WHEREAS, Mrs. Katherine G. Johnson, an African American woman, overcame racism and sexism to break barriers during an esteemed 33-year career; and
WHEREAS, a trailblazing NASA mathematician, Mrs. Johnson performed the complex calculations and flight path analysis of spacecraft that led to the United States achieving flight during the early years of the space program; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Johnson ushered NASA into a new era by conducting trajectory analysis for America’s first human space flight, including early missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn, and the Apollo 11 flight to the moon in 1969; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Johnson earned many awards from NASA, had NASA facilities named in her honor, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and saw her professional accomplishments highlighted in the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures;” and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Johnson’s personal story and pursuit of her passion exemplify the power of accessible public education and the immeasurable value of teachers and professors who mentor and challenge their students to strive for tremendous accomplishments; and
WHEREAS, Mrs. Johnson, at 100 years old, continues to champion STEM literacy, particularly for women and people of color, and through her own exceptional career inspires future generations of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians; and
WHEREAS, Bull Run Hall, the largest building on George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus, will be renamed Katherine G. Johnson Hall in recognition of Mrs. Johnson’s pivotal and pioneering contributions to the U.S. space program and to her lifelong commitment to STEM;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 19, 2019, as KATHERINE G. JOHNSON DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.