Here’s What Four Childhood Friends, Turning 100 This Year, Have to Say About Unions, Voting and More


From left: Leona Barnes, Ruth Hammett, Gladys Butler and Bernice Underwood at Washington, DC’s Zion Baptist Church. The centenarians will be attending their 100th birthday celebration there in June.

As they prepare to celebrate the amazing accomplishment of turning 100 years old, four lifelong friends sat down to share the wisdom they’ve gained over the last century. It’s no surprise the importance of unions and voting were topics of their conversation.

WATCH: Turning 100: Four Wise Voices

“I think unions are good,” said Gladys Butler, 99. “It helps the people to advance in different things. It’s always good to go in the unions that they have at the workplace.”

One common theme amongst the group of centurions is the importance of voting.

“For years, we couldn’t vote,” said Butler. “And when we was able to vote, everybody was really so joyful and glad that we had got the privilege to.”

All four women worked as full-time professionals and have seen many changes over their lifetimes.

“Times have really changed because when I was younger, it was horses and wagons,” said Butler. “And we were satisfied with what we had.”
The four friends will celebrate their 100th birthday in June at Zion Baptist Church in Washington, DC.