Washington, Dec 5: US President-elect Barack Obama is yet to take office, but his candidacy has generated a national naming craze and a holiday in one Alabama county.
In his 2004 keynote address at the Democratic Convention, Obama had called himself a "skinny kid with a funny name." Now, four years later, that funny name is appearing on public buildings and birth certificates, reports Fox News.
It's not unusual for senior lawmakers in Congress to have buildings named after them back home, on account of the money they bring back to their districts. But Obama, who will not assume the presidency until January 20, is the first living politician to have a holiday declared in his name.
Two weeks ago, Perry County in Alabama approved a paid holiday, on which public employees will celebrate the historic nature of his victory as the first African-American president.
In Alabama, the county-wide holiday -- known as "The Barack Obama Day" -- will be observed on the second Monday in November and will require that all county offices -- as well as public schools -- be closed.
"In America, we celebrate historic events with holidays," said Commissioner Albert Turner Jr., who was the sponsor of the resolution passed in a 4-1 vote by the Perry County Commission.
American flags will be flown on The Barack Obama Day, Turner said, and the Perry County Civic League will hold a "unity breakfast" to bring together people of "all races and nationalities."
"Never again will this event occur in which a person of African-American descent will be the first African-American to assume the office," Turner told FOX News.
Obama also has inspired the Ludlum Elementary School in Hempstead, N.Y., to change its name to Barack Obama Elementary School. School officials say the idea originated with the school's 466 students, the majority of whom are black or Hispanic.
Another school, in Portland, Oregon, has also changed its name to Obama. And the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said he has considered changing the name of its highest mountain -- Boggy Peak -- to Mount Obama.
A couple in Florida was the first to give the president-elect's name to their child -- Sanjae Obama Fisher -- but before Obama had won the presidency.
In response to criticism that Obama has not assumed office yet and hasn't had a chance to follow through on any campaign promises, Turner said, "He has done something. He won the election. Regardless of how his presidency goes, we're not celebrating his presidency. We're celebrating the event that put him there."
"I don't care what he does. He can't do worse than what Bush has done," Turner said. He added: "I'm hoping his administration won't let America down."