Meet Navy Commander Richard Harrington. Commander Harrington is a Chickasaw Indian from Oklahoma. That blue suit he is wearing is very special. That is an astronaut's suit. Commander Harrington is the first Native American Astronaut!!!! This picture was taken at the Museum of Natural History in Houston at the Native American Writers and Storytellers conference. They have a really cool bunch of classrooms down in the basement with lots of kool stuff for kids. This is one of those classrooms.
Now back to Commander Harrington, to get to be an astronaut takes a LOT of hard work. You have to be a pilot in the Air Force or Navy first. To be a Navy pilot you must have a college degree. Commander Harrington went to the University of Colorado to get his first degree. Then he joined the U. S. Navy and became a pilot. He flew big Orion submarine hunting planes up in Alaska for a while. Then he went to test pilot's school. Being a Navy test pilot is one of the kewlest things ANYONE can do. You get to fly the newest and fastest jets the U.S. has. Then Commander Harrington decided he wanted to be an astronaut. But, to do this he needed even MORE education. So he went back to school and got a masters degree in aeronautical engineering. Then he applied to NASA. He say that when the phone rang to tell him if he was accepted or rejected he was really nervous. Hundreds of the best of the best apply to NASA to be astronauts. Knowing this made him believe he did not stand much of a chance. He thought the phone call would be to tell him he had not made it. BUT HE DID :-), as you can see. If you ever get to meet him you will see why he was chosen. Not only is he smart, he is a very nice person.
He lives with his wife and two daughters outside of Houston near the Johnson Space Center. He is very proud to be a Chickasaw and attends many tribal events. As an astronaut, he gets invited to quite a few Native American events all over the country and he says he enjoys the chance to meet other Native Americans and share with them.
The Chickasaw used to live in Mississippi, but were moved to a reservation in Oklahoma back in the 1830s. Commander Harrington may not be from an old Texas Indian tribe, but he sure is a Texas Indian now.
Hey, I had to show off. :-P Here I am with Commander Harrington.
Ruffus Davis of the Adias Caddo
Meet Rufus "Chief" Davis jr, Leader of the Adias Caddo tribe. He lives in Robeline Louisiana. He owns an environmental engineering company. His company cleans up toxic wastes. This picture was taken at a meeting at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. In November there was a conference on the Spanish missions and the history of the northern Spanish territories. Texas used to be one of those territories. The East Texas Caddos had the first mission and first Spanish settlement in Texas in their lands in East Texas. That is why Davis was at this conference. He is always interested in the history of his people -- and the Caddo have a lot of history to be proud of here in Texas. He said he was going to send me a picture of himself in full traditional dress. I hope the picture gets here soon because I want to see what a Adias Caddo wears!! Bet it is pretty neat!!
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Copyright by R E. Moore and Texarch Associates, 1998. all rights reserved. Graphics may not be used or reproduced without prior permission. Short parts of text may be quoted in school reports. Longer quotes require prior written permission.