For decades, the public didn't have much information about contributions from African Americans and women in NASA's early days. But more recently things have changed.

Katherine Johnson was a key figure in NASA's success. As a woman and as an African American, her work was largely obscured. More recently, fitting honors have finally been given to her.

Buildings named after her

Two buildings have recently been named after Katherine Johnson. One is located on George Mason University's science and technology campus in Manassas, Virginia.

The building was previously known as Bull Run Hall and is now Katherine G. Johnson Hall. It is the largest building on the campus. A scholarship was also created in her honor.

The other is in Johnson's home state of West Virginia. NASA's Independent Verification and Validation facility has been located in Fairmont, West Virginia since 1993. The facility is now the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility. According to WDTV, President Trump signed the bill to renamed the facility in December.

Johnson wasn't able to attend either dedication ceremony, though two of her daughters among others did.

Several high-profile guests attended the ceremony in Fairmont. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and former astronaut acting NASA Administrator Frederick G. Gregory were there. So were U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and U.S. Representative David McKinley.

Neither of the buildings are the first to be named after her. In 2017, NASA opened the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility in Virginia.

Other honors include her being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2015. The medal is one of the two highest honors the U.S. government can bestow on a civilian. The other the Congressional Gold Medal.

She has been portrayed in pop culture

In 2016, the book "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly was released. The book told some of the stories of American American women and their involvement in NASA. Among them was Katherine Johnson.

Also that year, a movie inspired by the book was released in theaters.

The movie focused on the stories of Johnson along with Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Johnson was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson. Vaughan and Jackson were played by Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. The movie was highly-acclaimed and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Vaughan and Jackson had both passed away before the book and movie were released. The Register-Herald reports that Johnson has seen and approved of the movie. Johnson was also portrayed in an episode of the NBC series "Timeless" in 2016.

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