Desiline Victor received a standing ovation during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Cheered and honored for being the oldest individual ever invited to witness and hear a president lay out his agenda for the future in front of a joint session of congress, Victor was also distinguished for her determined effort to vote.
Born in Haiti in 1910, Victor could also be an example to politicians hesitant to further legislation regarding immigration.
She gushed as a Hall full of Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, and a myriad of politically ambitious individuals applauded her determination, endurance and spirited dedication to preserving democracy.
President Obama distinguished Victor’s example of Oct. 28, 2012, the first Sunday of early voting in Florida when she went to vote at her polling place inside a local library.
According to reports and the president’s account, when she arrived at 10:00 a.m., she was told she would have to stand in line for approximately six hours in order to cast a vote.
Determined to vote, Victor stood in line.
The centenarian was not deterred from her mission.
Reportedly, her bold stance encouraged some who were becoming weary, to stand with her throughout the long wait.
Finally, the eldest among them was able to vote and after casting her ballot emerged from the building wearing a “I Voted” sticker to confirm her deed.
Reportedly, the crowd of thousands of waiting voters erupted into applause.
Victor reportedly arrived in the United States in 1989. A naturalized U.S. citizen and a retired farm worker, Victor is now an indelible entry into U.S. history. She resides in North Miami and is allegedly known as “Granny” among the city’s Haitian community.
Youngest Oscar Nominee Marks Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed the youngest ever nominee for the best actress Academy Award and 80 middle and high school students to take part in an interactive student workshop with the cast and crew of the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
The first lady greeted Quvenzhané Wallis and members of the cast and crew of the film to share their experiences and answer questions from students.
The event took place on Feb. 13 in the State Dining Room, where the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) Executive Director Rachel Goslins moderated a discussion about the film, its production, and the inspirational themes within it that students can apply to their own lives.
Wallis made history at age nine when she was named the very, youngest to ever receive a best actress nomination for an Academy Award. Announced on Jan. 10 when she was distinguished for her role in the film, the news exploded throughout the globe when it was revealed that the nomination was also a first for her gender, age and race.
Wallis captured the role when she was only five-years-old.
She said the reason she auditioned was “I just wanted to try something.”
In order to get an opportunity to act she was told to lie about her age.
But she said when asked she just could not tell that lie and gave the number five as her true age.
First-time director Benh Zeitlin cast her anyway.
“This is my first film; this is her first film. We didn’t have any celebrities – there were no famous people involved in it in any way. And you just assume no one’s ever going to see it. And that’s what usually happens to films that don’t have something like that with them, but so many people championed it and have been moved by (Wallis’ character) Hushpuppy, and told people about it, and it’s traveled all over the world. It’s been the most moving and shocking experience I could imagine,” Zeitlin said. Now he and his young star are up for Academy Awards. He was nominated in the best director category and she is up against Naomi Watts (The Impossible); Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty); Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Emmanuelle Riva (Amour).
The 85th Academy Awards will air live Feb. 24, on ABC-TV.
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