Royalty and statesmen

Michelle's daughters Malia and Sasha laid on a surprise party for their mum as the Obama family travelled by train to Washington. Husband Barack was also in party mood, tooting the horn to acknowledge well-wishers
Photo: PA
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The couple were joined by vice-president elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill on a journey filled with symbolism, re-enacting as it did the trip Abraham Lincoln made in the run-up to his inauguration in 1861
Photo: Rex

Incoming First Lady celebrates birthday on historic whistle-stop tour

19 JANUARY 2009
Tooting the horn, singing, and even dancing, the Obamas used a weekend train journey re-enacting Abraham Lincoln's journey to his 1861 inauguration to celebrate a special family occasion the new First Lady's 45th birthday.

As they travelled from the eastern city of Philadelphia down to Washington DC, Malia and Sasha had a surprise in store for their mum.

When the first couple got off to address a rally the girls got to work turning one carriage into a party venue, complete with crepe paper and banners, earning a delighted whoop of surprise from the birthday girl. Later the revellers, including Michelle, could be seen boogying on down through the windows.

The girls' father Barack Obama also did his bit, telling supporters at the first stop in Wilmington, Delaware, about the significance of the day. At which the crowd erupted in an enthusiastic rendition of Happy Birthday.

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