Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Harriet Quimby

Image result for harriet quimbyMy theme this year is the ABCEDARIA of Women who have inspired me.

Q is for Harriet Quimby, first American woman pilot. No, it wasn't Amelia Earhart!

On August 1, 1911, Harriet Quimby, a journalist-turned-aviator, received Aero Club of America license number 37, thereby becoming the first licensed woman pilot in the United States.
Aero Club officials, nervous at the prospect of approving a flying license for a female, suffered through a brief siege of soul-searching before taking the historic step. In those early years of the 20th century, women were simply not supposed to step out of character by knocking on the doors of new fields of endeavor. Female invasion of such a maledominated pursuit as aviation seemed especially questionable. (History Net)
She was also the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She was a whirlwind of activity and promotion, that girl. Perhaps the Perils of Pauline were based on her - I totally made that up but now I'm going to check to see if it is true.

Full disclosure - I had no idea of this woman before yesterday. I just didn't. I couldn't find a Q until her. So it pays to have an unusual last name I guess! She was a journalist for several years before the flying bug hit. Unfortunately she did not fly for long. At the age of 37 she died falling out of a nose-diving plane. She'd been flying for less than a year.

I'm inspired by Miss Quimby because she stood up to the conventions of the day and insisted that she be allowed to follow her dream. I like that sort of pluck!

Any surprising heroines in your life?


Margot Kinberg said...

I just love this choice, Jan!! It's such an inspiring story, and I love those 'quiet heroes.'

Bish Denham said...

She took that first small step for womankind!