Gladys West

We are pleased to spotlight Gladys West in day seventeen of our first annual 28 Days of Little Known Facts About (Black) American History

Gladys West’s worked at the US Navy played a pivotal role in creating GPS technology.

After graduating from Virginia State University on a full academic scholarship, West began working as a math teacher for two years in Sussex County before obtaining her master’s degree. She then became the second black woman to join the Dahlgren, Virginia, naval base in 1956, where she was one of‌ only four black employees. During her stint, she collected location data from orbiting machines and input the data into giant supercomputers, while using early computer software to analyze surface elevations. She worked long days and nights recording satellite locations and on complex calculations. 

Although the work was tedious, West told The AP that she “was ecstatic” about the opportunity “to work with some of the greatest scientists.”

Learn more about Glady’s contributions here

About The 28 Day Campaign

This informational campaign: 28 Days of Little Known Facts About Black American History will see 540Blog share little known facts about Black Americans throughout history every day throughout the month of February. Those that were groundbreaking and history making but do not necessarily get the media attention and coverage.
Source(s): Wikipedia // National Archive Pieces of History

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