Greenbrier Historical Society plans two-day celebration in honor of Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson Weekend
Katherine Johnson Weekend(WVVA)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
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LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVVA) - August 26 is known as “Katherine Johnson Day” in The Mountain State. The distinction honors the life of the West Virginia native whose mathematical calculations in NASA were pivotal in the success of the United State’s first crewed spaceflights.

This year, the Greenbrier Historical Society is taking the celebration of Johnson’s life and legacy a step further. The Katherine Johnson Weekend will feature various events on Friday, August 26, and Saturday, August 27. The two-day event will largely take place in White Sulphur Springs, Johnson’s birthplace.

The string of events will kick off at the Schoolhouse Hotel Friday evening with Pamela Barry’s award-winning one-act play, which tells the story of Johnson’s life. Friday will also feature artwork from West Virginia middle school students and a self-guided walking or driving tour of notable locations in Johnson’s life in White Sulphur Springs.

Saturday will begin with a moderated discussion with Johnson’s daughters, Joylette Hylick and Katherine Moore. The women will also be signing copies of their mother’s memoir, My Remarkable Journey. The event will then transition to Lewisburg for a historic walking tour of downtown and a self-guided tour of the North House Museum.

Janice Cooly, President of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Board of Directors, expressed their desire to honor Johnson, saying two days just isn’t enough time.

“I just think that her work and her life and legacy- we can’t do enough to recognize it,” she shared. “I think there’s so many diamonds like Katherine Johnson that get overlooked, and we don’t put enough emphasis on their talents and what they can do...I just think that she was extraordinary, and she’s one of our icons in our history that we need to continue to remember, and, especially, because she came from Greenbrier County, White Sulphur Springs, and was a poor little country girl that changed the world.”

Proceeds from the Katherine Johnson Celebration will go toward scholarships for local students interested in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics), as well as support the ongoing work done by the Greenbrier Historical Society to educate the public about the history of the Greenbrier Valley Region.

For ticket pricing and more information on events, visit

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