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Mathmatician Mary Jackson, the first Black woman engineer at NASA poses for a photo at work at NASA Langley Research Center in 1977 in Hampton, Va. Photo: Bob Nye/NASA/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

NASA will rename its headquarters in Washington, D.C., after Mary Jackson, the agency's first Black female engineer, administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Jackson was among the significant figures in NASA's history, serving in the computing unit during the space race while it was still segregated. Jackson — along with three other Black women, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden and Dorothy Vaughan — was depicted in the 2016 film "Hidden Figures."

  • NASA renamed the street in front of its headquarters building "'Hidden Figures Way" in 2019 to commemorate the trio's achievements.

What he's saying:

“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology.”
“Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success. Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have helped construct NASA’s successful history to explore.”
— Jim Bridenstine in a news release

Go deeper

Updated Sep 28, 2020 - Health

Texas governor declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in city's water

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a disaster declaration for Brazoria County Sunday amid concerns that the water supply may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri.

Driving the news: Lake Jackson issued a separate disaster declaration Saturday and a "Boil Water Notice" is in place for the city following the death of a 6-year-old boy on Sept. 8

5 mins ago - Health

Vermont becomes first state to reach 80% vaccine threshold

A COVID-19 vaccination record card and an "I got my COVID-19 vaccine!" sticker. (Photo by: Don and Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced Monday that 80% of its eligible population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: Vermont is the first state in the country to reach that threshold. As a result, Scott said he is removing all COVID-19 restrictions.

Garland says DOJ will strengthen rules on obtaining lawmakers' records

Photo: Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday he has directed Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to "evaluate and strengthen the department’s existing policies and procedures for obtaining records" from members of Congress.

Why it matters: At Garland's direction, the Justice Department's inspector general has opened an investigation into the Trump-era DOJ's use of secret subpoenas to obtain data belonging to House Democrats.