The Secular Hub held it’s grand opening on February 12, 2013. Eight years later we could not have our traditional Darwin Day/Hub Birthday event. 2020 was a strange year for the Hub, stopping all in-person events at the 3100 Downing St. location in March. We let our lease expire and moved into a storage Pod in December – our last event at 3100 Downing St.
Of course February 12, 1809 was Charles Darwin’s birthday as well as Abraham Lincoln (same year) and Olivia Hooker. Who???
Olivia Juliette Hooker was born February 12, 1915 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Hooker was one of the last known survivors of the Tulsa race massacre of 1921, and the first African-American woman to enter the U.S. Coast Guard in February 1945.
In 1947, she received her master’s from the Teachers College of Columbia University, and in 1961 she received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester, with her dissertation on the learning abilities of children with Down syndrome.
On February 9, 2015, Kirsten Gillibrand spoke in Congress to “pay tribute” to Hooker. In the same year, the Olivia Hooker Dining Facility on the Staten Island Coast Guard facility was named in her honor. A training facility at the Coast Guard’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. was also named after her that same year. On May 20, 2015, President Barack Obama recognized Hooker’s Coast Guard service and legacy while in attendance at the 134th Commencement of the United States Coast Guard Academy. On November 11, 2018, Google honored her by telling her story as part of a Google Doodle for the Veterans Day holiday. Hooker died of natural causes in her home in White Plains, New York on November 21, 2018, at the age of 103.