DC's Favorite Centenarian Celebrates Birthday With Globetrotters, Schoolchildren

WASHINGTON — Virginia McLaurin has still got it!

The Washingtonian, who turned 108 on Sunday, danced a little jig Monday in anticipation of an event with members of the Harlem Globetrotters and children from Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School in the District’s Brightwood neighborhood.

At the celebration honoring McLaurin’s birthday, she was asked about her 2016 meeting with President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama that skyrocketed her to rock star status after a video of McLaurin dancing with the Obamas went viral.

McLaurin told the children she never dreamed there’d be a black president.

“I didn’t think that’d ever happen in my life,” McLaurin said. “I was so happy.”

She described living through segregation and not being allowed to enter or leave buildings through the front door. “But, now we’re all together,” McLaurin said.

“And she’s exactly right,” said Harlem Globetrotter Buckets Blakes.

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D.C. resident Virginia McLaurin speaks with Diane Cottman, executive director of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School, during a birthday celebration for McLaurin on Monday, March 13, 2017. McLaurin turned 108 a day earlier. (WTOP\/Kristi King)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"


Virginia McLaurin dances a jig in anticipation of meeting the Harlem Globetrotters on Monday, March 13, 2017. (WTOP\/Kristi King)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"


Buckets Blakes and Hoops Green, the 15th woman to join the Globetrotters in the team’s 91-year history, joined \u00a0McLaurin to visit children at LAMB Public Charter School on Monday, March 13, 2017. (WTOP\/Kristi King)\n"},{"type":"photo","media":"


Children sang “Happy Birthday” for McLaurin in both English and Spanish at the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School. (WTOP\/Kristi King)\n"},{"type":"ad","media":"


Harlem Globetrotter Buckets Blakes holds a framed card signed by every student at LAMB Public Charter School in Northwest. Virginia McLaurin said her apartment is full of flowers and cards from her 108th birthday celebration on Sunday. (WTOP\/Kristi King)\n"}], previews: [{"index":0,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/McLaurin_SKL_kki-260x174.jpg"},{"index":1,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/McLaurin-animated-260x174.gif"},{"index":2,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/McLaurin_SMILE_kki-260x174.jpg"},{"index":3,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/McLaurin_GROUP_kki-260x174.jpg"},{"index":5,"src":"http:\/\/wtop.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2017\/03\/McLaurin_CARD_kki-260x174.jpg"}], prev: "\t", next: "\t" };

“We’re at a bilingual school with a rainbow of beautiful kids, teachers and staff,” Blakes said to enthusiastic applause.

“We’ve come a long way. Women have come a long way,” said Hoops Green, the 15th woman to join the Globetrotters’ in the exhibition team’s 91-year history. “It’s a blessing to be here and to be a part of this.”

Green encouraged the children to dream big.

“Women can do anything we want to do. If we put our minds to it we can do whatever we want,” Green said.

McLaurin attended the celebration in a wheelchair, but interacted with those gathered with energetic vigor. When Blakes and Green surprised McLaurin with the gift of an official Harlem Globetrotters basketball, she squealed with delight.

“The fact that she’s here celebrating her birthday and still volunteering with children is incredible,” said Diane Cottman, executive director of

LAMB Public Charter School. “She is a blessing for all of us.”

Cottman said McLaurin is older than the school’s historic Missouri Avenue building that is listed among local and national historic registries.

The Globetrotters donated 108 tickets in McLaurin’s name so children could see the team play this weekend at the Verizon Center.

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