Officials in Washington renamed the street outside NASA’s headquarters after the three trailblazing black women who played an integral role in getting astronauts to the moon in the 1960s, whose stories were immortalized in the book and movie “Hidden Figures.”
As of Wednesday, the 300 block of E St. SW, home to NASA’s headquarters, will now be known as “Hidden Figures Way.”
The designation honors Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, three mathematicians and engineers who were among the first black women leaders at NASA. Facing discrimination as they attempted to move up the ranks and receive recognition for their work, the women were instrumental in figuring out the calculations for major space missions.
Their stories received more public attention, thanks to the 2016 book “Hidden Figures” by author Margot Lee Shetterly, who attended Wednesday’s renaming ceremony, along with descendants of the three women.
Johnson, 100, is the only surviving member of the trio. In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer played the women in a 2016 movie adaptation of Shetterly’s book.
In December, D.C.’s city council unanimously voted for the renaming.