Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Happy birthday, Lt. Uhura!

Nichelle Nichols, born December 28, 1932, is beloved by billions as Lt. Nyota Uhura from Star Trek.  Her role was one of the first, if not THE first, non-stereotypical role for an African-American.   She and William Shatner shared the first inter-racial kiss on television, which drew overwhelming positive reaction although a friend of mine told me his father almost made him stop watching Star Trek because of it.

While at NASA, she recruited astronauts Guion Bluford (first African-American astronaut) and Ronald McNair (another African-American astronaut lost in the Challenger explosion).  She was the inspiration for Mae C. Jemison to become the first African-American female astronaut.

Nichelle even has an asteroid named in her honor:  68410 Nichols discovered August 16, 2001.

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