DC’s Famous Centenarian, Virginia McLaurin, Who Danced With the Obamas, Dies at 113
The longtime Washington, D.C. resident had been under hospice care for a few days, her family announced on her Facebook page. McLaurin died at home on the morning of Monday, Nov. 14.
“She lived an incredibly full life and appreciated all the love she received from people on this FB page and everywhere she went. (Before the pandemic that is—for the past few years she largely stayed inside.),” the post shared.
On Feb. 28, 2016, the South Carolina native got to fulfill her dream of visiting the White House and meeting the Obamas. The trio danced together in the Blue Room prior to a reception celebrating Black History Month. The video clip garnered international attention and the rest is history.
“I thought I would never live to get in the White House,” McLaurin once said, according to a White House blog. “And I tell you, I am so happy. A black president! A black wife! And I’m here to celebrate black history. Yeah, that’s what I’m here for.”
The White House discovered McLaurin after she started recording short oral history interviews about her life growing up as a sharecropper in the early 1900s and coming to D.C. during the Great Migration. She also volunteered 40 hours a week at schools following her retirement.
Rest in peace, Virginia. We know you’re up there dancing. pic.twitter.com/y31XQ8MdPC
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 15, 2022
Following the visit to the White House, she volunteered as a UPO foster grandparent and collaborated with other tenants in the fight for quality living conditions. She was also honored by the D.C. Council in the Council Chamber with a Ceremonial Resolution on her 107th birthday, per WJLA.
A GoFundMe was created on behalf of McLaurin’s son Felipe Cardoso to assist with memorial services. Out of the $40,000 goal, nearly $6,000 has been collected.