Mercury Seven

While the photograph of the Mercury Seven Astronauts was the last chronologically, it was the second I worked on. It was also the quickest and easiest of the three pieces, because I only had to replace 4 men with women.

For this piece I used a 1960 public domain photograph from NASA of the original seven American astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. I replaced Cooper, Schirra, Slayton, and Carpenter with Chinese American Maggie Gee, white Jerrie Cobb, Ogala Lakota woman Ola Mildred Rexroat, and African American Janet Bragg.

The original photo I used was in color, but there were no color photographs of the women so I made the whole picture black and white.

I think All-American most realistic looking of my 3 pieces, both because it is my most best photoshop work and because it is the most modern picture. But, in fact, it wasn’t until 2013 that NASA had an astronaut class with an equal number of men and women. Astronauts, John Glenn and Alan Shepard testified before a special Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics to disallow Mercury 13, a female astronaut training program. John Glenn said, “The fact that women are not in this field is a fact of our social order.”

Some laws and circumstances that would have applied to the women added to this photograph (cont. from 1777- Declaration of Independence and 1919 – Paris Peace Conference):


1919 – Native Americans who fought with honorable discharge in WWI gained citizenship.“The underlying assumption of this act was that these particular Indians had demonstrated that they had become part of the larger Anglo culture and were no longer wholly Indian”. But they were still denied the vote. And it was not until 1965 that Native American were allowed to vote in every state. And it wasn’t until 1968 that Native American were afford all the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.


1920 – 19th Amendment – Women are granted the right to vote.


1924 – Immigration Act – A law that limited the number of immigrants from any country that could be admitted into the United States. It severely restricted immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans and banned immigration of Arabs and Asians.


1924 – Native Americans were denied U.S. citizenship until 1924, before 1924 they were considered wards of the state and were denied various basic rights, including the right to travel.


1924 – New York –  Women continue to be forbidden to work the night shift, except for entertainers and ladies’ room attendees.


1925 – Native American are granted the right to vote by Congress


1927 – United States Supreme Court upholds the right of Mississippi to require a children of Chinese descent to attend school for “colored.”


1930s – Mass deportation of Mexican Americans, from the United States to Mexico, 60% of the more than a million deported were Mexican American citizens.  


1942 – President F. D. Roosevelt issued an executive order of forced relocation from the west coast and incarceration Japanese-Americans.


1947 – United States Supreme Court – Women are allowed to serve on juries but are granted an exception if they chose not to.


1948 – President Truman desegregates the U.S. Armed Forces.


1954 – United States Supreme Court ends racial segregation in public schools.


1957 – Civil Rights Act of 1957 – Laws intending to protect African American voting rights in the South.


1960 – Civil Rights Act of 1960 – Established federal inspection of voter registration and penalties for anyone attempting to block a citizen from registering to vote, or voting.

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