Obama's final speech to the public will continue a tradition set in 1796 when George Washington addressed the American people for the last time as president. It will be followed by a "family reunion" for alumni of Obama's former campaigns, according to a save-the-date sent to alumni.
Obama has described the event as "a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey," to celebrate the ways the country has changed and "to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here."
For many supporters, Obama's decision to give the speech in Chicago rather than Washington added to the significance of the event. It was in Chicago's Grant Park that in 2008 he delivered his victory speech after becoming the nation's first black president.
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