- from Pioneers
History tells us that pioneers settled the American West. But history also tells us that people as diverse as John Glenn, Rosa Parks, and Christiaan Barnard are pioneers, too. So what, exactly, is a pioneer?
According to one dictionary, a pioneer is someone who helps open up a new area of research or gives opportunities to others. So John Glenn would qualify as a U.S. space pioneer by being the first American to orbit Earth. Rosa Parks would qualify as a human-rights pioneer when she refused to give up her seat on a public bus in 1955, helping launch the fight for equal treatment of African Americans. Dr. Christiaan Barnard qualified as a pioneer in medicine when he became the first person to transplant a human heart.