Updated: February 23, 2016, 9:34 AM ET
Overnight Internet sensation, 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin – who grew up picking and shucking cotton in South Carolina – says she can die with a smile on her face after meeting President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, writes the Washington Post.
The meeting, two years in the making, came Thursday during a Black History Month celebration at the White House. The event was attended by lawmakers, celebrities, activists, community leaders, and members of the media.
In 2014, a friend submitted a petition requesting the meeting at the White House with a note from McLaurin, who lives in Washington, D.C. “I know you are a busy man, but I wish I could meet you,” she said, writes the Post. “I would love to meet you. I could come to your house to make things easier. I pray to the Lord that I would be able to meet you one day.”
The Post interviewed her after the encounter:
“I was so happy to meet the Black president,” she said. “I was so happy to shake his hand, and his wife was so nice. It was the joy of my entire life. I can die smiling now.”
McLaurin was born in South Carolina in 1909 at a time when slavery was still a fresh memory and African American kids in the South didn’t go to school past eighth grade. She married young, just 13, a fact she’s bashful to share. She lived briefly with her husband in northern New Jersey before he was killed in a bar brawl, and she moved to Washington to be with her sister in 1939.
She had two children — her son has since passed, and her daughter is 83 years old — and did domestic work for families in Silver Spring, Md. She also managed a laundry shop when women weren’t allowed to handle the men’s suits.
We’re so proud of the president and First Lady for meeting with McLaurin. She more than deserved it.
SOURCE: Washington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Washington Post
Virginia McLaurin, of Washington, D.C., has lived to see a lot of things during her 106 years on earth, but never did she expect to pay a visit to the White House.
Well, she did last week, during a Black History Month celebration, hosted on Thursday by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Goodness, did she celebrate – shimmying as she held both their hands and sang their praises.
“She’s 106?” the president can be heard asking in a video that was uploaded to the White House’s Facebook page late Sunday. By 8:30 a.m. Monday, the video received 21 million views.
“No, you are not,” the first lady joked, adding: “I want to be like you when I grow up.”
From the Washington Post:
“I thought I would never live to get in the White House,” said McLaurin, who was born in 1909 in South Carolina, worked as a seamstress for most of her life and has been a widow for more than 70 years.
But her amazement went beyond merely making it inside the hallowed building. She was particularly bowled over to be meeting America’s first African American president.
“I tell you, I am so happy,” she said, looking up at Obama before turning to the first lady. “A black president, yay, and his black wife.”
The Post reports that the meeting occurred after more than a year of social media campaigns, including submitting a petition to the White House asking to meet with the president.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Facebook
21 Of President Barack Obama's Best Photos Of 2015
1. JANUARY: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address with the support of vice president Joe Biden. Obama gained mass support after his joke about winning both terms.Source:Getty 1 of 21
2. JANUARY: President Barack Obama has an adorable moment with Akira Cooper at the Community Children's Center, one of the nation's oldest Head Start providers, in Lawrence, Kan.Source:Pete Souza 2 of 21
3. JANUARY: President Obama greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arrival at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India.Source:Pete Souza 3 of 21
4. JANUARY: President Barack Obama greets neighbors after visiting a model home at the Nueva Villas at Beverly, a single-family housing development owned by local nonprofit organization Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz.Source:Pete Souza 4 of 21
5. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama fakes a jump shot during an Affordable Care Act video taping for BuzzFeed in the White House Library. The video went viral thanks to jokes about his presidency and ultra-cool swag.Source:Pete Souza 5 of 21
6. FEBRUARY: Obama pals around with one of his biggest supporters, vice president Joe Biden. While he chose not to run in the 2016 presidential election, Obama said he would be in his corner.Source:Pete Souza 6 of 21
7. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama talks with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet as "Humans of New York" founder Brandon Stanton photographs during a blog interview in the Oval Office. Obama was greatly inspired by Chastanet's comments on the popular "Humans of New York" Instagram page, where he shared his troubles finding courage in school and and life despite living in a dangerous area of Brooklyn, NY.Source:Pete Souza 7 of 21
8. MARCH: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join hands with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. as they lead the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Ala., March 7, 2015. Malia and Sasha Obama join hands with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.Source:Pete Souza 8 of 21
9. MARCH: Obama is a classic man as he puts on a green tie in observance of St. Patrick's Day.Source:Pete Souza 9 of 21
10. MARCH: President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.Source:Pete Souza 10 of 21
11. APRIL: During the Correspondents' Dinner, his anger translator - played by Key & Peele comedian Keegan-Michael Key - helped Obama get out his biggest frustrations.Source:Pete Souza 11 of 21
12. APRIL: President Obama arrives in Jamaica to meet with the 15-member Caribbean Community. His trip marked a first for the sitting president and second since the country's independence.Source:Getty 12 of 21
13. APRIL: Obama speaks with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office.Source:Pete Souza 13 of 21
14. JUNE: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen talking during the president's trip to the G7Summit in Bavaria, Germany.Source:Getty 14 of 21
15. JUNE: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service. Clementa was one of the nine victims who died after suspected shooter Dylann Roof entered the AME church and opened fire.Source:Getty 15 of 21
16. SEPTEMBER: President Obama is featured on the popular show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." Obama took the trip to highlight the importance of climate control.Source:Getty 16 of 21
17. SEPTEMBER: The First Couple serve as "love goals" at the White House's state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on controlling climate change and a mutual outlook on cyber security.Source:Getty 17 of 21
18. OCTOBER: President Obama meets with Ahmed Mohamed, the student who was detained by Texas police for his homemade clock. The president stood by the teen, who many believe was the victim of Islamophobia.Source:Getty 18 of 21
19. NOVEMBER: President Obama issues a warning to his critics who "pop off" at his policies towards Syrian refugees. Speaking at the OP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Obama welcomed his Republican critics to the White House to lay down their own policies. No one has responded.Source:Getty 19 of 21
20. DECEMBER: President Obama addresses the public from the Oval Office regarding the San Bernardino shooting.Source:Getty 20 of 21
21. DECEMBER: All grown up! The First Family, including Obama's mother-in-law Marian Robinson, is seen at the White House's national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.Source:Getty 21 of 21
“I Can Die Smiling Now,” 106-Year-Old Woman Says After Meeting Obamas At The White House was originally published on newsone.com