks as a co-pilot gunner in an Apache attack helicopter. It was just as far removed from his hijinks in a Las Vegas hotel room last summer, when fuzzy photos got out of a naked Harry playing strip billiards.
Jackson leaving ‘American Idol’
Jackson out. Randy Jackson, the lone original “American Idol” judge, says he won’t be returning to the Fox talent competition.
“To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol,’ I have decided to leave after this season,” Jackson said Thursday.
The 56-year-old record producer and bassist said he’s leaving “Idol” to focus on his record label and other business opportunities.
Smithsonian adds daytime TV artifacts
The Smithsonian Institution is adding relics from soap operas and game shows to its national entertainment collection to tell the story of daytime television.
On Thursday, actress Susan Lucci from TV’s “All My Children” and Alex Trebek from “Jeopardy!” visited the National Museum of American History to donate objects from their shows.
The new artifacts range from show scripts and props to original artwork. Lucci donated the pink gown and shoes she wore for a national magazine cover when she won an Emmy in 1999.
The birthday bunch
TV-radio personality Gary Owens is 74. Actor David Clennon is 70. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 69. Singer Donovan is 67. Musician Dave Mason is 67. Rock singer Bono (U2) is 53. Model Linda Evangelista is 48. Actor Kenan Thompson is 35.