The Senate Will Honor the ‘Hidden Figures’ Women with a Congressional Gold Medal
It's a tribute to a remarkable team of history-makers.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to honor Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden with the Congressional Gold Medal they so richly deserve.
The four women will be honored for their work at NASA, which was also the subject of the book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later adapted for the film, Hidden Figures.
“These four remarkable women and their contribution to the success of the Space Race remained unacknowledged for far too long,” Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who introduced the Senate bill, said in a shared statement. “We are thrilled that their achievements while at NASA Langley, particularly during a tough period of racial inequality, continue to be brought to light. This recognition will help carve their rightful place in history and inspire a new generation of diverse women to lead the way in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.”
The bill isn’t just supported by Warner and Kaine. According to The Dover Post, it’s also endorsed by a number of female-led organizations including the Girl Scouts of the USA, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Physical Society, Association for Women in Science, National Association for Equal Opportunity, Society of Women Engineers, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, Association for Women in Math, and many more.
It’s certainly a fitting tribute to the women who remained well under the national radar for far too long. As CBS noted, Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States. It is given to a person, institution, or place which has impacted American history and culture.
All recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal must pass through both the House and Senate and must be co-sponsored by at least two-thirds (290) of the Members of the House, according to the United States House of Representatives. But, if there’s one thing our government officials can all agree on right now it’s that these women are truly deserving of this remarkable honor.