Sitting in front of a Subway sandwich franchise at 53rd and South Dorchester in Chicago is a straightforward rock with a metallic plaque installed in it. It may not seem like the most romantic place in the country, but it is where President Barack Obama first planted one on his wife, Michelle.
While today it is a tiny little green space with flowers and a flagpole, the "Obama Kissing Rock" was once the site of a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop. Future-president Barack and future-first-lady Michelle visited the Hyde Park franchise on their first date in the summer of 1989 and shared more than just two scoops on the curb outside the store, namely their first kiss.
The plaque is attached to a 3,000-pound (1.5-ton) boulder installed on the corner of the strip mall in 2012.
|I find it disgusting that there can't be a landmark plaque celebrating African Americans without racists defacing it.|
It tells the sweetest story straight from Barack's lips:
"On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate." President Barack Obama from an interview in "O," The Oprah Magazine, February 2007.
Most presidential monuments are devoted to wars or politics, but this one celebrates the first couple as people. People who still seem to share an unshakable love to this day.
Before You Visit: The Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Shop has since been replaced by a Subway restaurant, and is now co-located inside the Dunkin Donuts shop, in the same strip mall.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.
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