District of Columbia Resident Celebrates 103rd Birthday

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Washington, DC —Dorothy Boggess celebrated her 103rd birthday on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members honored the centenarian with a drive-through celebration at 1 p.m. at the corners of Tamarack ST NW and Verbena St NW in Washington, D.C.

Boggess is a 79-year resident of the District of Columbia. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Kentucky State College, Boggess served as one of the original five African American “War Girls,” when she was recruited to work in a typing pool at the United States War Department in the 1940s. While in D.C., Boggess completed her Master of Social Work at Howard University and met her husband of 73 years, George Boggess. Mr. Boggess passed away at 104-years-old in 2016.

Early in her career, Boggess briefly moved back to Kentucky to serve as the first African American social worker at Louisville’s General Hospital. Ultimately, she retired in Washington, D.C. as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Her early career is documented in “American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C. 1941-1981” written by Frederick W. Gooding.

Together, Boggess’ traveled to all 50 States and 33 foreign countries. Their travels in the early 1950s during segregation were met with challenges when trying to find lodging. On several occasions, they rested in their car and ate at the local railway and bus stations. Mrs. Boggess’ travels led to a published book titled “I Wish You Were Here.”

Dorothy Boggess has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for 81 years and is an active member of Xi Omega Chapter in Washington, D.C.