President Obama makes history during India’s Republic Day festivals

World Today

U.S. President Barack Obama, second right and first lady Michelle Obama, left pose for photographs with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee during at the presidential palace in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. (AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday become the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day festivities.

A large crowd gathered in New Delhi to watch Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama, walk down the red carpet ahead of the celebrations, where they met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and watched the display of marching bands, dressed camels and the Indian military.

The Republic Day event is the centerpiece of Obama’s three-day visit to India, which is aimed at strengthening a relationship between the world’s largest democracies.

Obama’s attendance was unlike any other event he has participated in because of the unusual amount of time spent on an outdoor viewing platform, which concerned Secret Service security.

Republic Day marks the anniversary of India’s democratic constitution taking force in 1950.

Beyond the show of military power, the parade included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity.

This post was compiled with information from The Associated Press