Virginia McLaurin, the centenarian who danced excitedly with President Barack Obama and first girl Michelle Obama throughout a 2016 White House go to, has died. She was 113.
McLaurin’s son, Felipe Cardoso Jr., stated Tuesday that she died early Monday at her residence in Olney, Maryland.
“Rest in peace, Virginia,” the Obamas wrote on Twitter. “We know you’re up there dancing.”
McLaurin visited the White House for a Black History Month reception in February 2016, when she was 106.
“Hi!” McLaurin squealed as she was launched to the president.
“You wish to say hello to Michelle?” Obama requested.
“Yes!” McLaurin stated, transferring rapidly to provide the first girl a hug.
“Slow down now!” the president stated. “Don’t go too fast.”
The girls then held fingers as they went into an impromptu dance, the president holding McLaurin’s arm.
“I believed I’d by no means dwell to get in the White House,” she stated. “And I let you know, I’m so completely satisfied.
“A Black president. A Black spouse! And I’m right here to rejoice Black historical past. Yeah, that’s what I’m right here for.”
Video of the encounter rapidly unfold on-line, garnering worldwide information protection. After the transient assembly, McLaurin instructed reporters: “I may simply die completely satisfied.”
Deborah Menkart, a good friend who helped prepare McLaurin’s 2016 go to, stated it dramatically modified her life. She stated McLaurin was dwelling “very frugally” at the time however her fame spurred individuals to donate to a care fund for her.
“She received a brand new wig, she received new tooth, she was in a position to transfer to a greater condo,” Menkart stated.
Later that 12 months McLaurin appeared at a Washington Nationals baseball recreation and was offered with a staff jersey on the subject.
McLaurin additionally used her fame to assist others.
Born March 12, 1909, in South Carolina with out a beginning certificates, McLaurin had been unable to get an ID card. Shortly after the White House go to, Menkart urged they contact the mayor’s workplace and the Washington Post, which interviewed her and printed a narrative.
Washington metropolis officers quickly issued her a brief card and introduced new laws giving residents 70 and older extra choices to get IDs.
“It modified her life for not solely herself, but additionally the clout she had,” Menkart stated.
A sharecropper’s daughter, McLaurin spent many years upon retirement doing volunteer work at colleges. According to the Obama White House archives, she was a foster grandparent and a mentor to special-needs college students, serving to youngsters with studying and social abilities.
“She was simply so carefree,” Cardoso stated. “She stated her secret to life was to not fear, so she by no means let issues fear her. She simply didn’t pay it no thoughts.”
Cardoso stated McLaurin adopted him when he was 3.
“She liked and cared for everyone,” he stated. “She undoubtedly had an enormous coronary heart for the children.”
Cardoso stated funeral preparations have been pending.