October 12, 1799 An aviation milestone took place when Jeanne Geneviéve Labrosse Garnerin, who was flying in a hot-air balloon in the skies over France, became the first woman to make a parachute descent back to earth. The balloon was approximately 2,953 feet (900 meters) above the ground when she made this descent, with her... Continue Reading →

In 1993, American astronaut Ellen Ochoa made history as the first Hispanic woman to travel into outer space. This pioneering flight involved a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in which she helped conduct an array of atmospheric and solar studies. Ochoa was born in Los Angeles in 1958. She earned a bachelor’s degree in... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. The Michigan-born pilot departed Dover, England, for Calais, France, in a monoplane that she had never flown before and with a compass she had just recently learned to use. Quimby, despite those challenges as well as thick fog that limited visibility... Continue Reading →

The trailblazing automobile manufacturer Winton Motor Carriage Company officially began operations in Cleveland. Scottish immigrant and marine engineer Alexander Winton, who previously produced bicycles, founded the company with George H. Brown and Thomas W. Henderson. The Winton Motor Carriage Company’s earliest automobiles were built entirely by hand. Each of these vehicles featured gas lamps, painted... Continue Reading →

Marshall W. "Major" Taylor (1878-1932), the first African-American to become a world-champion cyclist, departed the Australian city of Melbourne via train during the course of his second racing tour in the Land Down Under. (His first tour in Australia took place the previous year.) The Indiana-born Taylor had launched his professional cycling career at New York... Continue Reading →

Robert Julian Scott, whose interests and accomplishments involved several modes of transportation during his many years in New Zealand, died in the city of Christchurch at the age of 69. Scott had been born in Plymouth, England, in 1861. After completing his education, he worked briefly for the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway under... Continue Reading →

Oceanographer and engineer Jacques Piccard, whose work involving underwater vehicles revolutionized deep-sea exploration, died at the age of 86 at his Lake Geneva home in Switzerland’s municipality of Cully. Piccard was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1922. He came from a renowned Swiss family of adventurers and transportation pioneers. His father, Auguste Piccard, was an accomplished inventor and... Continue Reading →

Airline transport pilot and certified flight instructor Wang Zheng (also known as Julie Wang) became the first Asian woman to circumnavigate the Earth in an airplane, and the first Chinese person to fly solo around the world, when she returned to the Texas town of Addison in the Dallas area 33 days after starting her... Continue Reading →

Sudhir K. Gupta is an Indian-American business executive who made key contributions to transportation during his long career. Gupta graduated with a B.S. degree in marine engineering from the Marine Engineering College in India in 1972 and with a B.S.E. degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan in 1981. He... Continue Reading →

Margaret “Maggie” Gee became an aviation pioneer during World War II when she was one of only two Chinese-Americans to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The organization, which was formed in August 1943 from both the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Training Detachment and Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, consisted of female pilots who performed... Continue Reading →

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