4 'Hidden Figures' to Be Honored with Congressional Medals - NBC New York
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4 'Hidden Figures' to Be Honored with Congressional Medals

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    (L-R) Actor Janelle Monae, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and actors Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer pose backstage during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in February 2017.

    Four black women who gained national attention in a recent book and movie for groundbreaking NASA work in Virginia during space-race years will receive special awards from Congress.

    President Donald Trump signed into law the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act on Friday, the Daily Press of Newport News reported. The act will recognize Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, as well as the late Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

    Johnson is known for calculating trajectories for famous flights by astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn. Vaughan became a computer programming expert, while Jackson and Darden were pioneering engineers working at the Langley Research Center. 

    Bill backers include Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. They say the four failed to receive their deserved recognition for far too long.

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    News4's Barbara Harrison interviews the last surviving "Hidden Figure" who inspired a book and Oscar-nominated movie.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2019)