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Women who inspired ‘Hidden Figures’ film will be honored with congressional gold medals

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The historic black women scientists and mathematicians who inspired the 2016 blockbuster film “Hidden Figures” will be honored with congressional gold medals for their contributions to NASA during the Space Race.

{mosads}Under the “Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act,” which President Trump signed into law on Friday, Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden will each be honored with Congressional gold medals, the country’s highest civilian award. Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson will also be posthumously be awarded with the honor.

The bill states that the stories of each of the women “exemplify the experiences of hundreds of women who worked as computers, mathematicians, and engineers” and whose “handmade calculations played an integral role in aircraft testing during World War II, supersonic flight research, sending the Voyager probes to explore  the solar system and the United States landing the first man on the lunar surface.”

The bill also states that a fifth gold medal will be issued to honor “all women who served as computers, mathematicians, and engineers at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration between the 1930s and the 1970s.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who introduced the measure along with a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, said shortly after the bill’s passage in the Senate last month that “Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden made monumental contributions to science and our nation.”

“The groundbreaking accomplishments of these four women, and all of the women who contributed to the success of NASA, helped us win the space race but remained in the dark far too long,” she said in a statement then. “I am proud our bill to honor these remarkable women has passed Congress. These pioneers remain a beacon for Black women across the country, both young and old.”

Earlier this year, a street outside of the NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. was also renamed to “Hidden Figures Way” to honor of the four women depicted in the film.

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