NASA celebrates Black history and space at Smithsonian event

In eighth grade, Leland Melvin was a part-time janitor at a Virginia bank to make some extra cash for his family.

Melvin, who later became a pro football player and one of NASA‘s Black astronauts, recalled once greeting a senior bank official while cleaning the bathroom, in the late 1970s. “He looked through me like I wasn’t even there, like I was a ghost,” Melvin told a Smithsonian Institution audience Friday (Feb. 10).

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