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Stories by Meredith Francis

Mae Jemison
July 29, 2019 | Meredith Francis
More than 550 people from 36 countries have traveled to space. Beyond household names like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, dozens of Americans became celebrated "firsts" and set records, like the farthest distance travelled from Earth, the first person enrolled in a Native American tribe to travel to space, and the most number of days spent in orbit.
Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon
July 22, 2019 | Meredith Francis
In a span of just three years, NASA sent twelve people—all men—to the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are household names, but what about the others? Among them are a man who overcame dyslexia, one who believed in UFOs, and another who subscribed to creationism.
Apollo 11 astronauts
July 8, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Less than a decade after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the first widespread conspiracy theories emerged, claiming that the landing was a hoax. Even today, vloggers on YouTube and podcast hosts still promote several conspiracy theories that are easily debunked from scientific, photographic, and physical evidence.
A pride parade in Chicago in the 1970s. Photo: Courtesy Rich Pfeiffer
June 28, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Chicago's Pride Parade didn't start as a parade at all. It was originally a small march to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. But a protest against anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in 1977 helped the parade become what it is today.
Henry Gerber
June 26, 2019 | Meredith Francis
The Society for Human Rights, founded by Chicago postal worker Henry Gerber, didn’t last long, but its legacy inspired various groups in the decades to come. Gerber's Old Town home where he was arrested in 1925 was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.
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