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The City of Plainfield Honored Its Very Own “Hidden Figure”

Marion Johnson, New Jersey's "Hidden Figure"

On Thursday, June 8th, at Plainfield City Hall, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp and the Plainfield City Council recognized long-time Plainfield resident Marion Johnson for her groundbreaking work helping the United States to land the first person on the moon. Johnson, a then Associate Engineer at Boeing, played a critical role in the space mission by testing where the rockets that were attached to the spacecraft would land. Her historic accomplishments came to light after the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures” portrayed the untold story of 3 black women at NASA whose efforts made the successful moon landing possible.

“It is a great honor for the City of Plainfield to recognize our very own history maker,” stated Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, City of Plainfield. “The first moon landing was a defining moment for our nation and the world, and we are just learning about the essential role that black women engineers like Marion Johnson played in making this achievement possible at a time when segregation greatly restricted opportunities for them. It is important that we celebrate and memorialize this piece of history and ensure that our youth are aware of it so that they know of the unlimited possibilities that exist for them.”

Johnson's name is etched in the "Roll of Honor" at the Smithsonian Institute for her role in the space mission. She also received accolades from Boeing for a series of successful rocket tests that concluded without damage.

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“I am so grateful to Mayor Mapp, the City Council, and my community of Plainfield for this recognition,” said Marion Johnson. “It is my hope that my story will inspire Plainfield students, particularly those who face challenges, to know that anything is possible. I also hope that more young women will be motivated to study and pursue career opportunities in STEM.”

Johnson is currently an instructor at Branford Hall Career Institute in Jersey City. She grew up in Savannah Georgia, but has made Plainfield her home for over 41 years. She resides in the city with the her husband of nearly 46 years, Frank Johnson. They have three adult daughters.

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