Heartfelt Eulogy Delivered By Obama At Dorothy Height Funeral

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At the Dorothy Height funeral in Washington D.C. Thursday, President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy. Before he spoke at the service held in the Washington National Cathedral, he issued an executive order directing that the American flag fly at half staff on land and at sea worldwide. Dorothy Height’s biography shows her as the leading female voice of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Until last year, Dorothy Height took part in discussions about health care at the White House and still continued her activism with civil rights well into her 90s. She was at the Howard University Hospital. Dorothy Height died on April 20. She was 98 years.

At the funeral for Dorothy Height

At the Dorothy Height funeral at Washington National Cathedral, President Obama supposedly lightened the reverent mood with a fondly humorous portrait of the feisty Ms. Height that often drew laughter from the audience, according to the New York Times. Obama also explained the Height had made 21 visits to the white house just since his inauguration. “We did come to know her during the early days of my campaign, and we came to love her as so many loved her,” the president said. “We loved her stories, and her smile and those hats.” Dorothy Height’s trademark look was her outfits being matched with big, brightly colored hats.

Presidential Honor for Dorothy Height

Obama’s eulogy at the Dorothy Height funeral and executive flag order aren’t the first time Dorothy Height’s civil rights devotion has been honored by the President of the United States. Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. In 2004, Height was awarded by George W. Bush the Congressional Gold Medal. The Associated Press says that when Bush gave her the medal, he said that Height had met with every U.S. president since Eisenhower, and “she’s told every president what she thinks since Dwight David Eisenhower.”

Dorothy Height biography

Part of Dorothy Heights biography is that she marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. At the march on Washington in 1963, she was on the platform at the Lincoln Memorial, sitting only a few feet from King, when he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Dorothy Height’s civil rights activism was underscored by all of her leadership of the National Council of Negro Women that she did for 40 years, from 1957 to 1997. Height also started programs to help poor rural families raise their own livestock and worked to ease racial tensions with a program called “Wednesdays in Mississippi,” in which black and white women from the north would travel to meet with their Southern counterparts.

Dorothy Height and her legacy

It was noted that Height was considered by historians and civil rights activists as one of the last links to the social activism of the New Deal era of Franklin D. Roosevelt by the New York Times. Her career spanned most of one century and part of another, in which she witnessed events ranging from anti-lynching protests to the inauguration of President Obama. After Obama won the election, Height was overwhelmed with emotion as she told Washington TV station WTTG.

“People ask me, did I ever dream it would happen, and I said, if you didn’t have the dream, you couldn’t have worked on it,” she said.


New York Times

Dorothy Height’s trademark look


“I have a dream” speech

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