June 25, 2020 – The Washington, D.C., headquarters of NASA will bear the name of Mary Jackson, according to a NASA announcement this week. The building sits on Hidden Figures Way, a street named for Jackson, Katherine Johnson and many other Black “human computers” who helped with the space race.
Jackson, NASA’s first African-American engineer, was born and raised Hampton. She lived on Lincoln Street and graduated from Phenix High School and Hampton Institute.
Carolyn Lewis, Jackson’s daughter, was quoted in the release:“We are honored that NASA continues to celebrate the legacy of our mother and grandmother Mary W. Jackson. She was a scientist, humanitarian, wife, mother, and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed, not only at NASA, but throughout this nation.”
Jackson was a volunteer for many Hampton organizations, including Girl Scouts and the United Way. She also taught young people about science and space in the science club of the Olde Hampton Community Center. Hampton recognized Jackson as a “Hampton Hero” in 2019, the inaugural year of the program designed to honor residents who, in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., built bridges and worked for social justice and equal rights.
In 2018, Hampton City Council passed a resolution naming the replacement building for the Olde Hampton center after Mary Jackson.
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