In 1988, Sakhile Nyoni-Reiling became the first female pilot in the Republic of Botswana when she began flying planes for that African country’s state-owned airline Air Botswana. While born in the neighboring country of Zimbabwe, she has spent most of her life in Botswana. Nyoni’s enthusiasm for flying took root at an early age. She... Continue Reading →

In 1965, chemist Stephanie Kwolek made a pivotal discovery while working on the development of a lightweight fiber that would be durable enough to replace the steel used in tires. This discovery led to the creation of a high-strength material that has since played a lifesaving role in transportation and various other industries. Kwolek was born... Continue Reading →

In the late 1980s, Surekha Shankar Yadav became India’s first woman to operate a train. Yadav was born in the city of Satara in India’s state of Maharashtra in 1965. After graduating from St. Paul Convent High School in Satara, she earned a diploma in electrical engineering at Polytechnic Government College in the city of... Continue Reading →

In 1896, Helga Estby and her 17-year-old daughter Clara made national headlines when they walked across the United States from Spokane, Washington, to New York City. Helga had been born in 1860 in the city of Christiana (present-day Oslo) in what is now Norway (at the time part of the United Kingdoms of Sweden and... Continue Reading →

In 1922, Brazilian airplane pilot Anésia Pinheiro Machado was granted Brevet No. 77 from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (the international regulatory organization for flying). This certification, which was specifically given to Machado by Aeroclube do Brasil, made her only the second licensed female pilot in Brazil. (The first woman in Brazil to earn such a... Continue Reading →

In the spirit of the female African-American mathematicians whose efforts to strengthen and advance the U.S. space program despite discrimination are depicted in the movie Hidden Figures, Raye Jean Jordan Montague played an important if often overlooked pioneering role when it came to military seacraft. Montague, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1935,... Continue Reading →

In 1910, transportation pioneer Marie Marvingt was formally recognized by the French Academy of Sports for her wide range of accomplishments in sporting activities. The gold medal that was presented to Marvingt on this occasion would be the only one ever given by the academy for more than one sport. “Swimming, cycling, mountain climbing, ballooning, flying,... Continue Reading →

Katherine Johnson was one of the pioneering National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) African-American females to be featured, along with supervisor and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan and engineer Mary Jackson, in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. (Johnson was portrayed in that Oscar-nominated film by Taraji P. Henson, with Octavia Spencer playing the part of Vaughan and... Continue Reading →

Madine Pulaski had a passion for airborne travel that took her from serving as a flight attendant to becoming a versatile pilot. A member of the Cherokee Nation, she was born as Etha Madine Waltrip in 1936 in the community of Eldon, Oklahoma. When Pulaski was in the eighth grade, she and her family moved to... Continue Reading →

November 20, 1897 Aviation pioneer Maude Rose “Lores” Bonney was born in the city of Pretoria in the present-day Republic of South Africa. (At the time of Bonney’s birth, the region where Pretoria is located was part of an independent and internationally recognized state known as the Transvaal Republic.) At an early age, Bonney –... Continue Reading →

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