History… March 4


1634 – Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, MA.

1681 – England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania.

1766 – The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies.

1778 – The Continental Congress voted to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The two treaties were the first entered into by the U.S. government.

1789 – The first Congress of the United States met in New York and declared that the U.S. Constitution was in effect.

1791 – Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state. It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies.

1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Amendment limited the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well.

1813 – The Russians fighting against Napoleon reached Berlin. The French garrison evacuated the city without a fight.

1826 – The first railroad in the U.S. was chartered. It was the Granite Railway in Quincy, MA.

1837 – The state of Illinois granted a city charter to Chicago.

1861 – The Confederate States of America adopted the “Stars and Bars” flag.

1877 – Emile Berliner invented the microphone.

1880 – Halftone engraving was used for the first time when the “Daily Graphic” was published in New York City.

1881 – Eliza Ballou Garfield became the first mother of a U.S. President to live in the executive mansion.

1902 – The American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago.

1904 – In Korea, Russian troops retreated toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese troops advanced.

1908 – The New York board of education banned the act of whipping students in school.

1908 – France notified signatories of Algeciras that it would send troops to Chaouia, Morocco.

1914 – Dr. Gustave Le Fillatre successfully separated three-month-old Siamese twins. One of the twins died four days later.

1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1925 – Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office in Washington, DC. The presidential inauguration was broadcast on radio for the first time.

1930 – Emma Fahning became the first woman bowler to bowl a perfect game in competition run by the Women’s International Bowling Congress in Buffalo, NY.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gave his inauguration speech in which he said “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

1933 – Labor Secretary Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in a Presidential administrative cabinet.

1942 – “Junior Miss” starring Shirley Temple aired on CBS radio for the first time.

1942 – The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City.

1947 – France and Britain signed an alliance treaty.

1950 – Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” was released across the U.S.
Disney movies, music and books

1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman dedicated the “Courier,” the first seagoing radio broadcasting station.

1952 – Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married.

1954 – In Boston, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital reported the first successful kidney transplant.

1974 – “People” magazine was available for the first time.

1975 – Queen Elizabeth knighted Charlie Chaplin.

1986 – “Today” debuted in London as England’s newest, national, daily newspaper.

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced a plan to merge.

1991 – Sheik Saad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the prime minister of Kuwait, returned to his country for the first time since Iraq’s invasion.

1994 – Bosnia’s Croats and Moslems signed an agreement to form a federation in a loose economic union with Croatia.

1997 – U.S. President Clinton barred federal spending on human cloning.

1998 – Microsoft repaired software that apparently allowed hackers to shut down computers in government and university offices nationwide.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court said that federal law banned on-the-job sexual harassment even when both parties are the same sex.

1999 – Monica Lewinsky’s book about her affair with U.S. President Clinton went on sale in the U.S.

2002 – Canada banned human embryo cloning but permitted government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.

2012 – Vladimir Putin won re-election in Russia’s presidential election.

on-this-day.com

Mary Jackson: wife, mom and NASA Aeronautical Engineer ~ Hidden Figures …


Black and white photo of Mary Jackson in front of computers
Mary Jackson grew up in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating with highest honors from high school, she then continued her education at Hampton Institute, earning her Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Physical Science. Following graduation, Mary taught in Maryland prior to joining NASA. Mary retired from the NASA Langley Research Center in 1985 as an Aeronautical Engineer after 34 years.
Credits: NASA

Date of Birth: April 9, 1921
Hometown: Hampton, VA
Education: B.S., Mathematics and Physical Science, Hampton Institute, 1942
Hired by NACA: April 1951
Retired from NASA: 1985
Date of Death: February 11, 2005
Actress Playing Role in Hidden Figures: Janelle Monáe

For Mary Winston Jackson, a love of science and a commitment to improving the lives of the people around her were one and the same. In the 1970s, she helped the youngsters in the science club at Hampton’s King Street Community center build their own wind tunnel and use it to conduct experiments. “We have to do something like this to get them interested in science,” she said in an article for the local newspaper. “Sometimes they are not aware of the number of black scientists, and don’t even know of the career opportunities until it is too late.”

Mary’s own path to an engineering career at the NASA Langley Research Center was far from direct. A native of Hampton, Virginia, she graduated from Hampton Institute in 1942 with a dual degree in Math and Physical Sciences, and accepted a job as a math teacher at a black school in Calvert County, Maryland. Hampton had become one of the nerve centers of the World War II home front effort, and after a year of teaching, Mary returned home, finding a position as the receptionist at the King Street USO Club, which served the city’s black population. It would take three more career changes—a post as a bookkeeper in Hampton Institute’s Health Department, a stint at home following the birth of her son, Levi, and a job as an Army secretary at Fort Monroe—before Mary landed at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory’s segregated West Area Computing section in 1951, reporting to the group’s supervisor Dorothy Vaughan.

After two years in the computing pool, Mary Jackson received an offer to work for engineer Kazimierz Czarnecki in the 4-foot by 4-foot Supersonic Pressure Tunnel, a 60,000 horsepower wind tunnel capable of blasting models with winds approaching twice the speed of sound. Czarnecki offered Mary hands-on experience conducting experiments in the facility, and eventually suggested that she enter a training program that would allow her to earn a promotion from mathematician to engineer. Trainees had to take graduate level math and physics in after-work courses managed by the University of Virginia. Because the classes were held at then-segregated Hampton High School, however, Mary needed special permission from the City of Hampton to join her white peers in the classroom. Never one to flinch in the face of a challenge, Mary completed the courses, earned the promotion, and in 1958 became NASA’s first black female engineer. That same year, she co-authored her first report, Effects of Nose Angle and Mach Number on Transition on Cones at Supersonic Speeds.

Mary Jackson began her engineering career in an era in which female engineers of any background were a rarity; in the 1950s, she very well may have been the only black female aeronautical engineer in the field. For nearly two decades she enjoyed a productive engineering career, authoring or co-authoring a dozen or so research reports, most focused on the behavior of the boundary layer of air around airplanes. As the years progressed, the promotions slowed, and she became frustrated at her inability to break into management-level grades. In 1979, seeing that the glass ceiling was the rule rather than the exception for the center’s female professionals, she made a final, dramatic career change, leaving engineering and taking a demotion to fill the open position of Langley’s Federal Women’s Program Manager. There, she worked hard to impact the hiring and promotion of the next generation of all of NASA’s female mathematicians, engineers and scientists.

Mary retired from Langley in 1985. Among her many honors were an Apollo Group Achievement Award, and being named Langley’s Volunteer of the Year in 1976. She served as the chair of one of the center’s annual United Way campaigns, was a Girl Scout troop leader for more than three decades, and a member of the National Technical Association (the oldest African American technical organization in the United States).  She and her husband Levi had an open-door policy for young Langley recruits trying to gain their footing in a new town and a new career. A 1976 Langley Researcher profile might have done the best job capturing Mary Jackson’s spirit and character, calling her a “gentlelady, wife and mother, humanitarian and scientist.” For Mary Jackson, science and service went hand in hand.

Biography by Margot Lee Shetterly

U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm – Women’s History Month


Shirley Chisholm

U.S. Rep. Shirley Chisholm, was the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first major-party African American candidate for president. Born to immigrant parents from Guyana and Barbados on November 30, 1924, she distinguished herself early as a dedicated student and skilled debater. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1946 and later earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Columbia University. After working as an educator, Chisholm launched her political career, winning a seat in the New York State Assembly in 1965. In 1968, she was elected to Congress, where she served seven terms. In 1972, she waged her historic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a quest chronicled in the award-winning 2005 documentary Shirley Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, directed and produced by African-American filmmaker Shola Lynch. Chisholm died on January 1, 2005.