115th First Flight Anniversary Celebration Highlights [Video / Photo Gallery]
No longer a hidden figure in the history of NASA and aviation, Katherine Johnson was inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Society Shrine during the 115th first flight anniversary celebration today, December 17, at Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills.
Katherine Johnson is one of the subjects of the award winning 2016 movie Hidden Figures, which tells the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the United States space program. Taraji P. Henson plays Johnson in the film, which co-stars Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson, the other two members of Johnson’s NASA team. The film was nominated for numerous Academy Awards, including Best Picture of the Year.
David E. Bowles, Director of NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, was the keynote speaker, telling Johnson’s amazing story and reminding the audience that “heroes come from unlikely places”.
Johnson’s shrine portrait was painted by artist Gregory Kavalec.
Following the shrine induction, Park Ranger Amiee Ginnever recounted the story of the Wright brothers, and First Flight Society Lifetime Member Darrell Collins conducted the traditional 1903 Witness Descendants Wreath Presentation.
The ceremony concluded was brief flyover by NASA aircraft.
You can watch our video highlights and see our photo gallery from the event below.
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