A demonstrator questions the citizenship of President Obama at a Tea Party rally April 15, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. (Santa Monica, Californie, April 15, 2009)
Timeline of a persistent rumour
April 2008: Obama was born abroad, according to a rumour started by . . . a Democrat.
In the midst of the Democratic Party's presidential primaries, a Hillary Clinton supporter sent out an email claiming that the latter's main rival had been born in Kenya, which would disqualify him for the presidency. The rumour spread, adding to the rumour that Obama was Muslim.
June 12, 2008: Obama responds to the rumours
Barack Obama's campaign team posted his short-form birth certificate online. Sceptics immediately claimed the document was a fake and demanded to see the long-form version. Birtherism was born. The controversy grew after Obama was elected.
Fall 2008: Obama is Indonesian
The birthers advanced a new theory: Barack Obama was born in the US, but renounced his citizenship during his childhood when he moved to Indonesia, where he was adopted by his stepfather.
November 4, 2008: The affair comes before the courts
After Obama's election, citizens began proceedings to prevent him from taking oath, but they were dismissed.
August 2, 2009: A birther posts a fake Obama birth certificate
Orly Taitz posted a fake birth certificate showing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
March 1, 2011: America's “toughest sheriff” enters the fray
Known for his hard line against illegal immigrants, sheriff Joe Arpaio, from Maricopa County, in Arizona, stated his team of investigators had reason to believe that Barack Obama's birth certificate was a fake.
March 17, 2011: Donald Trump casts doubt on Barack Obama's birthplace
In an interview with the ABC network, billionaire and potential contender for the Republican nomination Donald Trump expressed his scepticism regarding the President's birthplace.
April 21, 2011: Americans have doubts about where Obama was born
According to a New York Times/CBS poll, 25% of American citizens (and 45% of Republican voters) believe Barack Obama was born abroad.
April 27, 2011: Obama responds to the rumours (again)
Barack Obama's team posted a copy of his long-form birth certificate, which also indicated that he was born in Hawaii. Once again, the birthers contested the validity of the document.
May 17, 2011: Where's the birth certificate?
In Where's the Birth Certificate?, Jerome Corsi contested President Obama's legitimacy. The book became a bestseller.