September 26, 1944 With the United States still fighting the Axis powers during World War II, the U.S. Navy cargo ship USS Beltrami was launched. Beltrami, which had been named after a county in northwestern Minnesota, was built by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company at its shipyards in Richmond, California. The launch of Beltrami at Richmond... Continue Reading →

August 17, 1939 Beverly Rae Kimes, a writer who became known as the First Lady of Automotive History, was born in West Chicago, Illinois. Kimes developed a strong interest in writing early on in life, focusing at the time on the fine arts and the performing arts rather than automobiles. She earned two degrees in... Continue Reading →

July 6, 1881 In central Iowa, a potentially horrific passenger train wreck was averted thanks to a heroic teenage girl. The girl was 17-year-old Katherine Carroll “Kate” Shelley, who lived in that region of the Hawkeye State with her family. Kate had been born in Ireland, and she and her family immigrated to the United... Continue Reading →

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 →

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