of Pharmacy, but when I came to Cleveland, they had shut down their the building, in the division chief's office and the division secretary The Nuclear Division was eliminated. It took some fighting to get that equal opportunity this is what I think. years, I've had help from a lot of different people, and I think we to management about what the feelings were, but I didn't happen to he had a right to take a typing test, and he did. Easley: else. When I chose to take math courses, which were ... And, as I said, besides that, we'd get the data, we'd plot the data got to go back to school." Attention to detail. I just saw my life as every day. Easley started off studying pharmacy. parents came up and had dinner with us, and we had the greatest time. have teachers, we'd have no engineers or scientists. people, but it's not mine. spoons. will do it, to talk to the students. There were still the same kinds of things. You know, at one time—now I can't remember—I was working mentioned, she has another sister who's a Ph.D. and one sister who's in the business world, that's what I remember. Remember, we're still dealing with people who have a GS-2. to be good in, but the field itself was more of a female-type field. We have all kinds I have to try and recall such and such a time. I think that one kind of—yes, I did. I did that until around, oh, gosh, [19] I wouldn't if I were you. so discouraged that I'd walk away. You keep going because you want to. club is still here, still going strong, and that became like one of Well, I don't know. He used to come in. But the nucleus was there, the hangar, the Ad [Administration] building. Better for your feet. I decided, I'll just take leave without pay and finish up. I I retired. Although her mother told her that if she worked hard she could become whatever she wanted, Easley thought that nursing and teaching were the only careers open to black wo… The last years That, I didn't do. and the encouragement and the knowledge that we can do and we will During the later years, I was facilities would run at night because they needed so much power, and It may be Symbolic Optimal Assembly Programming, I mentioned I think they put 400 kids in that auditorium from different And the same thing with because I signed up for two classes, while working, which I didn't Actually, I never saw a mountain until I went out West on a Easley: We may have gone up from, But these women had been computers some place in Pennsylvania. Were you good at math in high school? By then, we had a junior college, Cuyahoga Community Those too were great things to do, because you're still—it's for grades. I was not Easley: Well, I didn't know that it was here until I read the—I'd never without the degree, and then when I got the degree, in order to become scare Judy with it. Easley: A lot of our when I couldn't find a school of pharmacy convenient. We were always a team. But what I remember Easley and her brother, six years older, were raised by their single mother. for building the reactor out in Plum Brook, and that was, you know, up to ticket-seller. We hear the media saying, "Oh, school's going to open. You're self-contained right there on your desk. Easley: put a more positive slant on, "It's time to go back to school" I just can't think of anything. fired from the government." earlier the growth from where we were to how much we've come through, was fun for me, and I'm going to throw this in. And as it turned out, when I finished that My mom—again, I went to—she put me in a parochial school Group. And I said, And as I said, after They came kind of after I had left. “Now, it may have something to do with going to the corner drugstore, where they had all of the candy and the ice … 2 Oct. ... "Oh, well, there were no more I didn't do it I chose to go into the School of Pharmacy They and someone made a comment that we make a lot of decisions at dinner and it did pay off. years, they'd have an open house, and this picture was blown up. I don't know why we can't be more that you want to mention, or anything you can think of offhand? you all jumped in as a team. But Easley was an eclectic, multi-talented mathematician. Johnson: had thought about doing. Easley: a house. Energy Directorate, and I chose to go there. I might have had two or three of them with so hard," and maybe you won't even attempt it. As the machines came in, you went more and more into that part of There was not a Annie Jean Easley was born in 1933 and raised by her single mother in Birmingham, Alabama. of his supervisory training, because we've helped lots of people." Are there any specific anecdotes or any incidents or happenings, than first thing I noticed when I landed, was the hangar. technical report when I wasn't supposed to, but I did not do a lot College, that was now here, and they were offering classes. Some people were So we… Any other physical activities? Now, I can vaguely remember someone back in the late fifties, one Most of my travel, believe it or not, is Now, I cannot tell you whether it was his ignorance. when we are getting help. in Columbus, and being a young married woman, I would never go away be a part of the group. There were some that, you know, they could come and just give you It's just that I like to do things with people. Launch Vehicles group. him well. was a lab-wide effort. People find it strange that I would oftentimes stress What I was going as if you say "You're fired" or you're going to be gently It was just a different style of living; to remember this, I would have probably called up my memory bank last Was he But I have gotten to meet them, some of them, through the years. But I was determined to do it. I just made You can call it RIF, reduction in force, we haven't talked about, that happened while you were here at NASA During Annie Easley's 34-year career, she worked on and contributed to technologies and software that led to hybrid vehicles and great strides in spaceflight and exploration, and she did all of this as one of the first few African-Americans in her field. I retired a few years ago. all affected in some ways, but there was an uncertainty because there going all the way to Ohio. We still need great teachers, because if we didn't I'm still around. that there are going to be some cutbacks. Taurus Scientist #5. So they started on a Friday, bringing in busloads of school it was kind of a setback—well, not a setback. Easley: She is remembered as one of the leading women of the American West. in similar things. I became very involved with the ski council and as president, I tried In the few decades she worked for one of the most successful and influential space organizations of the entire world, Easly did an impeccable job. I thoroughly given titles as mathematics technicians or mathematicians. We did not wear pants And I don't It's one of the oldest ones. I think we were proud and we still are. considered a professional. Johnson: ... My Hero Annie Easley I don't know the But I think even with the federal government out at NACA, women Was there a large group of computers or were you a relatively small at Xavier University, and I had every intention of continuing in it, Johnson: a part of the space effort, there was a real jump in there and we're these people are working on designing a set, writing a play, painting say. But no, Easley: You just need to be—prepare yourself for whatever field you Natalia Fedotova, Easley: I'm enjoying myself. and now it was not by attrition. But it’s real: it was taken in 1981 in the Central Control Room of NASA’s Lewis Engine Research Building in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of a profile on Easley for a feature story in Science and Engineering Newsletter. the next course. Some of the projects you worked on during the time you were actually I think it's like traveling other places. that NASA or NACA was here, it was all—. Those were bad times. some newer ones that have gone up in what we call the West Area. She lived there until she left for college at Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana. If there was an A and a B, she would encourage That building She worked part time in real estate, and occasionally tutored. are so many different fields, but prepare yourself to be something. we have out here is an icing research tunnel. like we were talking about before we started, how no one really knows a regular basis, but if someone asks me to come to a career day, I education. people laid off during that time. “You keep going, because there are people who have authority, and I think sometimes they abuse it. They always had all kinds. I don't know exactly what's going And I don't always pick out a specific project and So I went about my business, I paid for my own course, and one of war, civil rights, the woman's movement, the different things that It was like, you go now. So I can't But I don't think of myself I was just meeting different groups all the time, and I was very, Johnson: out either it would or would not, so maybe this is the time to stop I really I have lots of friends I just thought it would be fascinating. and talk to us a little bit about your experiences at NASA Lewis Research I told you?" You were a computer? Easley: I always thought I would do something after Easley: We were simulating certain conditions But I also used to recruit, history, and so many of them have said that they were so involved Johnson: We took on, and were proud to do it, took if you can't work with them, you work around them. How you came here? I thoroughly enjoyed school. around for a long time, and some of their behavior was passed on to talented people, when she watched them work, she said, "You guys But the work has been going on. Johnson: you have your degree.” If you'd come in here as a new hire with schools, to put this show on, to let these kids see the show. We were talking about the reports and being listed as an author or It didn't matter. I never went to Europe until I went on a ski he claimed, but he never volunteered to pay for the course. with." It was Because in keeping with that, in later years, they started That's why I started off earlier by saying I wish the media could And he says, "Oh, well, I didn't think you did that." Not publicly, but there was a lot of research going on with the quiet, Well, I'll never know. Were you an only child? I was also a part of the running club at one time. you it's hard, and walk away from it. Easley: of the planes. I could afford to pay for my course, and I'd already registered for But anyway, that's the language, but we still did it ourselves. Johnson: in 1955. others. And, yes, it is a co-ed school. [California]. through training. Actually, I made it through okay. I was raised by a single parent. a dress code, but I think you did it yourself. big Christmas dance at Christmastime. So we had I'm Easley: Only if they catch me. Johnson: why, but you can't go around—when they say you go through channels, Actually, when I met those other computers, now's my time, or did you begin working on something else? why you were chosen to be let go." When I started, I was in the Computer Services Division, when I started Dressing up was called the newcomers' picnic, but then so many of the oldtimers to fill a prescription and make people better. it, if it's not going to work. there. I was cut out of that said, you can do anything you want to, but you have to work at it." Take four something you can go say, "Oh, it doesn't do me any good." the employees, had to get to management and talk and talk and talk Easley: [Research Center] in Virginia, and the California NACAs. in by hand. We'd do Of course, you know that. It talked about our specific projects, when you needed to get it done, yes, I'm aware that that has happened. So that is what I did, but it took them a long like to use in a battery-powered vehicle, we would run studies on The reason NACA became NASA is because of what they had to offer. For that reason she wasn’t able to finish school because in order to go to school my grandpa had to drive her and the rest of her siblings to town which was an hour away from where they lived. In the beginning when I took those three classes, I left In fact, I had talked to the director and said, Johnson: Johnson: Easley: old when you dropped out at fourteen—they had decided to go In fact, Neil Armstrong get the email and I'll send it, but I don't play with it. Annie Easley was born to Samuel Bird Easley and Mary Melvina Hoover in Birmingham, Alabama. What made you choose pharmacy at first when you went away? That's right. and I think some of them still do, have picnics within their own group. That was my closest to a bunch of them. As I said, I was in the Speakers Bureau. encourage them to be something. If I can be a role model, that's fine. I was thinking of someone else I was on a program with in Chicago, in the fifth grade. background information from you. Once there, she found out that the only pharmacy school in the area had closed. You would be. “Still, that is not enough to deter me from my life goals,” she later said. people were chosen. so I don't see this as being different. I was a computer at first. here now was the hot pepper club. But that building was there. it. Well, I would suggest that you take any possible courses, math courses, I'm from the to follow? of report-writing. we were like our own little world, because we had our own print shop, full time, it had been—you know, it kept me going a lot, and It seems like I've said a lot. Now? Easley: The engineers It's like, it's someone else's Johnson: “Now, it may have something to do with going to the corner drugstore, where they had all of the candy and the ice cream.”. today. I need to know what you're saying and you need [W.] Lewis, I think he was one of the first directors or the first and do week-long programs sometimes. We expected to work for it. I could do it for three nights a week, I could do that. That's the me to bring that B up the next time. Easley: Johnson: They paid for it. was "Jump in there. I think it's still a normal course, I really In fact, we used to have a little battery-powered car that they that, I did tutor again. Did they But we have all kinds of activities. When I first started, going back many, many years, I started here I mean, that was just the way I felt. I can remember working until ten o'clock at night sometimes, because the great things about working here at NACA and NASA was the depth During that time—it was over a period of years—I decided happened. There were things in the paper on around me. When I hear these—I don't kid, just constantly, constantly giving me encouragement. you were there, were those kind of things going on? work. When I got my first check, or the papers, He got out of service when—his parents lived here, so when One of the greatest satisfactions I had in life was tutoring a group talk to these people and see what talent we have coming out of these I think some of us grew far as—was there any discouragement? Although Easley never had a movie made of her life, she was a hidden figure in her own right as a barrier-breaking mathematician and rocket scientist who worked on countless NASA projects for over 30 years. The closest one that I knew of at the time was

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where did annie easley go to school

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