Posted on June 12, 2021

VA. School Named for Confederate Soldier Renamed for ‘Hidden Figure’ Katherine Johnson

Courtney Pomeroy, 7News, June 4, 2021

The “shoot for the stars” posters oft seen in primary schools may become a little more literal next school year for some students in Fairfax County.

The former Sidney Lanier Middle School, once named for the poet and Confederate States Army soldier, has been renamed in honor of NASA mathematician and “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson.

Johnson was one of four Black women whose work at NASA in the mid-20th century helped the United States win the space race. {snip}


When President Donald Trump signed the “Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act” into law in 2019, it awarded Congressional gold medals to Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden and posthumous Congressional gold medals to Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. {snip}

The stories of Johnson, Darden, Vaughan, and Jackson were told in a book that was adapted into “Hidden Figures,” a film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe.