Hoax Alert: President Obama did NOT declare India's Diwali A U.S. Holiday

  • by: Alan Duke

A lot of Americans mistakenly think they have a new national holiday to celebrate because of a trending video posted on YouTube that's actually six years old. The caption purports that President Obama recently declared that India's Diwali observance to be a national holiday in the United States. Not true.

A look at the president himself is a major hint that something's wrong. Obama has hardly a gray hair on his head, suggesting that the video was recorded early in his presidency. He know is almost fully gray.

In fact, the video from an October 14, 2009, event in the White House East Room. But what Obama signed was not a holiday declaration, but an executive order "reestablishing the President's Advisory Commission and White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders," according to the transcript posted on the White House website.

The version posted online omits that important info. It only includes Obama's remarks noting that "Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists" in the United States were about to observe Diwali, which is a festival of lights observed on the 15th day of the month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar.

In observance, Obama lit a candle known as a Diya, which he said "celebrates a victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance." Apparently it didn't work for everyone.

Lead Stories' Trendolizer scours social nets for trending content about Obama. Scroll down to see the latest.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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