- from Pioneers
History tells us that pioneers settled the American West. But history also tells us that people as different as John Glenn, Rosa Parks, and Christiaan Barnard are pioneers. So what, exactly, is a pioneer?
According to one dictionary, a pioneer is someone who helps open up a new area of research. It’s also someone who gives opportunities to others. So John Glenn qualifies as a U.S. space pioneer. Because he was the first American to orbit Earth. Rosa Parks qualifies as a human-rights pioneer. Because her refusal to give up her seat on a public bus in 1955 helped launch the fight for equal treatment of African Americans. Dr. Christiaan Barnard qualifies as a pioneer in medicine. Because he was the first person to transplant a human heart.