Museum speaker touches upon the early women of NASA


WAPAKONETA — For their April speaker series event, the Armstrong Air & Space Museum will be joining forces with the Cleveland-based International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) to honor the early women of NASA. This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and will be broadcast for free to the general public via the Armstrong Facebook page.

From the ladies of the Mercury 13 to astronauts like Sally Ride and Judith Resnik, the presentation will expand upon the accomplishments and contributions of these women who, for some time, received little attention.

Marcy Frumker, Space Advisor and Board of Trustees Secretary for the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, will discuss the contributions of the thirteen women, eventually known as the “Mercury 13,” who underwent the same physiological tests and experiments as NASA’s early astronauts. Frumker will also explore how this group of women eventually aided NASA’s acceptance of women in NASA’s Astronaut Corps

“The museum is always looking to recognize and commemorate the people of history who inspire others,” Armstrong Museum Executive Director Dante Centuori said. “The women known as the Mercury 13 and the subsequent women astronauts that followed are great examples of individuals who overcame adversity and followed their dreams. They really proved that space and astronautical research can be pursued by anyone.”

As for the speaker, Frumker has been a lifelong space enthusiast. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a law degree from Cleveland State. Frumker first got involved as a volunteer for the IWASM when it moved to Cleveland in 1998. Later, she became a regular contributor for the IWASM quarterly and interviewed numerous women astronauts for the museum’s YouTube channel. Frumker, who has seen three Space Shuttle launches in person, enjoys working on exhibits about women astronauts and contributing to IWASM’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Frumker also serves as a museum board member and as secretary for the board.

When asked why she had chosen this subject, Frumker responded, “I chose the topic ‘Mercury Women: Forgotten Link to the Future’ because that is also the title of our exhibit at the International Women’s Air & Space Museum in order to explain who the Mercury Women were and how their efforts impacted the women astronauts who followed them even though they never became astronauts themselves. This topic is also timely since it is the 60th anniversary of their testing in 2021.”

This presentation is not the only event that celebrates women trailblazers in history. The Auglaize County Historical Society, a co-host for the talk, is having a traveling exhibit celebrating the 101st anniversary of women’s suffrage. The exhibit launched on Wednesday, April 7 at the Riverside Art Center and will run throughout the month. For more information, visit the historical society’s Facebook page.

For more information on the Armstrong Museum speaker series event, visit the museum’s website at www.armstrongmuseum.org, call the museum at 419-738-8811, or follow the museum on social media.