Virginia McLaurin, a centenarian who danced enthusiastically with President Barack Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama, has passed away. She was 113 years old. Felipe Cardoso Jr. McLaurin’s father, reported Tuesday that his mother died at home in Olney Maryland.
The Obamas posted on Twitter, “Rest in Peace Virginia.” “We know that you are up there dancing.”
McLaurin, who was 106 years old, visited the White House in February 2016 for a Black History Month reception. McLaurin exclaimed, “Hi!” as she was introduced by the president.
Obama asked, “Would you like to say hello to Michelle?” McLaurin replied, “Yes!” and quickly gave the first lady a hug. The president said, “Slow down!” “Don’t go too quick.”
As they began to dance together, McLaurin held McLaurin’s hand. She said, “I believed I would never be able to live to see the White House.” “And I tell ya, I’m so happy.” Black wife! I’m here for Black history. Yes, that’s why I’m here.
The video quickly went viral online and received international news coverage. McLaurin stated to reporters that he could not wait to die happy after the brief encounter.
McLaurin’s visit to 2016 was organized by a friend, Deborah Menkart. Menkart said that it had radically changed her life. McLaurin was “very frugal” at the time, but her fame prompted people to contribute to McLaurin’s care fund. Menkart stated that McLaurin got a new hairstyle, new teeth and was able move into a better apartment.
McLaurin was later presented with a team jersey at a Washington Nationals game.
McLaurin used her fame to help others. McLaurin was born in South Carolina on March 12, 1909. She didn’t have a birth certificate and had never been able to obtain an ID card. Menkart suggested that they contact the Washington Post and the mayor’s offices shortly after McLaurin visited the White House. The Post interviewed McLaurin and published a story. Washington city officials quickly issued her a temporary ID card and announced new regulations that give residents older than 70 more options for getting IDs.
Menkart stated that McLaurin’s retirement was a turning point in her life. She spent many decades volunteering at schools. According to the Obama White House archives she was a foster grandparent, mentor and tutor to students with special needs, helping them to improve their reading skills and social skills.
Cardoso stated that she was “just so carefree.” “She believed that her secret to happiness was to not worry. She never let anything worry her.” She didn’t give it any thought.
Cardoso stated that McLaurin adopted him at the age of 3. He said that McLaurin loved and cared about everyone. Cardoso stated that funeral arrangements are being made.