DC's Favorite Centenarian Gets a Special Message from Michelle Obama on Her 110th Birthday

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 13, 2019
12:00 P.M.

In February 2016, when Barack and Michele Obama were still President and First Lady of the US, Virginia McLaurin visited the White House to meet them. Even though she’s over 100-years-old, the elderly woman was able to show off her dance moves.


One would think the former presidential couple has forgotten all about her, but on her birthday, Michelle took to Instagram to honor the centenarian.

Former first lady Michelle Obama, took to Instagram on Tuesday to wish Virginia McLaurin, 110, a happy birthday. McLaurin is also known as “Grandma Virginia” or “D.C.’s favorite centenarian.”


Michelle paid tribute to the elderly woman by posting a throwback photograph of them dancing together three years ago at the White House. In the festive image, her husband, Barack Obama, was seen smiling as he looked on.

The former first lady captioned the post, “Still dancing at 110 years old—happy birthday, Virginia!” McLaurin was born in Cheraw, South Carolina on March 12, 1909.

The centenarian initially made headlines when she traveled to the Blue Room for Black History Month in February 2016. There she got to meet the Obamas for the first time and received warm hugs from the couple.


During the meeting, Michelle told her, “I want to be like you when I grow up,” to which McLaurin replied, “You can.” The elderly woman also told the couple, “I thought I would never live to get in the White House, and I tell you I am so happy. A black president and a black wife. And I’m here to celebrate black history.”

From henceforth, McLaurin has had exciting and busy birthday celebrations. When she turned 107, she celebrated with the Harlem Globetrotters and has since joined them again on her other birthdays.


The centenarian also attended her first Major League Baseball game. The Washington Nationals presented her with her own jersey featuring the number 107, to honor her 107th birthday.

Last year she also got to celebrate with the students at Brightwood Elementary School in Northwest Washington. This year won’t be any different.

She plans on having a meal at her local TGI Friday’s with family and others in her church. Speaking during an interview, she said:


“They feel like maybe it’s too much for me. They said we want to keep her as long as we can. As far as I can see, I’m the oldest thing in the District.”

She’s been a Washington, D.C. resident since 1941. While blowing out her birthday cake candles, she revealed: "For my birthday, I wish I could meet the Mayor (Muriel Bowser). She adopted a girl, and I adopted a boy."

In December 2014, McLaurin had recorded a video message to Barack saying, “I would love to meet [him] … I didn’t think I’d ever live to see a colored president. I am so happy, I pray for you every day of my life.”


Her dream came true and she’s still in awe of the experience:

“I met a black president and a black wife. That’s me. I was so scared because I was raised in the South. I didn’t know what to do.”

If she’s lucky and her wish comes true, she might get to meet Bowser.

Someone who isn’t a big fan of Michelle’s is actress and comedienne Roseanne Barr. In May last year, she was fired from the “Roseanne” reboot after tweeting a controversial post about Valerie Jarrett, Barack’s senior adviser.


Barr has blamed her firing by former ABC programming chief Channing Dungey, on everything under the sun including the former first lady. The actress claimed Michelle had asked Dungey to let her go.

The actress alleged:

“(Michelle Obama) said: ‘This tweet is unforgivable.’ That’s what I was told, and I tend to believe it because the woman who fired me is now working with the Obamas at Netflix.”

The Obamas signed a “multi-year agreement to produce films and series” with Netflix, and Dungey, who left ABC in December 2018. Dungey has since moved to Netflix as the vice-president of original content.

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