This Day In History: 2017-11-19

November 18, 1945 – “Wilma Mankiller, First Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is Born”
Wilma Mankiller, who served as the Chief of the Cherokee Nation for ten years from 1985 to 1995, was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 1985, Mankiller became the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Before serving in this capacity, she served as the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation for two years, getting elected to the post in 1983. Mankiller became the Chief when Ross Swimmer died in 1985, but was elected to the post in 1987 and then reelected in 1991. Under the U.S. federal policy of Native American self-determination, Mankiller improved federal-tribal negotiations.

History Spotlight

2017 November 23, 2002 - "First Native American Travels to Space" John Herrington, a registered member of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American to travel into space as the mission specialist for STS-113, the 16th mission to the International Space Station. During his mission, Herrington performed three spacewalks that totaled 19 hours and 55 minutes. The length of his mission was 13 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes. Herrington was inducted to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame the same year he went into space. William Pogue, a crewman aboard Skylab 4 in 1973-1974, had Choctaw ancestry, but was not an enrolled member of the Choctaw.

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