Encino native Sally Ride - 1st American woman in space - to be honored on a stretch of the 101

City News Service
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Stretch of the 101 Freeway to be renamed for Sally Ride
A stretch of the 101 freeway through Encino is being named for Sally Ride, who became the first American woman to travel into space.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- A stretch of the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley will be renamed in honor of Encino native Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

A resolution passed by the state Legislature designates a portion of the freeway in Encino as the Dr. Sally Ride Memorial Highway. Ride died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 61.

"As the first American woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride made history when she shattered the highest glass ceiling,'' Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Encino, said. "A proud Valley native, her legacy continues to inspire young people to reach for the stars, and I am immensely proud to help rename a portion of Highway 101 in Encino in her memory.''

Ride began her professional career as an astronaut in 1978 when she was selected as one of only 35 people out of the 8,000 applicants to be part of NASA Astronaut Group 8. In 1983, the Stanford University graduate became the first American woman in space as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger.

Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at age 32.

This Day in History: Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space on June 18, 1983

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

"Sally would be so honored to have part of Highway 101 near her hometown named after her,'' said Tam O'Shaughnessy, Ride's partner of 27 years.

"And it is very appropriate, Sally spent countless hours on 101 driving to school and to tennis tournaments,'' O'Shaughnessy added.

In addition to being the first American woman in space, Ride is also the earliest space traveler to be recognized as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

O'Shaughnessy accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on behalf of Ride from then-President Barack Obama at the White House in 2013.

Ride retired from NASA in 1987 and began to teach, dedicating herself to encouraging children, especially young girls, to love science. In 2001, Ride and O'Shaughnessy co-founded Sally Ride Science, an education company devoted to helping kids explore science.