Text: H.R.1396 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-68 (11/08/2019)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 68]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 133 STAT. 1129]]

Public Law 116-68
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To award Congressional Gold Medals to Katherine Johnson and Dr. 
  Christine Darden, to posthumously award Congressional Gold Medals to 
  Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, and to award a Congressional Gold 
 Medal to honor all of the women who contributed to the success of the 
     National Aeronautics and Space Administration during the Space 
              Race. <<NOTE: Nov. 8, 2019 -  [H.R. 1396]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Hidden Figures 
Congressional Gold Medal Act. 31 USC 5111 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Hidden Figures Congressional Gold 
Medal Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) In 1935, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 
        (referred to in this section as ``NACA'') hired five women to 
        serve as the first ``computer pool'' at the Langley Memorial 
        Aeronautical Laboratory where those women took on work making 
        calculations that male engineers had made previously.
            (2) During the 1940s, NACA began recruiting African-American 
        women to work as computers and initially separated those women 
        from their White counterparts in a group known as the ``West 
        Area Computers'' where the women were restricted to segregated 
        dining and bathroom facilities.
            (3) Katherine Johnson was born on August 26, 1918, in White 
        Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
            (4) In 1953, Katherine Johnson began her career in 
        aeronautics as a computer in the segregated West Area Computing 
        unit described in paragraph (2).
            (5) As a member of the Flight Research Division, Katherine 
        Johnson analyzed data from flight tests. After NACA was 
        reformulated into the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration (referred to in this section as ``NASA''), 
        Katherine Johnson--
                    (A) calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard's 
                Freedom 7 mission in 1961, which was the first human 
                spaceflight by an individual from the United States;
                    (B) coauthored a report that provided the equations 
                for describing orbital spaceflight with a specified 
                landing point, which made her the first woman to be 
                recognized as an author of a report from the Flight 
                Research Division;
                    (C) was asked to verify the calculations when 
                electronic computers at NASA were used to calculate the 
                orbit for John Glenn's Friendship 7 mission; and

[[Page 133 STAT. 1130]]

                    (D) provided calculations for NASA throughout her 
                career, including for the Apollo missions.
            (6) Katherine Johnson retired from NASA in 1986.
            (7) Dr. Christine Darden was born on September 10, 1942, in 
        Monroe, North Carolina.
            (8) In 1962, Dr. Christine Darden graduated from Hampton 
        Institute with a B.S. in Mathematics and a teaching credential.
            (9) Dr. Christine Darden attended Virginia State University 
        where she studied aerosol physics and earned an M.S. in Applied 
        Mathematics.
            (10) Dr. Christine Darden began her career in aeronautics in 
        1967 as a data analyst at NASA's Langley Research Center 
        (referred to in this section as ``Langley'') before being 
        promoted to aerospace engineer in 1973. Her work in this 
        position resulted in the production of low-boom sonic effects, 
        which revolutionized aerodynamics design.
            (11) Dr. Christine Darden completed her education by earning 
        a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington 
        University in 1983.
            (12) While working at NASA, Dr. Christine Darden--
                    (A) was appointed to be the leader of the Sonic Boom 
                Team, which worked on designs to minimize the effects of 
                sonic booms by testing wing and nose designs for 
                supersonic aircraft;
                    (B) wrote more than 50 articles on aeronautics 
                design; and
                    (C) became the first African American to be promoted 
                to a position in the Senior Executive Service at 
                Langley.
            (13) Dorothy Vaughan was born on September 20, 1910, in 
        Kansas City, Missouri.
            (14) Dorothy Vaughan began working for NACA in 1943. Dorothy 
        Vaughan--
                    (A) started at NACA as a member of the West Area 
                Computing unit;
                    (B) was promoted to be the head of the West Area 
                Computing unit, becoming NACA's first African-American 
                supervisor, a position that she held for 9 years; and
                    (C) became an expert programmer in FORTRAN as a 
                member of NASA's Analysis and Computation Division.
            (15) Dorothy Vaughan retired from NASA in 1971 and died on 
        November 10, 2008.
            (16) Mary Jackson was born on April 9, 1921, in Hampton, 
        Virginia.
            (17) Mary Jackson started her career at NACA in 1951, 
        working as a computer as a member of the West Area Computing 
        unit.
            (18) After petitioning the City of Hampton to allow her to 
        take graduate-level courses in math and physics at night at the 
        all-White Hampton High School, Mary Jackson was able to complete 
        the required training to become an engineer, making her NASA's 
        first female African-American engineer.
            (19) Mary Jackson--
                    (A) while at NACA and NASA--
                          (i) worked in the Theoretical Aerodynamics 
                      Branch of the Subsonic-Transonic Aerodynamics 
                      Division at Langley where she analyzed wind tunnel 
                      and aircraft flight data; and

[[Page 133 STAT. 1131]]

                          (ii) published a dozen technical papers that 
                      focused on the boundary layer of air around 
                      airplanes; and
                    (B) after 21 years working as an engineer at NASA, 
                transitioned to a new job as Langley's Federal Women's 
                Program Manager where she worked to improve the 
                prospects of NASA's female mathematicians, engineers, 
                and scientists.
            (20) Mary Jackson retired from NASA in 1985 and died in 
        2005.
            (21) These four women, along with the other African-American 
        women in NASA's West Area Computing unit, were integral to the 
        success of the early space program. The stories of these four 
        women exemplify the experiences of hundreds of women who worked 
        as computers, mathematicians, and engineers at NACA beginning in 
        the 1930s and their handmade calculations played an integral 
        role in--
                    (A) aircraft testing during World War II;
                    (B) supersonic flight research;
                    (C) sending the Voyager probes to explore the solar 
                system; and
                    (D) the United States landing the first man on the 
                lunar surface.
SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDALS.

    (a) Presentation Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make 
appropriate arrangements for the presentation, on behalf of Congress, of 
five gold medals of appropriate design as follows:
            (1) One gold medal to Katherine Johnson in recognition of 
        her service to the United States as a mathematician.
            (2) One gold medal to Dr. Christine Darden for her service 
        to the United States as an aeronautical engineer.
            (3) In recognition of their service to the United States 
        during the Space Race--
                    (A) one gold medal commemorating the life of Dorothy 
                Vaughan; and
                    (B) one gold medal commemorating the life of Mary 
                Jackson.
            (4) One gold medal in recognition of all women who served as 
        computers, mathematicians, and engineers at the National 
        Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and the National Aeronautics 
        and Space Administration between the 1930s and the 1970s 
        (referred to in this section as ``recognized women'').

    (b) Design and Striking.-- <<NOTE: Determination.>> For the purpose 
of the awards under subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury 
(referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') shall strike each gold 
medal described in that subsection with suitable emblems, devices, and 
inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.

    (c) Transfer of Certain Medals After Presentation.--
            (1) Smithsonian institution.--
                    (A) In general.--After the award of the gold medal 
                commemorating the life of Dorothy Vaughan under 
                subsection (a)(3)(A) and the award of the gold medal in 
                recognition of recognized women under subsection (a)(4), 
                those medals shall be given to the Smithsonian 
                Institution where the medals shall be--

[[Page 133 STAT. 1132]]

                          (i) available for display, as appropriate; and
                          (ii) made available for research.
                    (B) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress 
                that the Smithsonian Institution should make the gold 
                medals received under subparagraph (A) available for--
                          (i) display, particularly at the National 
                      Museum of African American History and Culture; or
                          (ii) loan, as appropriate, so that the medals 
                      may be displayed elsewhere.
            (2) Transfer to family.-- <<NOTE: Wanda Jackson.>> After the 
        award of the gold medal in honor of Mary Jackson under 
        subsection (a)(3)(B), the medal shall be given to her 
        granddaughter, Wanda Jackson.
SEC. 4. DUPLICATE MEDALS.

    Under regulations that the Secretary may promulgate, the Secretary 
may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medals struck under 
this Act, at a price sufficient to cover the cost of the medals, 
including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead 
expenses.
SEC. 5. STATUS OF MEDALS.

    (a) National Medals.--The medals struck under this Act are national 
medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
    (b) Numismatic Items.--For purposes of sections 5134 and 5136 of 
title 31, United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be 
considered to be numismatic items.
SEC. 6. AUTHORITY TO USE FUND AMOUNTS; PROCEEDS OF SALE.

    (a) Authority To Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck 
under this Act.
    (b) Proceeds of Sale.--Amounts received from the sale of duplicate 
bronze medals authorized under section 4 shall be deposited into the 
United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
SEC. 7. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

    The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with 
the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the

[[Page 133 STAT. 1133]]

Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, 
provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on 
passage.

    Approved November 8, 2019.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1396 (S. 590):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 165 (2019):
            Sept. 19, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 17, considered and passed Senate.

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