Los Angeles will make history Saturday when it formally changes the name of Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard in honor of America’s first African American president.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation released a video showing how officials were making the signs, stamped “Obama Bl,” which will replace the old Rodeo Road street signs in South L.A.
What is changing?
Rodeo Road — not to be confused with Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills — is a 3.5-mile residential street in the predominantly African American Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood. The street intersects with King Boulevard, named after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “creating one of the most significant African American points of interest in the country,” according to the street festival event site for the name change. King Boulevard used to be called Santa Barbara Avenue until that name was changed in the 1980s.
Obama Boulevard will further establish a “presidential row” that includes Washington, Adams and Jefferson boulevards.
How to celebrate
Along with the unveiling of the road’s new name, Councilman Herb Wesson will host a street festival May 4, with music performances, vendors and food trucks at the intersection of the new Obama Boulevard (currently Rodeo Road) and west Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The name change was first suggested by Wesson in 2017. In his proposal, the councilman noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex on Rodeo Road in 2007 when running for president.
Additional details about the Obama Boulevard street party can be found online.
What other ties does Obama have in California?
A stretch of the 134 Freeway in Eagle Rock was recently named after Obama.
Obama attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock in 1979 before transferring to Columbia University in 1981.
In California alone, several schools have been named after the 44th president. And in the Monterey Bay town of Seaside, city leaders designated a key street there as Obama Way.