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Katherine G. Johnson Honored by National Women's History Museum

On November 17th, MAKER Katherine Johnson will be honored with a Living Legacy Award alongside Goldieblox Founder Debbie Sterling, and The Honorable Sally Jewel, U.S. Secretary of Interior, at the National Women’s History Museum’s de Pizan Honors. Previous honorees include MAKER Marissa Mayer and Dr. Maya Angelou.

In its fourth year, the Living Legacy awards are given in the name of historic women and awarded to their contemporary counterparts. Katherine Johnson, for example, will receive the 2014 Maria Mitchell Living Legacy Award, named after America’s first female professional astronomer, and the first American to discover a comet.

NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson started college at age 15, where she took every math course in the catalog. After graduation, she taught high school before applying to work at Langley Research Center, which eventually became a part of NASA. At the time they called female engineers “woman computers,” and Katherine Johnson was one of them. She calculated the flight path for the first mission into space in 1961. Then in 1969, her calculation took the United States to the moon.

The de Pizan Honors are named after Christine de Pizan, the first Western woman to write about women’s history and earn a living as an author.

Much like the National Women’s History Museum as a whole, this award series combines historical and contemporary groundbreakers to create an encompassing, inspiring vision of American women and the impact they’ve had on our country for centuries. Sound like another movement you know? If you’re not attending the awards, MAKERS: Women Who Make America might be an equally inspiring alternative.

For more information on the National Women's History Museum and the de Pizan Awards, visit their website.