From today on when people pass NASA’s headquarters in Washington, DC, hailed above their heads will be a new street sign that reads “Hidden Figures Way.”
The family members of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and hidden figure Dr. Christine Darden attended the event which included remarks from NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, Senator Ted Cruz, DC Councilmember, Phil Mendelson, and the author of the Hidden Figures book, Margot Lee Shetterly.
Photo credit: BOTWC
Bridenstine opened the unveiling ceremony by highlighting the countless other Black women at NASA whom Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson represent.
“These were the three hidden figures in a very prominent book that became a magnificent movie that started a movement that brought all of us here today. But they are a small piece of the overall cadre of professionals that helped us not just get into orbit but also get to the moon. The people of NASA who are now known as the Hidden Figures.”
Senator Ted Cruz, who co-introduced the congressional iteration of the legislation to rename the street, spoke about the significance of the sign, how it was more than a piece of metal, and how it will inspire others for years, decades and generations to come.
“This sign is a powerful testament that anybody who is telling a little girl or a little boy that you can’t do something, is not telling the truth. This is a monument that you can do anything,” Cruz said.
The ceremony ended with a charge from author Margot Lee Shetterly to continue to do things the hidden figure way.
“May this street, hidden figures way, serve to remind us and to everyone who walks here and comes to this building, of the standard that was set by these women with their commitment to science and their embodiment of the values of equality, of justice and humanity,” she said.
Today’s event was another step forward to ensure these women, whom they referred to as "computers," remain hidden no more.
In just a few short weeks we’ll be able to expand our knowledge of this story and more through Katherine Johnson’s autobiography, “Reaching for the Moon.”