First Lady Gets Chicago-Style Birthday Surprise

Friends and family from home celebrate her 46th birthday

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM CDT
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President Barack Obama waves to onlookers as he and first lady Michelle Obama left a surprise birthday dinner in Washington to celebrate her 46th birthday on January 17th.

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On the eve of First Lady Michelle Obama's 46th birthday, her hometown family and friends surprised her at a Washington restaurant.

The special date night for the First Couple may have been in the 20008 zip code but the company was decidedly a 60611 kind of crowd.

As President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama walked into Nora Restaurant, known as the first certified organic eatery in the country, they were greeted by her mother Marian Robinson, White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife Sharon Malone, special adviser to the President Eric Whitaker and his wife, Cheryl.

Michelle Obama wore a black, long-sleeved dress while the president was in a gray suit -- sans a tie.

Last week, Mrs. Obama told reporters she was sorry for not spending more time in Chicago but the Sasha and Malia's schedules prevented them from getting back to their Hyde Park home.

The presidential surprise came a day early because Obama was scheduled to be in Massachusetts Sunday to campaign for Martha Coakley, who is trying win race against Scott Brown for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat. 

Last year, Mrs. Obama spent her birthday on a train from Philadelphia to Washington, as the couple made their way to the Capitol for his inauguration.

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