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Year in Review 2016: A recap of Barack Obama’s last year as president of the United States

Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009. Not only was he the first president to be elected who was born outside the contiguous United States, but he was also the first African American to hold the top spot in the White House. This year, 2016, marks Obama’s last year as president before the new president-elect, Donald Trump, takes over.

These are some of Obama’s more memorable moments over his final 12 months in office:

Personable, humorous

There were no shortage of moments in 2016 where President Barack Obama was able to get a laugh, or a tear, whether at speaking engagements, ceremonies or just embarrassing his daughter while singing ‘happy birthday’ in front of a large crowd.

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At the end of his White House correspondents’ dinner this year, Obama finished his speech by thanking journalists for their hard work and dedication and reminded everyone that the dinner would be his last as president by dropping his microphone and telling them he was “out.”

In March, a host who had been interviewing Obama at the South by Southwest festival was wrapping the engagement up when Obama kindly told the interviewer that he was the president and could take another minute to finish his answer, to which the audience laughed.

WATCH: Barack Obama not ready to wrap-up speaking engagement

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Barack Obama not ready to wrap-up speaking engagement – Mar 11, 2016

 

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On Nov. 22, Obama presented his final Presidential Medal of Freedom to 20 people. Among those honoured was former NBA superstar Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who Obama pointed out was taller than him.

WATCH: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Obama laugh at height difference during Medal of Freedom ceremony

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Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Obama laugh at height difference during Medal of Freedom ceremony – Nov 22, 2016

 

Another notable recipient of the medal was comedian Ellen Degeneres who was unable to hold back tears as Obama thanked her for coming out as gay and her courage for doing it publicly.

WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres can’t hold back tears getting Medal of Freedom

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Ellen DeGeneres can’t hold back tears getting Medal of Freedom – Nov 22, 2016

 

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“From every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.”

Obama’s time in office will also be remembered by more serious moments, including when the president cried while remembering the young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting.

WATCH: President Obama breaks down in tears as he recalls victims of Sandy Hook shootings

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President Obama breaks down in tears as he recalls victims of Sandy Hook shootings – Jan 5, 2016

 

Malia Obama, the eldest of Barack Obama’s two daughters, celebrated her 18th birthday on July 4 and her father took a moment – in front of a large crowd – to sing happy birthday to her.

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WATCH: U.S. President Barack Obama sings ‘happy birthday’ to daughter

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U.S. President Barack Obama sings ‘happy birthday’ to daughter – Jul 4, 2016

 

Despite being one of the sports’ biggest stars, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel has been the centre of jokes for apparently not looking like a professional hockey player. Obama took a moment to poke fun at Kessel by congratulating him for finally winning the Stanley Cup.

WATCH: Obama trolls Phil Kessel during visit to The White House

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Obama trolls Phil Kessel during visit to The White House – Oct 6, 2016

 

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The Canadian connection, ‘bro-mance’ with PM Justin Trudeau

Obama’s relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caused a fury of headlines dedicated to their bro-mance when they first met. Including when Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire, to the White House in March.

WATCH: President Obama welcomes Prime Minister Trudeau to the White House

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President Obama welcomes Prime Minister Trudeau to the White House – Mar 10, 2016

 

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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. President Barack Obama wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore and his wife Ho Ching on the North Portico of the White House August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. The Obamas are hosting the prime minister and his wife for an official state dinner. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: In this handout provided by The White House, President Barack Obama, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Prince George at Kensington Palace on April 22, 2016 in London, England. The President and his wife are currently on a brief visit to the UK where they attended lunch with HM Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and later dinner with Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace. Mr Obama visited 10 Downing Street this afternoon and held a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron where he stated his case for the UK to remain inside the European Union. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images).
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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: U.S. President Barack Obama lifts Stella Munoz into the air while greeting guests on the South Lawn of the White House during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll March 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people attended the 138-year-old tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).
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US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama read Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" to children at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 28, 2016. Some 35,000 guests have been invited to participate in the 138th annual Easter Egg roll. The theme of the day's event is Let's Celebrate! / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images).
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TOPSHOT - US President Barack Obama (L) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd R) dance tango with dancers during a state dinner at the Kirchner Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires on March 23, 2016. The United States and Argentina sealed a major trade deal on the eve -the first day of President Barack Obama's visit- bolstering the efforts of his counterpart to end a decade-and-a-half of international financial isolation. AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images).
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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (2nd R), U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (2nd L) and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau wave to invited guests from the Truman Balcony of the White House after an arrival ceremony at the White House, March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. This is Trudeau's first trip to Washington since becoming Prime Minister. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
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US President Barack Obama holds a jersey while poseing with forward Draymond Green (L), Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (2nd R) and guard Shaun Livingston (R) during an event honoring the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors in the East Room of the White House on February 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images).
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 05: With tears running down his cheeks, U.S. President Barack Obama talks about the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and about his efforts to increase federal gun control in the East Room of the White House January 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Without approval from Congress, Obama is sidestepping the legislative process with executive actions to expand background checks for some firearm purchases and step up federal enforcement of existing gun laws. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).
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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 13: U.S. President Barack Obama blows a bubble from a bubble wand made with a 3D printer by nine-year old Jacob Leggette while touring exhibits at the White House Science Fair April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Leggette, of Baltimore, Maryland wanted to take on the Digital Harbor Foundation's MiniMakers challenge, but faced the practical problem of not having a 3D printer. Jacob wrote letters to different printer companies, asking if they would donate a 3D printer in return for feedback on how easily a then-eight-year-old could use their device. His sales pitch worked, and he has been creating toys and games ever since. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).
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US President Barack Obama orders during a stop at Torchy's Tacos on March 11, 2016 in Austin, Texas. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images).

 

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Another star-studded moment between the two couples was when they arrived to the state dinner at the White House.

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Barack Obama arrive for state dinner

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Barack Obama arrive for state dinner – Mar 10, 2016

 

And then in late June, Trudeau welcomed the president to Canada, where Obama took the moment to address members of parliament inside the House of Commons. Upon arrival, MPs gave Obama a standing ovation and chanted “four more years.”

WATCH: ‘Four more years!’: MPs chant they want Obama to serve another term as president

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‘Four more years!’: MPs chant they want Obama to serve another term as president – Jun 29, 2016

 

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The 2016 campaign trial, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

With 2016 being Obama’s last year as president, it meant the American people would have to decide who’d they want to succeed him. Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee, while the GOP endorsed Donald Trump as their Republican candidate.

 

When Donald Trump was named the presidential nominee for the Republican Party, Obama didn’t seem afraid to voice his opinion about how “unfit” he thought the billionaire was for the job during a news conference at the White House in August.

WATCH: Obama calls Trump ‘unfit’ for president, calls out Republican critics

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Obama calls Trump ‘unfit’ for president, calls out Republican critics – Aug 2, 2016

 

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“There has never been a man, or a woman…more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.”

Obama spoke to a large crowd at the Democratic National Convention in July about why he thought Clinton was the right choice to take the top spot at the White House, saying she would fight for the American people and “never, ever quits.”

WATCH: ‘There has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president’: Obama during DNC

Click to play video: '‘There has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president’: Obama during DNC' ‘There has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president’: Obama during DNC
‘There has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president’: Obama during DNC – Jul 27, 2016

 

When the race between Clinton and Trump began to tighten, Obama started to campaign with Clinton and during  a rally in November, Obama mentioned that he read Trump had his Twitter account taken away. Obama told the crowd that “if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes.”

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WATCH: ‘If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes’: Obama on Trump

Click to play video: '‘If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes’: Obama on Trump' ‘If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes’: Obama on Trump
‘If somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes’: Obama on Trump – Nov 6, 2016

 

On Nov. 8, 2016, what was believed to have been an easy win for Clinton turned out to be a shocking victory for Trump. And in November, Obama and Trump met for the first time to discuss the transition.

WATCH: President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump hold transition meeting at White House

Click to play video: 'President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump hold transition meeting at White House' President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump hold transition meeting at White House
President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump hold transition meeting at White House – Nov 10, 2016

 

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U.S. President Barack Obama’s last full day in office is Jan. 19, 2017.

 

With files from Alexander Maveal

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