Stand up for the facts!

Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman April 21, 2021

No, Obama didn’t pose next to a 420 sign

If Your Time is short

  • The image was digitally altered. The original photograph was taken in Alaska in 2015 and shows that the sign’s number is 1961, not 420.

If you weren’t aware, April 20 is the unofficial-official holiday for marijuana and its fans.

And for years, every time the date rolls around a photo of former President Barack Obama appearing to pose next to a "420" sign pops up online.

"Happy 420 from the greatest president Ever!" wrote one Facebook user who shared the image.

But it’s not authentic. The sign was digitally altered to include 420.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

A reverse image search shows the original photograph was captured in Alaska, near Exit Glacier. It was posted on the Obama White House Instagram page on Sept. 2, 2015.

The area’s signs show how much the glacier has receded over time, with each marker representing its boundary throughout history. Obama is seen standing next to a sign with "1961" on it.

The caption reads: "The impacts of climate change are real, and the people of Alaska are living with them every day. It's never been more important for us to work together to address this challenge. -bo"

Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Samantha Putterman

No, Obama didn’t pose next to a 420 sign

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up