Let us all wish a very happy birthday to one of the most significant icons of our time, the magnificent Nichelle Nichols. Today, this wonderful actress and songstress celebrates her 82nd birthday (December 28).

It is safe to say that most will recognize Nichelle Nichols from her celebrated role as Lt. Uhura from the original Star Trek television series and movies. Trivia question: what is Uhura's first name?

In addition to her brilliant career on stage, television, and the silver screen, Nichols has enjoyed an incredible career as a singer and songwriter.

Perhaps most significant, though, has been Ms. Nichol's contribution to our society and culture. Her contribution to the Civil Rights movement is beyond measure.

Along the way, Ms. Nichols has shared her talents to draw attention to America's space exploration programs. Following Star Trek's cancellation, she volunteered her time with NASA for a special program to recruit minority and female personnel for the agency.

Happy 82nd birthday to the magnificent Nichelle Nichols. Thank you for the infinite contributions to the arts and to our culture. Here's wishing you a happy voyage on your next trip around the sun.