Illinois on Saturday is celebrating its first ever Barack Obama Day, a day the state legislature voted in 2017 to set aside annually to honor the former president on his birthday, The Hill reported.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law last year following its unanimous passage by state lawmakers. The day honors the former president who got his early political start as a community organizer in Chicago. He later also served as a state senator before becoming a U.S. senator from Illinois.
The legislature established the day as a commemorative rather than a legal holiday, which is signified by paid time off and closed government offices.
"It's incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it's awesome, and I think we should celebrate it," Rauner said last year. "I don't think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration."
The Twitter-sphere was full of congratulatory wishes for the former president with the hashtag #ObamaDay. "Our lunches together were a highlight of every week at the White House. Last week's trip to @DogTagBakery was no different. Happy birthday to my brother, my friend, @BarackObama," tweeted former Vice President Joe Biden.
"57 never looked so good. Happy Birthday, @BarackObama!" tweeted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who also served as Obama's chief of staff.
To celebrate his 57th birthday, Obama plans to have dinner with his family in Washington, D.C., the article stated.
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