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Tag Archives: Women

Reflections on “Explore the Universe” 2001-2012

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One of the jokes I inherited from my student years is the final exam question “Describe the Universe” which was followed by “and give two examples.” In the 1960s, this could be funny of course, at least to astronomers. Today, however, the answer might be, “Only two?”  Since the Explore the Universe gallery opened in   …Continue Reading


Sally Ride (1951-2012)

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Unlike many astronauts, Sally Kristen Ride did not dream of going into space since childhood. She was already in her mid-twenties, completing her Ph.D. in physics, when the idea dawned. NASA was recruiting women to apply to become astronauts for a spacecraft that had not yet flown: the Space Shuttle. She was well prepared to   …Continue Reading


The Tomboy of the Air

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Blogs across the Smithsonian will give an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blogathon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website . One hundred and one years   …Continue Reading


Musings on Black History Month-Women’s History Month and the History of Aviation

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For a number of years now, the United States has set aside February and March to celebrate Black History Month and National Women’s History Month, respectively. While these commemorations are praiseworthy, they should not disguise the fact that they have been rather contentious culturally. Some would argue that it is insulting to African Americans to   …Continue Reading


Women’s Place in Space

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As she became the first American woman in space in June 1983, headline-writers couldn’t resist wordplay on her name: O What a Ride! A Ride in Space, Sally’s Ride into History, Sally’s Joy Ride.  People at the launch chanted and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Ride, Sally Ride,” echoing the refrain of the 1960s   …Continue Reading