Three D.C. area besties, Ruth Chatman Hammett, Gladys Ware Butlerand, Bernice Grimes Underwood, celebrated their 100th year of life over the weekend at a ceremony at Zion Baptist Church, The Washington Post reports. All three were born in June or July of 1916.
It was a full-circle moment for the women who met as kids at the original location of the church. They played childhood games together, and as adults they even had children at the same time! Three gave birth in the same year — 1933. They also witnessed Martin Luther King, Jr. speak, and comforted each other as they buried husbands and children.
The friends had to mourn their fourth best friend, Leona Barnes, who would’ve turned 100 in May. They paid tribute to her, though, by having a large portrait of her sitting in the pew next to them.
“This was so exciting and joyful,” Bernice said of her birthday party.
The pals got a special “happy birthday” from Oprah Winfrey herself, who said she had never seen anything like this.
“The things you must have seen over the last century,” Oprah said. “I don’t know what to say.”
From being born without the right to vote, to potentially seeing the first woman elected to the White House, what an amazing life of change and friendship these women have experienced together.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty