At 102 and 99 years old, Norman and Norma Burmah have more than a few historic milestones to commit to their memory bank -- from their meeting at New Orleans' Roof Garden Dance Hall during a live performance by Louis Armstrong, to their marriage shortly thereafter, to their induction into the Louisiana Family Forum's Hall of Fame last year, a spot they earned by being the longest known married couple in the state.
According to a press release from the couple's family, the Burmahs have a new milestone to add -- becoming the longest known married couple in the U.S.
“We knew our grandparents were Louisiana’s longest married couple and were pretty sure they were the longest living African-American couple in the United States, but the fact that they could be the country’s longest living married couple is just phenomenal,” granddaughter Glenda McKinley said. “We see them as our national treasure,” she added.
The Burmah's 82-year marriage began on January 26, 1931, the family says. After Connecticut couple John and Ann Betar received national attention for their 81-year marriage earlier this month, it caused a stir among Burmah family members who say they knew their grandparents had the couple beat.
According to a report analyzing data from the 2010 Census, researchers found that centenarians, like the Burmahs, are more likely to live with others than alone.
The couple owned a private catering company and still enjoy entertaining in their home, where they live independently, the family says. After Hurricane Katrina decimated their New Orleans East neighborhood in 2005, the Burmah's moved to Marksville, La. to be near their daughter. They have two daughters (one deceased), six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.