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Barack Obama Day celebrated for the first time in Illinois

Former President Barack Obama. | Sun-Times file photo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois is marking its first Barack Obama Day.

A law signed last year marks Aug. 4 in honor of the 44th president. Saturday was Obama’s 57th birthday.

The Hawaii native began his career as a community organizer in Chicago. He served in the Illinois state Senate from 1997 to 2005 before joining the U.S. Senate. He began the first of two terms in the White House in 2009.

Legislation from 2017 said the day would be observed throughout the state “as a day set apart to honor the 44th President of the United States of America who began his career serving the People of Illinois in both the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, and dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.”

A spokeswoman said the Obama family would celebrate the day with dinner in Washington, D.C.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was Obama’s first presidential chief of staff. He tweeted good wishes saying, “57 never looked so good!”

Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted a selfie of Obama and him taken last week with best wishes to “my brother.”