Nichelle Nichols talks to a group of students at NASA Mission Control in 1977 and visits the Lewis Research center that same year.

In the mid-1970s, Nichols had given a speech that criticized NASA for not selecting women and people of color as astronaut candidates. The agency’s response was to hire her to find and recruit talented minorities and women, and she did exactly that. In her tenure as a recruiter, she helped the agency bring five women, three African American men and an Asian American male on board.