Saturday, August 19, 2006

Not In The News Friday (Late Edition: the Sequel)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

Sorry things are a day late but I had something to deal with at the apartment yesterday involving accidental flooding. All is dealt with now and okay again.

This week, we feature Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols.

In her role as Lt. Uhura, she participated in the first interracial kiss on U.S. television, with Canadian actor William Shatner (as Captain James T. Kirk) in the 1968 Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren." The scene provoked protest and was seen as groundbreaking, even though the kiss was portrayed as having been forced by alien mind control. The episode was not telecast in some Southern cities as a result of the protests in those states; nevertheless, it caused many viewers to contact the broadcaster and the majority of the feedback of the incident was positive. It was over twenty-five years before it was broadcast on British television.

After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency, which proved to be a spectacular success. They include Dr. Sally K. Ride, the first American female astronaut and United States Air Force Col. Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the space shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

An enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, Nichols has served since the mid-1980s on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit, educational space advocacy organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun.

Always interested in space travel, Nichelle flew aboard NASA's C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight hour, high-altitude mission. She was also a special guest at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California on July 17, 1976 to view the Viking 1 soft landing on Mars. Along with the other cast members from the original Star Trek series, Nichelle attended the christening of the first space shuttle, Enterprise, at the North American Rockwell assembly facility in Palmdale, California.

In 1994, she published her autobiography Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories. In it she states that she had a lengthy love affair with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Source: Wikipedia: Nichelle Nichols

1 comment:

Zen said...

I had no idea...