RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Millie Dunn Veasey lived to be more than 100 and in that century she worked to break barriers.
She joined the Army and started her training at Fort Bragg.
Veasey was then assigned to the Women’s Army Corps and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.
She would go on to serve in both France and England as a supply clerk from 1942 to 1945.
She came home and went to college on the GI Bill and got married.
Veasey immersed herself into the Civil Rights movement – becoming a personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King.
She was there as King gave his “I have a dream speech” in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
When she got wind of a KKK attempt to interfere with a planned speech by King at North Carolina State University, Veasey convinced King to delay it until the end of the month.
“And as it turned out Dr.King was in fact able to give that speech on the campus at N.C. State before N.C. State was actually integrated and it was given to a large integrated audience,” said Earl Ijames, Curator, African American History at the North Carolina Museum of History. “It went on without a hitch and Dr. King, I was told, rested nicely at Ms. Veasy’s house later that evening.”
Veasey went on to have a career at Raleigh’s St. Augustin’s University and continue her fight for civil rights.
She would pass away not long after her 100th birthday in March 2018 – leaving behind a tremendous legacy.
“Black, white and Indian we all owe people like Ms. Veasey a debt of gratitude to help formulate the type of society that we can all aspire to equality and have a chance and opportunity in this great land that we call America,” Ijames said.