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Hoosier turns 100 on Inauguration Day, celebrates seeing his 18th president sworn in

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 10:47:02-05

JOHNSON CO. — A new president will take the oath of office on Wednesday. That's why January 20 is a significant day on the calendar every four years. But one local family has more than one reason to celebrate a day full of milestones.

Clarval Black has lived long enough to see the nation elect 18 presidents.

Born in 1921, President Harding was in office. His childhood saw the rise and fall of Presidents Coolidge and Hoover. His commander-in-chief was FDR during World War II while he served in the Aleutian Islands from June 1943 through December 1944.

He was a member of the "greatest generation."

"Their pride in their country is still phenomenal," Diane Black, Clarval's daughter-in-law, said. "He loved being in the Army."

"He has Alzheimer's. A lot of things have gone, but that he remembers," Diane continued. "His desire and need to remember that part of his life have stuck for a very, very long time. I admire that."

Clarval's son, Jim Black, said, "He was such a humble person. He instilled that into all of us."

On February 25, 1946, he married Mary.

Their 75-year union has outlasted the presidencies of Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump.

January 20 was key to those men, but it's special every year for the father of 5, grandfather of 7, and great-grandfather of 13

This is Clarval's 100th birthday and the inauguration of a new President, Joe Biden.

"(For) both my mom and dad, having a new president is a special thing — it was a good thing. To have a new president, it was a new start for the country and a time to celebrate," Jim said.

While the nation marks a constitutional tradition, Clarval marks a milestone.