By Marcia Dunn First black astronaut honored on 50th anniversary of death
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — America’s first black astronaut, Air Force Maj. Robert Lawrence Jr., finally got full honors Friday on the 50th anniversary of his death.
Several hundred people gathered at Kennedy Space Center to commemorate Lawrence, who almost certainly would have gone on to fly in space had he not died in a plane crash on Dec. 8, 1967.
The crowd included NASA dignitaries, astronauts, fellow Omega Psi Phi fraternity members, schoolchildren, and relatives of Lawrence and other astronauts who have died in the line of duty.
Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. (October 2, 1935 – December 8, 1967), (Major, USAF), was a United States Air Force officer and the first African-American astronaut.
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