A dream came true earlier this week for Virginia McLaurin, 106, when she visited the White House and met President Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama. The meeting was arranged as part of Black History Month celebrations. The unstoppable McLaurin raised both arms jubilantly in the air and exclaimed after being introduced to the president, before proceeding at pace across the room, in spite of her walking stick, to Mrs Obama, as the president cautioned McLaurin to “slow down, slow down!”
After the three of them shared a little dance, McLaurin got serious, expressing her surprise and pleasure at not only making it inside the White House in her lifetime, but at also being in the presence of a black president. “And I tell you, I am so happy,” she said. “A black president. A black wife. And I’m here to celebrate black history. That’s what I’m here for.”
“You have just made our day, you know that?” the first lady told McLaurin. “That energy. Man.”
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McLaurin was born in 1909 in South Carolina and moved to Washington D.C. in 1941, where she’s lived ever since. In a video made on January 22, McLaurin reminisces about her childhood and discusses her plans to take care of herself — despite an offer of help from her son — during a crippling snowstorm forecast to hit her city. “I told him he could wait on me when I can’t wait on myself,” she said, explaining she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone else, and prays daily for her mind to remain sharp.
McLaurin will turn 107 on March 12.