Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, launched himself into the history books as the first black President. Obama was also the very first President to be born in the State of Hawaii. When Barack Obama was born on the 4th of August in 1961 at the Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, few people would have foreseen his future leadership and vision. Obama’s early life would shape his political career.
Barack Obama’s parents, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, met while they were in college. Both of them had enrolled in a course teaching the Russian language at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Ann had moved to Hawaii after graduating from high school in 1960, because her parents wanted to pursue business ventures in the new state that had just been admitted to the Union.
Obama was the first African student ever enrolled in the University. They married in Maui in spite of arguments from their parents on February 2, 1961, and Barack Obama was born six months later.
Unfortunately, young Barack Obama Jr. would see his father very little throughout his childhood. Obama Sr. decided to leave Hawaii altogether, and he moved to the East Coast to pursue his studies. The elder Obama would only visit future President Barack once when he was 10 years old. Unfortunately, his death in a car accident in the early 1980s precluded the possibility that he and Barack Obama Jr. would ever spend more time together as father and son.
Obama’s mother was effectively single as she raised her young son, filing for a divorce from Obama Sr. in 1964. In 1966 or 1967, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, and Barack Obama moved with his family to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii, a series of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Honolulu is the only incorporated city in the entire state. It is home to some of the most famous sites in the Pacific, such as Waikiki Beach, a popular tourist destination that boasts the largest open-air shopping center in the entire world. The Hawaiian monarchy was dismantled in a tumultuous time in the nation’s history, resulting in Hawaii becoming a territory of the United States. Once it became a state, however, American interest in the area spiked, resulting in an influx of tourism and commerce.
Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in a time when many Americans saw the new state as an economic opportunity. As industry boomed, so did the population, and his mother and her parents were among the newcomers to the state that made its status so great. The early sixties would demonstrate to the continental United States the importance of its non-contiguous additions.
President Obama moved back to the state of Hawaii after four years in Indonesia to complete his secondary education in Makiki. Obama’s life an Punahou School is chronicled in his best-selling autobiography, which details the joys, frustrations, and regrets of his days as a high schooler in Honolulu.
When Barack Obama first decided to run for President, many Americans were concerned about his United States citizenship. Almost immediately, rumors began circulating that the candidate was not legitimate. Some people asserted that Hawaii was not actually a state when he was born, while others maintained that his mother was too young for him to have been considered a “natural-born” citizen when he was born. Others yet believed that Barack Obama was born in Africa, not in the United States, alleging that his birth certificate had not been made available to the general public. In actual fact, all of the evidence demonstrates that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, nearly two years after it became an official state. His birth certificate was provided to the general public for scrutiny in 2008. Although some people continue to say that Barack Obama was born elsewhere, his birth certificate and the birth announcement published in a newspaper in Honolulu reflect that he is indeed, and always has been, a natural-born American citizen.