12 FEBRUARY 2009

He chose to use the former president's bible at his swearing-in ceremony, and dined on a menu inspired by the 19th-century US leader at the inauguration lunch. President Barack Obama is clearly a big fan of Abraham Lincoln.

This week, on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the late politician's birth, Mr Obama again paid tribute to his hero at an event to mark the completed renovation of Ford's Theatre – the site where Mr Lincoln was assassinated.

Standing beneath a flag-draped box signalling where the US leader was gunned down in 1865, the President addressed an audience which included Sidney Poitier, George Lucas and Frasier actor Kelsey Grammer.

During his speech, the President praised his predecessor for restoring a sense of unity to the country, describing the newly renovated theatre as a "hallowed space".

During Wednesday's proceedings he and Michelle were given a framed replica of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. To do the presentation honours Dark Shadows actor David Selby was in costume as the late leader, much to the First Couple's amusement.

Photo: Getty Images
Actor David Selby, in costume as the late leader, brings a smile to the faces of the President and First Lady as he presents them with a replica of the Gettysburg Address
Photo: Getty Images
Among the guests celebrating the reopening of the Ford Theatre on Wednesday was screen legend Sidney Poitier
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