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.

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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Barack Obama

barak-obama Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961. He is the first African American to be elected President of the United States. This historic win made him the forty-fourth U.S. President.

Obama began his second term as President on January 21, 2013.

Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney in Chicago before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. In 2004, he was elected to be the junior United States Senator from Illinois.

He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School.