It’s not unusual for schools and roads to be named after dead U.S. presidents, but some admirers of President Barack Obama aren’t waiting to deliver a posthumous honor, according to a report in USA Today.
Ludlum Elementary School in Hempstead, N.Y., on Long Island, was renamed after Obama in November – even before the historic election of the nation’s first black president.
Officials in St. Louis, Missouri will be posting signs along busy Delmar Boulevard designating the thoroughfare “Barack Obama Boulevard.”
Opa-Locka, Florida now has one of its main city streets dedicated to the new Chief Executive.
John Gillis, editor of the book “Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity,” told USA Today that he is unfamiliar with examples of presidents being memorialized while they were in office – much less before they took office.
Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have all had hundreds of schools and public buildings named after them, according to Gillis, who opined that the Obama phenomenon may be trivializing the age old practice.
Not so, counters Jean Bligen, principal of Barack Obama Elementary School on Long Island.
“The children take such pride over the name being changed and knowing they represent such a strong individual,” she says.
And don’t forget the newly named Mount Obama in Antigua, and that the second Monday in November in Perry County, Alabama is Barack Obama Day.
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