Alyce Dixon, Feisty World War II Vet, Gets Private Sit-Down in Oval Office
President Barack Obama welcomes one of the spunkiest centenarians in the District of Columbia to the Oval Office for a private Monday afternoon meeting.
World War II veteran Alyce Dixon, who turned 107 on Sept. 11, will sit down with Obama and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C. According to the congresswoman’s office, veterans and D.C. statehood are on the agenda, but Dixon is sure to crack a few jokes. The quick-witted Washingtonian is widely known for her sense of humor, on display in a 2012 profile by the Army and YouTube .
Dixon was born in Boston in 1907, the third-oldest of nine children. Her family moved to Washington in 1924, and Dixon briefly attended Howard University. In her 20s, she worked at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street Northwest, serving as a secretary then a cashier. From 1940 to 1943, she worked as one of the first civilian employees at the Pentagon.
Dixon joined the Army in 1943, among the first African-American women in the nation to enlist. She served in England, France and Scotland. Her unit was tasked with eliminating floor-to-ceiling stacks of undelivered mail and packages addressed to U.S. servicemembers but stored in foreign warehouses. They cleared the mail backlog in record time, and Dixon was awarded a medal for good conduct, according to the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs .
After her service, Dixon returned to the Pentagon. She retired after 35 years with the federal government, and continued to volunteer around the city. Her humor is a hit with staff at the V.A. medical center in Northwest Washington.
“She has the unique ability to bring joy to others, and is known especially for her bubbly personality and comedic storytelling,” Norton said in a 2011 House floor speech commemorating Dixon’s birthday.
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