Katherine Johnson: an American Hero

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“Katherine Johnson: an American Hero”

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So what exactly is a hero? A hero is someone that does something that is really important and gets recognized for their actions.

Who fits the definition of a hero? The person that I have chosen for this is Katherine Johnson. She worked in/at NASA for 33 years, she made it possible for african american women to do STEM that were interested in it. Johnson worked at NASA and was what they called “human computers” starting in the 1950s. She made such a big impact on/in history that they even made a movie about her -along with the others- that was called Hidden Figures. This movie proved how smart and couragous african american women are by showing how they helped man get to the moon. Without the women that were really smart and really good at what they do, man would not have been able to get to the moon before the Russians made it.

In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, NASA hired women to do all the calculations and math work they needed because they were way more precise about it then the men were and the women were also more accurate with their calculations then the men. Even the first American guy that circled around earth whose name is John Glenn trusted Katherine Johnson’s calculations more than the mens calculations and wanted hers over a machines and mans calculations and guess work. He told NASA that if Katherine said that the calculations from the machines and men were correct then he would go into space again in the rocket ship.

Even though Katherine Johnson was not that popular or recognized until her movie was released, she still got recognized by NASA and reieved quite a few awards. While she was working at NASA for all those years, she got the NASA Lunar Orbiter Award and she also got the NASA Special Achievments Awards three times, she also got a few others as well. She was given an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of New York State, and she was also the keynote speaker, but she did not even know about being the keynote speaker not notified until they told her during the ceremony in 1997. She had to come up with something last minute. But she did just fine, she spoke from the heart and got at least one person that also worked for NASA to go back to school.

How do we as individuals and as a society honor our heroes? One way that some people as individuals and a society honor our heroes is by having a parade for them in their honor and attending that parade to thank them and celebrate them. A good example of this is The Veterans Day Parade. Me, personally, when my cousin was in Marine Boot Camp, even though he didn’t graduate yet, I still wrote poems for him to keep his spirits up. I don’t know about everyone else but I usually like to buy things or make them and send them -in the right packaging of course- to the person so they know they are loved and missed.

Why do we need heroes and what purposes do they serve? We need heroes because heroes show us the stuff that we are missing in life. They teach us from right and wrong starting when we’re little kids. The stories that we grow up with and are told as little kids are made to show us this. They show children how to behave and act to make the world a better place to live in for everyone or atleast most people. When children are still young enough where they’re still learning from right and wrong, it is crucial for them and everyone else that they have people who are older than them that are good role models for them and set good examples by showing them the right way to treat people and act around people. But adults also need people they can look up to as well so they can have little reminders of what the right thing to do is and what the wrong thing to do is.

Heroes also can make people happy when they are sad or upset or just feeling down in the dumps and are having a bad day. When something in life fails people usually get upset or something and take their anger out on everyone else an throw a fit like a child. There are alot of things that life decides that it needs to fail. For example, bars fail all the time, health fails all the time, relationships fail all the time, ideas and meetings fail all the time. When there is atleast one person that someone is able to look up to and talk to that is close to that person, then the person would be better off and feel better.

Works Cited:

Alison, Scott T. “10 Reasons Why We Need Heroes.” Heroes: What They Do & Why We Need Them, Richmond, 28 Mar. 2019, blog.richmond.edu/heroes/2013/05/17/10-reasons-why-we-need-heroes/.

Rose, Andrea.Http://Www.kerncountyfamily.com/Articles-Special-Feature-i-2017-11-01-125846.113117-16-Ways-You-Can-Honor-Our-Heroes.html. 1 Nov. 2017.

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Katherine Johnson: An American Hero. (2020, Apr 09). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from

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