At a time when pedestrian races had grown in popularity across the United States, a number of women – widely known as “pedestriennes” – were establishing themselves as prominent and formidable competitors in the sport. One of the major pedestriennes of the era was May Marshall of Chicago. Her hard-fought victory over rival pedestrienne Bertha Von... Continue Reading →

Lillie Elizabeth Drennan and her husband Willard formally launched a trucking business in their native Texas. This enterprise, known as the Drennan Truck Line, would establish Lillie not only as a major force to be reckoned with in the Lone Star State’s freight industry but also as a transportation pioneer. The Drennans started their trucking... Continue Reading →

Transportation pioneer Augusta Van Buren was born in New York City. She and her sister Adeline, who was born in 1889, jointly undertook a record-setting motorcycle journey across the continental United States in 1916.  (The sisters were descendants of Martin Van Buren, the eighth U.S. president.) Augusta and Adeline were active in the Preparedness Movement,... Continue Reading →

Annie Cohen Kopchovsky (1870-1947), better known as Annie Londonderry, reached an important juncture in her unprecedented round-the-world bicycling tour when she made it back to the United States. Nearly nine months after leaving her adopted hometown Boston on a Columbia woman’s bicycle, she arrived in San Francisco aboard the steamship S.S. Belgic. Annie Cohen Kopchovsky... Continue Reading →

A Brooklyn Daily Eagle article about a Mississippi-based lighthouse -- located 1,256 miles (2,021 kilometers) away from the newspaper’s home base in New York City -- focused on a unique claim to fame held by that navigational aid. “Women Have Guided Biloxi Light for Over Sixty Years,” read the article’s headline. “A woman’s hand has... Continue Reading →

Trailblazing aviator Elinor Smith died in Palo Alto, California, at the age of 98. She was born Elinor Regina Patricia Ward in 1911 in New York City. (She became Elinor Smith after her father, whose wide-ranging show business pursuits included singing and comedy, changed his name to Tom Smith.) Elinor Smith grew up in the... Continue Reading →

The Montana Standard newspaper featured a tribute to a legendary lighthouse keeper who had died the previous month on faraway Staten Island in New York. “Death recently closed the life of Mrs. Kate Walker, keeper from 1886 to 1919 of the Robbins Reef lighthouse in upper New York harbor,” stated the article. “A little woman,... Continue Reading →

Katie Spotz completed a solo rowing crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, arriving at Guyana on South America’s northern mainland more than four months after departing from Senegal on the West African coast. In completing this ambitious journey of 2,817 nautical miles (5,217.1 kilometers), 22-year-old Spotz became the youngest person to row across an ocean solo.... Continue Reading →

On her 100th birthday, Hepsa Cottle lived it up by traveling in an automobile in her adopted hometown of New York City. “Aged Woman Enjoys Novel Celebration,” proclaimed a headline in the San Francisco Call. In its own account of Mrs. Cottle’s birthday ride, Automotive Industries magazine characterized her in a caption as “the Oldest... Continue Reading →

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