Virginia was the first, and now South Dakota is the last. With his visit to the Mount Rushmore state on Friday (May 8), President Obama has officially been to all 50 states in the union during his tenure in the White House. Surprisingly, he's only the fourth president in history to have done so. Only Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton share the distinction.
"I am thrilled to be here," Obama said, opening his commencement address for Lake Area Technical Institute and promoting his proposal for free community college. "I have now been to all 50 states as president and I was saving the best for last. To the other 49, I hope you take no offense."
The President received a warm welcome from South Dakotans, despite the fact that only 39 percent of its residents voted for him in his last election, but one constituent was particularly overjoyed to see him. 11-year-old Rebecca Kelley, who sent a letter to the White House asking him to make the trip, got a personal visit from the President.
"I got to shake his hand and it was just so amazing," Kelley said. She was also gifted a medal, and chocolate by the President. "I want to say thank you so much. There are no words to describe my joy. There's just none."
In the handwritten note, shared by the White House's official Twitter account, Kelley wrote, "We are the warmest of the Dakotas, we have Mt. Rushmore, and when I just go to the park I sometimes see coyotes, hawks, and bald eagles."
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(Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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