US Utah school drops Andrew Jackson namesake to honor 'Hidden Figures' pioneer

19:12  08 february  2018
19:12  08 february  2018 Source:   FOX News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Long before national tensions flared this summer over statues honoring Civil War figures , a Salt Lake school quietly decided to distance itself from fiery 19th century President Andrew Jackson .

Andrew Jackson posing for a photo: A Salt Lake City school will honor Mary Jackson, the first black engineer at NASA, after dropping its name sake, President Andrew Jackson. © Provided by Fox News A Salt Lake City school will honor Mary Jackson, the first black engineer at NASA, after dropping its name sake, President Andrew Jackson.

A Salt Lake City school named after President Andrew Jackson will soon honor a woman pioneer in the U.S. space program.

Jackson Elementary will be changed to Mary W. Jackson Elementary School after a unanimous vote by the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education Tuesday night, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The change will mark the first time a school in Utah's capital city to be named after a woman.

Mary Jackson became NASA's first black female engineer in 1958. Her story is among those recounted in the book "Hidden Figures" and 2016 film of the same name.

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school named after President Andrew Jackson is being changed to honor a pioneering woman in U.S. space Her story is among those recounted in the book " Hidden Figures " and film of the same name. Andrew Jackson , the seventh U.S. president, was known in part for the role he played in

The school was named for Andrew Jackson . Patwari, a professor of electrical engineer at the University of Utah , said that he, like many Americans, was unfamiliar with the journey of Mary Jackson until the release of the motion picture " Hidden Figures ," which told the stories of black female

Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, was known in part for the role he played in extending slavery into Western territories during the early 1800s.

Jackson Elementary School’s name change comes as other institutions have faced similar scrutiny for being named after historical figures deemed racist or controversial.

School Principal Jana Edward said it's been a rewarding experience to watch her school's community unite with the local neighborhood in support of the change.

“We also wanted to be very cognizant we are a college-going culture. She had a college degree where President Andrew Jackson did not,” Edward told the Deseret News. “Also it means we get to recognize a black woman who became the first black female NASA engineer.”

The Associate Press contributed to this report.

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