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While 2009 was not officially a State of the Union, since President Obama had not been in office for very long, he did address a joint session of Congress. This time, the newly minted first lady invited the following:

  • Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in an employment discrimination case and namesake for the president's first piece of legislation, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • Ty'Sheoma Bethea of Dillon, an eighth grader from South Carolina who had written the president asking for help for her school
  • Leonard Abess, a bank executive who had given part of his fortune to his employees
  • Akrem Muzemil and Francisco Rodriguez, DC high school students

The guests reflected the president's message of recovery and fairness for the start of his presidency.

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