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  • >>> OKAY, GOOD AFTERNOON. I'M CLAYTON TURNER, DEPUTY

  • DIRECTOR OF NASA'S LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER, AND IT IS MY

  • HONOR TO WELCOME EVERYONE TO TODAY'S SPECIAL EVENT -- THE

  • OFFICIAL NAMING CEREMONY OF THE FUTURE KATHERINE G. JOHNSON

  • COMPUTATIONAL RESEARCH FACILITY. AT THIS TIME, PLEASE SILENCE

  • YOUR CELL PHONES AS WE HONOR OUR NATION WITH THE POSTING OF OUR

  • COUNTRY'S COLORS BY THE U.S. JOINT BASE LANGLEY EUSTIS COLOR

  • GUARD, AND THE SINGING OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM BY NASA LANGLEY

  • RESEARCHER KERRY GOUGH. \M O SAY, CAN YOU SEE

  • BY THE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT \M \M WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED

  • AT THE TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING? \M

  • \M WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND BRIGHT STARS

  • THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT \M \M O'ER THE RAMPARTS

  • WE WATCHED WERE SO GALLANTLY

  • STREAMING? \M \M AND THE ROCKETS'

  • RED GLARE THE BOMBS BURSTING

  • IN AIR \M \M GAVE PROOF

  • THROUGH THE NIGHT THAT OUR FLAG

  • WAS STILL THERE \M \M OH, SAY, DOES THAT

  • STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE \M

  • \M O'ER THE LAND OF THE FREE \M

  • \M AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE? \M\M

  • >> TURN, POST. POST.

  • MARCH. >> YOU CAN TAKE YOUR SEATS,

  • PLEASE. ALTHOUGH SHE NEEDS VERY

  • LITTLE INTRODUCTION, FIRST AND FOREMOST PLEASE JOIN ME IN

  • WELCOMING BACK TO NASA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER TODAY'S SPECIAL

  • GUEST OF HONOR, NASA LANGLEY RETIREE AND "HUMAN COMPUTER,"

  • KATHERINE G. JOHNSON. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • ALSO JOINING HER TODAY ARE HER HUSBAND, JAMES, AND DAUGHTERS,

  • JOYLETTE HYLICK AND KATHERINE MOORE.

  • WE ALSO HAVE SOME VERY SPECIAL GUESTS JOINING US TODAY, AND

  • IT'S MY HONOR TO INTRODUCE THEM. THE HONORABLE BOBBY SCOTT,

  • CONGRESSMAN FROM THE 3rd DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA.

  • [ APPLAUSE ] REPRESENTING CONGRESSMAN

  • SCOTT RIGELL, 2nd DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, IS HIS DISTRICT

  • DIRECTOR SHANNON KENDRICK. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • THE HONORABLE MARCIA PRICE, DELEGATE TO THE VIRGINIA GENERAL

  • ASSEMBLY FROM THE 95th DISTRICT. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • THE HONORABLE GEORGE WALLACE, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON,

  • [ APPLAUSE ] CITY COUNCILMAN, DONNIE TUCK.

  • [ APPLAUSE ] >> VALERIE PRICE, THE FIRST LADY

  • OF NEWPORT NEWS. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • >> AND OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER, MARGOT LEE SHETTERLY, AUTHOR OF

  • THE BOOK "HIDDEN FIGURES: THE STORY OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN

  • WOMEN WHO HELPED WIN THE SPACE RACE."

  • I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO RECOGNIZE A COUPLE GUESTS IN OUR AUDIENCE.

  • NASA DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF JON HERCZEG AND NASA CHIEF

  • COUNSEL SUMARA THOMPSON-KING. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • SO THERE'S SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT WHY WE PICKED TODAY

  • TO HOLD THIS SPECIAL EVENT. 55 YEARS AGO, ON

  • MAY 5th, 1961, ALAN SHEPARD BECAME THE FIRST AMERICAN TO

  • EVER FLY IN SPACE. HIS MERCURY CAPSULE, CALLED

  • FREEDOM 7, CARRIED HIM UP ABOUT 116 MILES, AND 15 MINUTES LATER

  • HE LANDED SAFELY 310 MILES DOWNRANGE FROM THE KENNEDY SPACE

  • CENTER IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE

  • WORLD WATCHED SHEPARD'S FLIGHT, BUT WHAT THEY DIDN'T KNOW AT THE

  • TIME WAS THAT THE CALCULATIONS THAT GOT HIM INTO SPACE AND

  • SAFELY HOME WERE DONE BY TODAY'S GUEST OF HONOR,

  • KATHERINE JOHNSON. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT YOU MUST HAVE BEEN FEELING DURING THOSE

  • 15 MINUTES. I WANTED TO ALSO POINT OUT

  • ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT ABOUT TODAY'S EVENT, WHICH IS BEING

  • HELD IN OUR REID CONFERENCE CENTER.

  • C DR. HENRY J.E. REID WAS THE CENTER DIRECTOR WHEN KATHERINE

  • WAS HIRED IN 1953. HE LED LANGLEY FROM 1926 TO

  • 1960, FROM THE BIPLANE ERA TO THE DOWN OF THE SPACE AGE.

  • JUST DOWN THE HALL FROM US IS THE PEARL YOUNG THEATER, NAMED

  • FOR THE FIRST WOMAN HIRED TO DO RESEARCH HERE IN 1922.

  • ALL TOLD, THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES HERE AT

  • LANGLEY, YET ONLY FOUR OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY NAMED AFTER FORMER

  • EMPLOYEES. KATHERINE, TODAY YOU JOIN THAT

  • ELITE GROUP WITH THE OFFICIAL NAMING OF THE

  • KATHERINE G. JOHNSON COMPUTATIONAL RESEARCH FACILITY.

  • [ APPLAUSE ] THE COMPUTATIONAL RESEARCH

  • FACILITY IS A 40,000 SQUARE FOOT CONSOLIDATED DATA CENTER THAT

  • WILL ALLOW OUR ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS TO PERFORM ADVANCED

  • COMPUTATIONAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, CRUNCHING DATA AND

  • NUMBERS THAT WILL ONE DAY HELP NASA LAND HUMANS ON MARS, DESIGN

  • QUIETER, FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT FUTURE AIRCRAFT, AND

  • HELP US BETTER UNDERSTAND OUR CHANGING CLIMATE.

  • IT'S NOT UNLIKE THE WORK THAT KATHERINE DID DURING HER TENURE

  • AT LANGLEY, HELPING NASA SEND THE FIRST AMERICANS INTO SPACE,

  • INTO ORBIT AROUND THE EARTH, AND TO THE MOON AND BACK.

  • EXCEPT SHE DIDN'T HAVE A 40,000 SQUARE FOOT BUILDING FULL

  • OF CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY. SHE DID MOST OF HER CALCULATIONS

  • BY HAND, OR IN HER HEAD, AND WITH THE HELP OF THE TECHNOLOGY

  • OF HER DAY, MECHANICAL CALCULATOR-TYPE MACHINES CALLED

  • MONROE AND FRIDEN MACHINES. PERHAPS JUST AS AMAZING IS THAT

  • KATHERINE BEGAN HER WORK AT NASA WHEN WOMEN AND MINORITIES WERE

  • MARGINALIZED IN AMERICAN SOCIETY.

  • WHEN SHE STARTED WORK IN 1953 OUR CENTER WAS STILL

  • SEGREGATED, BUT IT WAS HER SKILLS, SPIRIT, CURIOSITY AND

  • DETERMINATION THAT HELPED NOT ONLY SOLVE THE DIFFICULT

  • PROBLEMS OF SPACE TRAVEL, BUT ALSO HELPED BREAK THE RACIAL AND

  • GENDER BARRIERS SHE AND HER COLLEAGUES FACED.

  • NOW IT IS MY HONOR TO INTRODUCE OUR FIRST GUEST SPEAKER, THE

  • ACTING DIRECTOR OF OUR OFFICE OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, MEL FEREBEE.

  • MEL IS WHO INITIALLY PROPOSED THE IDEA OF NAMING THE CRF AFTER

  • KATHERINE, AND THEN WORKED THE APPROVAL PROCESS WITH SENIOR

  • NASA OFFICIALS. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING

  • MEL TO THE STAGE. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • >> THANK YOU, CLAYTON, AND GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE.

  • I FIRST HEARD OF DR. JOHNSON'S STORY 41 YEARS AGO HERE AS A

  • HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT. MANY OF US ASSEMBLED HERE TODAY

  • KNOW THE STORY, BUT IT'S WORTH HIGHLIGHTING AGAIN.

  • FROM AN EARLY AGE, KATHERINE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE

  • OPPORTUNITIES THAT CAME HER WAY -- HER PASSION FOR NUMBERS

  • AND MATHEMATICS LED HER TO SHARE HER KNOWLEDGE FIRST AS A TEACHER

  • AND THEN TO PURSUE A CAREER AT THE LANGLEY AERONAUTICAL

  • LABORATORY, WHICH BECAME NASA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER.

  • DURING A TIME WHEN WOMEN AND MINORITIES WERE MARGINALIZED IN

  • AMERICAN SOCIETY, SHE PERSEVERED.

  • SHE EXCELLED AT WHAT SHE DID. HER REPUTATION FOR EXCELLENCE

  • LED TO ASSIGNMENTS THAT WERE CRUCIAL TO AMERICA'S EARLY SPACE

  • PROGRAM. SHE CALCULATED THE LAUNCH WINDOW

  • AND TRAJECTORY OF THE FIRST AMERICAN IN SPACE, ALAN SHEPARD,

  • WHO MADE THAT HISTORIC FLIGHT 55 YEARS AGO.

  • ALSO, TODAY IS THE VERY FIRST NATIONAL ASTRONAUTS DAY.

  • HER REPUTATION FOR ACCURACY WAS SO WELL KNOWN THAT ASTRONAUT

  • JOHN GLENN, WHOSE ORBITAL TRAJECTORY WAS THE FIRST TO BE

  • CALCULATED BY AN ELECTRONIC COMPUTER, ASKED FOR HER TO CHECK

  • THOSE CALCULATIONS. IN FACT, SHE HELPED THE AGENCY

  • ESTABLISH CONFIDENCE IN THIS NEW ELECTRONIC COMPUTING.

  • DR. JOHNSON WAS ASSIGNED TO WORK ON THE APOLLO 11 MISSION, THE

  • FIRST MISSION WHICH HUMANS LANDED AND WALKED ON THE MOON.

  • AND WHEN OUR NATION IDENTIFIED THE NEED FOR A REUSABLE SPACE

  • VEHICLE, THE SPACE SHUTTLE -- LARGE ENOUGH TO CARRY THE

  • BUILDING BLOCKS OF WHAT HAS NOW BECOME THE WORLD'S ONLY IN-SPACE

  • LABORATORY, THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION -- SHE CALCULATED

  • THOSE ORBITAL TRAJECTORIES TOO. THROUGHOUT HER CAREER AND DURING

  • HER RETIREMENT, SHE TOOK THE TIME TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG PEOPLE,

  • ESPECIALLY GIRLS, TO PURSUE THEIR DREAMS IN SCIENCE,

  • TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH.

  • DR. JOHNSON, THANK YOU FOR SETTING AN EXAMPLE FROM WHICH WE

  • CAN ALL LEARN -- TO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION, EXCEL IN YOUR WORK, AND

  • ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ME,

  • AND TO ALL OF US, NOT ONLY HERE AT LANGLEY, BUT ACROSS NASA AND

  • OUR NATION. THANK YOU.

  • [ APPLAUSE ] >> THANK YOU, MEL.

  • AT THIS TIME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE'D LIKE TO SHARE A

  • SHORT VIDEO ABOUT KATHERINE'S CAREER.

  • \M\M \M\M

  • \M\M \M\M

  • \M\M [ APPLAUSE ]

  • \M\M [ APPLAUSE ]

  • >> NASA LANGLEY HAS BEEN PROUD TO CALL HAMPTON HOME FOR ALMOST

  • 100 YEARS AND WE OUR GRATEFUL FOR THE SUPPORT THE CITY AND ITS

  • LEADERS HAVE SHOWN US. WE AT LANGLEY ARE HAPPY TO

  • WELCOME BACK HAMPTON MAYOR GEORGE WALLACE FOR SOME OPENING

  • REMARKS. [ APPLAUSE ]

  • >> GOOD AFTERNOON, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

  • IT IS ALTOGETHER FITTING AND PROPER THAT WE ARE HERE TODAY TO

  • HONOR A GREAT LADY WITH ANOTHER SYMBOL OF HER LONG AND

  • DISTINGUISHED CAREER. WE KNOW THAT SHE WAS A CHILD

  • PRODIGY WITH A PROLIFIC CAPACITY TO COUNT EVERYTHING FROM THE

  • NUMBERS OF STEPS FROM HER STEPS TO THE CHURCH TO THE NUMBER OF

  • DISHES ON THE SHELF TO COUNTING THE TRAJECTORY OF ASTRONAUT ALAN

  • GLENN'S 1961 AMERICAN FLIGHT TO SPACE.

  • SHE BECAME A SUMA CUM LAUDE GRADUATE AT THE AGE OF 18.

  • SHE WAS AMONG THE EARLY GROUP OF WOMEN HIRED BY NASA TO BECOME

  • KNOWN AS ONE OF THE GROUP OF COMPUTERS IN SKIRTS.

  • HER EXCELLENCE WAS KNOWN AND NOTED EARLY, AND SHE WAS ASKED

  • BY -- AS HAS BEEN INDICATED BY ASTRONAUT JOHN GLENN TO DOUBLE

  • CHECK THAT HE MADE THE CORRECT COMPUTER CALCULATION TO MAKE

  • SURE THAT THE NUMBERS WERE CORRECT.

  • SHE'S A WIFE OTHER MOTHER, AND A GOOD FRIEND TO MANY.

  • ON NOVEMBER 4th, 2015, SHE WAS GIVEN THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF