Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2019

Freeholder Board Honors Space Travel and Union County Trailblazer with Free Screening of “Hidden Figures”

Union County, NJ – In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a free screening of the Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures, which portrays the true story of African-American women who played a pivotal role in the race to orbit the Earth in 1962. The event will be held at the Union County College campus in Cranford, at 1033 Springfield Avenue, on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Roy Smith Theater.

The screening includes a live presentation by Plainfield resident Marion Lee Johnson. While an associate engineer at Boeing, Johnson was instrumental in the 1969 Apollo 11 launch, which culminated in the successful Moon landing of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

“We are fortunate to have people like Marion Johnson who have made such a difference for women in history by changing the way we look at women in STEM careers and by redefining gender and racial boundaries,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.

Hidden Figures is the untold story of three women who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn in 1962. This visionary trio crossed all gender and racial barriers and inspired generations of women to achieve in STEM careers.

As an engineer at Boeing, Ms. Johnson conducted trial runs and provided data input which led to the historic lunar landing on July 20, 1969.

Johnson followed in the trailblazing footsteps of the three African-American women portrayed in the film Hidden Figures. She continues to speak about the need for mentors, and how mentorship was critical to her education and to her career. 

The video featuring Mrs. Johnson will have its first public screening during the July 16 event. After July 16, it will be available to view on ucnj.org/women.

The event is free but registration is required online at ucnj.org/women. For more information please contact Jennifer Erdos, Union County Office on Women, jerdos@ucnj.org or call 908-527-4216.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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