Bessie Hendricks, of Lake City, Iowa, became the oldest person in the United States on Monday, November 7, when she celebrated her 115th birthday.
Bessie, who was born in 1907, has lived through 21 presidents, two World Wars, the sinking of the Titanic, man landing on the moon, and just about everything else that has happened in the living memory of any human on Earth.
Bessie celebrated her 115th birthday with a small gathering of her children, the oldest of whom is 90 herself!
Happy Birthday Bessie Hendricks! Hendricks has lived through 21 presidents, two World Wars, a depression, the sinking of the Titanic and two Chicago Cubs World Series Championships.https://t.co/7ZpmGx1k9C pic.twitter.com/0NiVzkVa4V— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) November 9, 2022
Joan Schaffer, Bessie’s eldest daughter, celebrated her own birthday on November 6th.
“I don’t know how you put it into words,” Joan said of her mom’s big day. “It’s marvelous that we still have her.”
Joan also described how, as a young girl, Bessie was forced to assume enormous responsibility.
“Her mother died when she was about 13, I think mom was about 13 years old,” Joan explained.
“And she raised her siblings after that. And when she taught school, she lived right across the road from where she taught school, so she had no reason not to go, not to make it to school.”
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Bessie even had a birthday party of sorts at the Shady Oaks Care Center in Lake City, according to reports. Her children sang her favorite song, “You Are My Sunshine,” there.
115 Years Old!! 🎂— Muscatine Profile (@MuscatineIA) November 5, 2022
Do you know the oldest person in the U.S. is from Iowa? The great-great-great grandmother, Bessie Hendricks was born over 60,000,000 minutes ago, on Nov 7th, 1907. She turns 115 this Monday. ❤
119 N Roy
Lake City, IA 50579 pic.twitter.com/82zvTfVT4u
“We used to wheel her around her in Shady Oaks, and every room we’d stop at she’d still sing ‘You Are My Sunshine.’
“And … the residents, look forward to it every day, too.”
Bessie is now the oldest person living in the United States, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She is also the world’s tenth oldest person.