Barack Obama believes in hope.
Barack Hussein Obama will probably always be the second-most famous U.S. president from the state of Illinois, but considering that puts him behind Abraham Lincoln, we believe it's an accolade he really wouldn't mind. And like Lincoln, Obama didn't win every election he ever contested — only the most important one, in 2008, when he became the first African-American President of the United States.
He made his own story the foundation of his campaign — raised in Hawaii by a single-mother from the midwest, a father from Kenya, and several years spent in Indonesia — a story that could only happen in America. He was inaugurated the 44th President of the United States — for the first time — on January 20, 2009, before record numbers of people, both present the Washington Mall as well as on TV worldwide. #notfakenews
The world was full of hope, then. Change was in the air. Nine months later, Barack Obama made history again, this time as the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Obama's eight years in office were replete with historic accomplishments: legalizing gay marriage, establishing an affordable healthcare system, and creating programs to fight climate change, to name a few. But his greatest and perhaps most easily forgotten accomplishment was preventing a second Great Depression.
He entered the Oval Office just as the US economy was being taken down by the collapse of the global banking system. He came into office at the eve of one of the most economically and socially unstable moments in American history, and he managed to stave off the worst of it, while spreading the message of hope and change to millions of people. Today, the strength of the US economy is his legacy.
Obama left the presidency at noon on January 20, 2017, handing over the reins to a man who is his opposite in every conceivable way. The former US President still is a symbol of hope for people everywhere. He gave Americans a future to believe in at a time of crisis. History will remember him kindly.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!