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Image description:  Beginnings of a beard. This is the earliest photograph of Lincoln that shows the legendary President with his iconic beard. After his November 6, 1860 election, he began to let it grow, perhaps on the advice of an eleven-year-old girl. Less than three weeks after his victory, he sat for this portrait by Samuel G. Altschuler. Abraham Lincoln was born on this day in 1809.
Image from the Library of Congress.

Image description: Beginnings of a beard. This is the earliest photograph of Lincoln that shows the legendary President with his iconic beard. After his November 6, 1860 election, he began to let it grow, perhaps on the advice of an eleven-year-old girl. Less than three weeks after his victory, he sat for this portrait by Samuel G. Altschuler. Abraham Lincoln was born on this day in 1809.

Image from the Library of Congress.

Asked by Anonymous

Who is in charge of the qualifying of candidates for the various parties to become president of the United States and who is responsible for making sure that candidate is a valid "naturally born" United States citizen?

The Constitution lists only three qualifications for Presidential candidates: the person must be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

The guidelines that candidates must follow in order to qualify for elections differ from state to state, according to a Congressional Research Service report (PDF). Generally, candidates for President must file a statement of candidacy with the secretary of the state or the state’s party chair. In some states, the Secretary of State may automatically certify candidate names for the ballot by other methods. Presidential candidates may also be required to pay a filing fee, submit petitions, gather signatures, or perform all of these actions.

Find your state’s elections website to learn more about how they qualify Presidential candidates for the ballot.

Asked by Anonymous

Where can I find the full state of Union address by President Obama to the nation?

You can read President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address on the White House website.

This colorful poster illustrates the steps someone would need to take to become the President of the United States. Order free copies to hang in classrooms, libraries or even your kids’ bedrooms. 

Ask President Obama a Question

President Obama will hold the first ever Twitter Town Hall this afternoon at 2:00pm ET. Anytime today, ask President Obama a question about jobs or the economy on Twitter, using the hashtag #AskObama; then follow @townhall for updates.

You will also be able to follow the live stream from the White House as Obama answers questions from across the country in a live event moderated by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Learn more about how to participate and watch Obama answer your questions.