HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Four pioneering African American NASA Langley scientists featured in the movie “Hidden Figures” will be awarded one of the nation’s top honors.
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Dr. Christine Darden are set to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor presented by Congress, for their contributions to NASA and American society.
Johnson is now 101, and Darden still lives in Hampton Roads. Vaughan and Jackson are receiving the award posthumously.
“They were smart ladies and they did their job and they wanted to do their job,” Johnson’s daughter Katherine G. Moore told 10 On Your Side in March of 2019. “Things changed because of the, I think just the determination and the eloquence, to me, of those women.”
Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner cosponsored the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, which was officially signed into law on Friday by President Trump.
“We are thrilled that these four trailblazers are being recognized with this honor,” Kaine and Warner said in a press release. “Their engineering and calculations were essential to our nation’s success in the Space Race, but for too long, they didn’t receive the acknowledgment they deserve.”
The act also presents a gold medal to all of the women who served as computers, mathematicians and engineers at NASA from the 1930s to the 1970s.
To learn more about the Hidden Figures, click here.