Blanche Stuart Scott, who made notable contributions involving two modes of transportation, was born in Rochester, New York, in1885. She developed a strong interest in automobiles early on in life. In 1910, Scott became only the second woman -- after Alice Huyler Ramsey -- to drive one of those vehicles from one coast to another within... Continue Reading →

March 7, 1889 Pioneering naval aviator Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1910 and then embarked on a comparatively short-lived but significant aviation career.  Chevalier, who would be described in one news account as “one of the navy’s most daring aviators,” took to the... Continue Reading →

March 3, 1910 Transportation pioneer Dorothy Levitt was one of the featured speakers at a mid-afternoon meeting of the English Women’s Aerial League at the renowned Criterion Restaurant in London, England. The league had been established the previous year and was focused on promoting both advances in aircraft technology and the involvement of women in... Continue Reading →

February 9, 1933 Scottish aviator James A. Mollison, flying a de Havilland Puss Moth high-wing monoplane that he named “The Heart’s Content,” completed the first solo east-west airborne crossing of the South Atlantic Ocean. This unprecedented flight ended with Mollison landing at the city of Natal in northeastern Brazil at 1:20 p.m. He arrived there... Continue Reading →

Bobby Charles Wilks, who was born in St. Louis in 1931, achieved several key “firsts” as an African American aviator. In 1956, he graduated with a commission of ensign from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Reserve Officers’ Candidate School in New London, Connecticut. Not long after receiving this commission, Wilks was assigned as a flight student... Continue Reading →

January 12, 1933 The ocean liner SS Lurline left New York City for her maiden voyage. She subsequently traveled to San Francisco via the Panama Canal and then to Sydney, Australia, and other ports in that region of the world.  This luxurious ship was the third Matson Lines vessel named Lurline. She also had the... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Thomas “Tom” Oxendine became the first Native American to be commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Oxendine was a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Most of the members of this tribe have lived in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties in North Carolina. Oxendine was born... Continue Reading →

October 25, 2016 Robert Anderson “Bob” Hoover, a longtime pilot with a wide range of aviation achievements, died in Los Angeles at the age of 94. He had been born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1922. Hoover learned to fly at Berry Field (present-day Nashville International Airport). He worked at a grocery store to help pay... Continue Reading →

NASA astronaut and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) pilot George D. Zamka was born to a Colombian mother and Polish father in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1962. Zamka grew up living at one point or another in each of the following places: New York City; the village of Irvington, New York; the city of Medellin,... Continue Reading →

Francisco D. Mercado, Jr., who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II, was born in East Los Angeles, California, in 1920. As a Hispanic American, he experienced one of his most egregious encounters with prejudice after graduating from high school in 1939. Having shown both a strong aptitude and interest... Continue Reading →

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