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Feb. 9: Dr. Bernard Harris Becomes First Black Man to Walk in Space

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(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

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Every day during the month of February, WPGC will feature an important moment in Black history.  These daily vignettes are read by local children in the District and surrounding areas.

On Feb. 9, 1995, Dr. Bernard Harris became the first African-American to perform a spacewalk during his second mission into space. Harris was the Payload Commander on STS-63 and logged 198-and-a-half hours in space, completed 129 orbits, and traveled over 2.9 million miles.   The other two members of his mission also made history as the first British-born spacewalker and the first female Shuttle pilot.

On Feb. 9, 1960, students at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. staged sit-ins at downtown lunch counters.  Many sit-ins began on Jan. 1, ranging from Greensboro, N.C. on the first to Atlanta, Ga. on March 15.

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