Virginia McLaurin

106-year-old Virginia McLaurin dances to celebrate visit to White House

WASHINGTON — Virginia McLaurin’s enthusiasm for meeting President Obama seemed matched only by her joy at meeting his wife, grabbing First Lady Michelle Obama’s hand and doing a jitterbug — or was it the Charleston? — in the White House.

McLaurin’s energetic performance would have been just another day at the White House, except for this: McLaurin is 106 years old.

Obama could be seen keeling over in laughter in a made-for-social-media video produced by the White House and posted on Facebook Sunday. “Slow down, now! Don’t go to quick,” Obama said. “You gotta! You slow down!”

“What’s the secret to still dancing at one-oh-six?” he asked McLaurin as she danced hand-in-hand with Michelle.

“Just keep moving,” McLaurin said.

McLaurin’s visit — apparently during Friday’s Black History Month reception — was no chance meeting. Instead, it was a culmination of a 14-month petition campaign to get the White House to invite her.

“I’ve never met a president. I didn’t think I would live to see a colored president because I was born in the South and didn’t think it would happen,” Mclaurin wrote the White House. “I pray to the Lord that I would be able to meet you one day.”

That chance finally came last week.

“Yes sir,” the Washington, D.C. widow told Obama. “I thought I would never live to get in the White House. 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.”

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