Firsts of American Women in Aviation

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These are some of the ‘firsts’ of American women in aviation.

1911 – Harriett Quimby became the first American woman to earn her pilot’s license. She was 36 years old.

1913 – Katherine Stinson became the first American woman to own a flying school.

1921 – Bessie “Queen Bee” Coleman became the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license. She also became a successful airshow pilot and refused to perform for segregated crowds.

1935 – Amelia Earhart became the first pilot to fly solo across the Pacific. Two years after, she mysteriously disappeared while trying to circumnavigate the globe from the equator.

1953 – Jacqueline Cochran became the first American woman to break the sound barrier. Some sources state that she “still holds more distance and speed records than any pilot living or dead, male or female.”

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