Ronald E. McNair (1950 – 1986)

mcnairPhysicist Ronald E. McNair became the second African American to enter space. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. After he completed his training, in August 1979, McNair received his first assignment as a mission specialist astronaut on Space Shuttle flight crews.

On January 28, 1986, the NASA Challenger mission vended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff.

Below watch Eyes on the Stars, a beautiful animation and story from Ronald McNair’s childhood from StoryCorps.

Madame C. J. Walker (1867-1919)

Madame_CJ_WalkerMadame C. J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove) was America’s first Black millionaire businesswoman. Mixing one concoction of oils after another in a washtub, she finally created a hairdressing formula that influenced the hair industry and changed the looks of black women.

In 1905, she invented and patented a straightening comb, which when heated and used with her hairdressing formula changed tightly curled, lusterless hair into shining smooth hair. She traveled alone for two years demonstrating her “Walker Method.”

By 1919, the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company stretched an entire city block and provided employment for over 3,000 people. At the time of her death, she had acquired a vast empire in excess of one million dollars.

Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968)

martin-luther-king-jr Martin Luther King, Jr was born January 15, 1929. He graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA in 1948. In 1953 King married Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala. They had four children: Yolanda, Martin III, Dexter, and Bernice.

King most famous speech is called ” I Have A Dream.”  He spoke to 250,000 people in the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.

King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. by James Earl Ray in 1968. On January 20, 1986 the United States celebrated King’s birthday as a holiday for the first time.

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