Mary Golda Ross was the first known Native American female engineer. She was born in the Oklahoma community of Park Hill in 1908. One of her great-grandfathers was John Ross, a longtime and widely renowned chief of the Cherokee Nation who helped guide his people through such tumultuous experiences as the Civil War and the... Continue Reading →

Mary Riddle won widespread acclaim as one of the first Native American women to earn an airplane pilot’s license. She was born in the community of Bruceport in Washington in 1902. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Riddle was a member of both the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington and the Clatsop Tribe in... Continue Reading →

October 29, 1864 In England, Emma Sharp completed a highly publicized walk of 1,000 miles (1,609.3 kilometers) in 1,000 hours. This milestone in 19th century pedestrianism took place at a 120-yard (109.7-meter) roped-off course in Laisterdyke, a part of the then-municipal borough (now city) of Bradford. More than 55 years earlier in the English town... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

May 21, 1979 The U.S Air Force (USAF), in a key victory for a group of American women who had flown planes in support of their country during World War II, officially recognized the active military status of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during that global conflict and issued honorable discharges to those aviators.... Continue Reading →

The Los Angeles Times highlighted an important but increasingly overlooked aviation pioneer from the World War II era. Hazel Ying Lee was the first Chinese-American woman to fly in support of U.S. military efforts, and the article in the Los Angeles Times focused on a 1944 letter from her to one of her still-surviving relatives.... Continue Reading →

USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39), a dock landing ship built by General Dynamics Corporation (GD) for the U.S. Navy’s use in providing logistical support for ground forces, was officially launched. The ceremony took place at GD’s Quincy Shipbuilding Division in eastern Massachusetts. Eileen Shillito christened the new ship: her husband Barry J. Shillito was serving at... 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 →

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 →

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