Changing the Mississippi Flag
Slavery has always been a scar on American history. Before the Civil War, some white landowners forced black people to work for them as slaves. America doesn’t have slavery anymore, but many people still claim to feel the effects of inequality today. Across the nation, Confederate symbols and statues are being torn down, because the Confederacy wanted to keep slaves. The Confederate South was defeated in the Civil War, but some southern states still like to remember the old nation. One state has kept the Confederate flag symbol on its flag … until now.
Mississippi State Representative Ed Blackmon said, “I would guess a lot of you don’t even see the flag in the corner right there. There are some of us who notice it every time we walk in here, and it’s not a good feeling.”
Mississippi is the last state to remove the Confederate symbol from its flag.
NASA Names Headquarters after a Hidden Figure
NASA is naming its Washington D.C. headquarters after Mary W. Jackson. She was a black woman who worked for the space agency and helped to send men to the moon.
Mary grew up during a time of strong racism and segregation, yet she earned a college degree in math and physical science. In 1951, she went to work for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which in 1958 would become NASA. At the time, many classes and labs were segregated by skin color.
After two years, she got hands-on experience doing experiments.
Mary became the first female black engineer for NASA. She was part of the “Hidden Figure” group of black women at the agency. This group worked on important jobs for NASA, but the ladies were not given credit until much later.
Mary passed away in 2005. In 2019, President Donald Trump signed the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, awarding the honor to her and her co-workers.
A 51st State?
America’s capital is in Washington, District of Columbia. The area is not a state, but a district, which is controlled by the federal government. Unlike states, it does not have members of Congress.
If passed, the new state would get one seat in the House and two in the Senate. Not everyone is for the change, though. Some people say it would give the area too much power, since that’s where the federal government is based.
This isn’t the first time a move to turn D.C. into a state has been attempted; others tried in 1888, 1921, and 1993, but none have reached such success until now.