ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- It's a day no one in attendance is likely to forget, but for Rachel Tucker, this historic inauguration day is a memory she never thought she'd live to make.
The Alexandria woman has waited 106 years for this day to come, but she says it was well worth the wait.
This fall the then-105-year-old Alexandria woman headed to the polls to cast her ballot for Barack Obama. She stayed up late to see the election night returns come in, and when her candidate won, she was overwhelmed with emotion.
"Do you ever cry and couldn't help it? That's the way I was," she said the day after the election.
Imagine her excitement a few days ago when she was given tickets to the People's Inaugural Ball at the Marriott in downtown Washington. Thanks to the Stafford Foundation, she will be picked up in style in a limo Tuesday night. But one thing she won't be doing is dancing.
"I don't dance. Never danced in my life. No sir, no dancing," Tucker said.
Although she won't dance the night away, Tucker will take a stroll down memory lane Jan. 20. She has seen a lot in her life; she was born in the segregated South 1902, she grew up being told she was a second-class citizen. She still remembers the inspirational speeches delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tucker sees the same hope this year in Barack Obama.
"He's going to be a good president," she said. "He's going to try to do the best that he can."
Tucker has lived through 17 presidencies. She was born when Theodore Roosevelt was president. She has outlived two of her children; her only living son is 82 years old.
At 106, Tucker takes pride in her independence. She cleans her house, goes grocery shopping, cooks, washes her clothes, and attends bible study daily.
Tuesday, she will break from her routine for a party she thought she'd never see. She even knows what she will wear.
"I got my dress already picked. it's a pretty blue dress," Tucker said. "Lord, I know I'm gonna enjoy it."
She should. It's a moment she has waited a lifetime to see.