Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation to commemorate today as “Dorothy Irene Height Day” to commemorate the life and legacy of the late civil rights icon on what would have been her 99th birthday.
During her lifetime, Dr. Height was one of the most prominent female leaders in the civil and human rights movement and a trusted advisor to many, including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and President Barack Obama.
Dr. Height, who passed away on April 10, 2010, had a lifelong commitment to civil rights and women’s rights. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal by President George W. Bush in 2004. In December 2010, Obama signed a bill to name the U.S. post office on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Dorothy I. Height Post Office. It’s the first federal building in the capital to be named for an African-American woman.
In a eulogy, Obama said Dr. Height’s life was “a life lived righteously; a life that lifted other lives; a life that changed this country for the better over the course of nearly one century here on Earth.”
Dr. Height chaired The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for more than 15 years and was also a recipient of The Leadership Conference’s 1993 Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award.