AP: Ella Mae Johnson hasn't just paid attention to American history, she's lived it.
And come Jan. 20, she'll be part of the crowd to witness president-elect Barack Obama make history.
At 104 years young, the black woman from Cleveland plans to celebrate her 105th birthday by attending Obama's inauguration a week later. Johnson was invited by Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Cleveland, at the suggestion of Johnson's retirement home.
"It is fitting that she should mark her 105th birthday this January by witnessing the swearing in of our nation's first African-American president," Brown said in a statement. "I am honored to be part of her journey and humbled by her legacy."
Johnson, who was born in Dallas, experienced and overcame racial prejudice in America throughout the last century. She graduated from Nashville's Fisk University in 1925 and went on to get a master's degree at Western Reserve University School of Applied Social Sciences in 1928. The school is now known as Case Western Reserve University.
She said Wednesday that while she admired the incoming president, she was more impressed with Obama's young family, his willingness to show affection to wife Michelle and daughters, and with his roots to Kenya.