NASA has honored pioneering mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson with permanent tributes at the space headquarters. Now, the women, who were portrayed in the critically acclaimed film ‘Hidden Figures’, will also have a street renamed in their honor.
The street in front of NASA headquarters has been changed to ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ dedicated to the women who were the brains behind astronaut John Glenn’s launch into orbit.
Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly said, “Naming this street ‘Hidden Figures Way’ serves to remind us, and everyone who comes here, of the standard that was set by these women, with their commitment to science and their embodiment of the values of equality, justice, and humanity. But let it also remind us of the ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ which is to open our eyes to [contributions] of the people around us so that their names, too, are the ones that we remember at the end of the story.”
Ted Cruz, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on aviation and space, is reportedly responsible for the idea of the name change after watching the film. Cruz’s mother was an elite mathematician at the Smithsonian during the same generation as the dynamic Hidden Figures trio.
Cruz said, “Women and men across every racial and ethnic line have contributed to this incredible journey we’re on, and I think it is also vitally important that we send the message to little girls and little boys that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.”