Illinois residents celebrated their first annual “Barack Obama Day” on Saturday after the state legislature voted in 2017 to make the day honoring former President Barack Obama a state holiday.
The bill establishing Obama’s birthday as a state holiday unanimously passed the Illinois state legislature last year, and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure into law on August 6, 2017.
The legislation declared August 4 “Barack Obama Day” in the state of Illinois, but did not make the holiday an official legal holiday over concerns the state could not afford the cost of giving state employees a paid holiday.
Some legislators also balked at the idea that Obama—who made Illinois his permanent residence in 1995 and only lived in the state for ten years full time—got his own holiday while former President Ronald Reagan—who was born in the state and lived there for 21 years—never had a day in his honor.
#ObamaDay became the top trending topic on Twitter Saturday afternoon, with celebrities and left-wing personalities—many of whom do not live in Illinois—celebrating Obama Day by tweeting the former president a happy birthday while bashing President Trump:
Happy Birthday, Mr. President.
The best gift we can offer is voting against hate in November, and proving we are as powerful as you've always told us we can be.#ObamaDay
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) August 4, 2018
My favorite part of #ObamaDay is knowing that Trump has to see Obama as the top trending topic almost two years after the election, as yet another reminder that he will never be loved by America as much as Obama is.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 4, 2018
Happy birthday, Barack Obama! We miss having a president dedicated to providing health care to all rather than stripping it away from everyone including the most vulnerable. And we also miss having a president who, you know, actually won an election. #ObamaDay
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 4, 2018
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 4, 2018
Even though Obama Day is a state holiday in Illinois, a spokesperson for Obama confirmed that he would not be celebrating his birthday in the state. The spokesperson told USA Today Obama will be celebrating his birthday in Washington, DC, with his family on Saturday evening.