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August 13

Lucy Stone

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.

Twenty women fly across the continent

Shain was First Woman Boxing Judge


QUOTES by Dr. Jocelyn Elders, Walter Bresette, Louise Thaden, and Amelia Earhart.

The First Woman's Coast-to-Coast Race May Have Been Marred by Sabotage - or a Lot of Bad Luck

Event 08-13-1929, women's growing role in aviation burst into public awareness when a coast-to-coast women's air derby grabbed national headlines.
      The winner was little known Louise Thaden who in six years would become the first woman to win all comers national race, the prestigious Bendix Derby that drew the best men pilots of the world with their specially built planes. In that race, Thaden used an off-the-assembly-line Beechcraft!
      The National Women's Air Derby, a cross-country race, began that day at Santa Monica, California drew 20 women pilots from as far away as Australia and Germany. At the time there were only 70 licensed women pilots in the entire U.S., and only a couple of the women - Thaden was NOT one of them - had anything resembling specially constructed racing planes, none as elaborate as the ones men used.

left, Louise Thaden,
winner of the Bendix Derby

Entrants were required to carry a gallon of water and three days food, a requirement that noted the dangerous conditions, namely flying over the vast western reaches of the U.S. with only temperamental compasses and no radios. It was dead reckoning all the way with safe places to land far apart and few landmarks to point the way.
      A shot fired in Cleveland, Ohio, the destination, and radioed to Santa Monica started the race that took eight days to complete. Remember, the fastest time of a plane of the class the women flew was about 156 miles an hour - and the women had to take breaks for sleep and refueling. At almost every stop there were also ceremonies and promotional considerations.

Among the entrants were Amelia Earhart who had gained fame by being a passenger on a cross-Atlantic flight. She saw the race as a training exercise for an attempt to fly the Atlantic solo - a feat she would accomplish later. At the time of the race, AE was associate editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. She finished third but would go on to fly the Atlantic solo and become the most famous woman aviator in history.
      Also entered was Ruth Nichols who would fail in her 1931 attempt to solo across the Atlantic and injured her back. She continued to fly.
      Evelyn "Bobbi" Trout worked in her father's gas station and saved every cent for flying lessons had soloed 04-31-0928 and proceeded to set all kinds of records including altitude after altitude records as well as endurance ones. When Elaine Collins took off as the first woman to captain a U.S. spacecraft, she carried a memento from Bobbi Trout (as well as other women flight pioneers).
      Marvel Crosson, 25, who had first soloed in 1923 at 19 was entered.
      Theo Rasche, Germany's first woman stunt flyer, whose experience in entering the race showed how primitive the conditions of flying were. Her promised plane was not ready in time for the flight and she had to take off in a plane she had never flown before!
      Jessie Maude "Chubbie" Keith-Miller was the first woman to fly to Australia. She had met Bill Lancaster who wanted to fly from England to Australia. She went with him for the adventure and a return for the money she raised for the flight. On the way, she learned to fly.
      Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie had, with her husband, rescued flood victims in the disastrous Mississippi flood of 1927.
      Louise Thaden was the first woman to hold the altitude record, endurance record, and speed record at the same time. One must remember, in those days each of the records were being broken almost monthly as new planes were developed.
      Also entered was Opal Kunz, a New York society woman who was the wife of the vice-president of Tiffany and Co.. But she was a serious pilot.
      Vera Dawn Walker who at 4'11" astounded everyone by "simply propp(ing) herself up on pillows sothat she could reach the rudder pedals and commenced flying."
      Florence Lowe"Pancho" Barnes whose family had been active in aviation for two generations.
      Blanche Noyes who dropped her theater career for fly0ing and became Ohio's first woman pilot.
      A number of these women would organize a group who marked routes nation-wide to guide planes aloft that had no other way to indicate where they were. The markings were on barn roofs, roads, etc.

        Ruth Nichols was honored by a stamp issued by the tiny island nation of Grenada. Nichols was the first woman to attempt to fly the Atlantic solo. Her attempt in 1931 failed and so Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932.

The first stop in the race was San Bernardino a scant 65 miles away but the landing was extremely hazardous because of blowing dust that hampered visibility. One plane was slightly damaged. Two planes had to return to Santa Monica for repairs including the one flown by Earhart.
      It was also at the first stop that Thea Rasche, the German pilot received a telegram that warned of potential sabotage. None of the pilots or the race officials took it seriously but the next morning it was found that oil had been poured into two plane's fuel tanks!
      It took a little more than two hours to fly to the next stop, Yuma, Arizona, one of the dustiest, hottest spots in the U.S. Blowing dust made landing hazardous again and Earhart skidded and nosed down off the runway. A new prop was immediately sent out for her. One of the women withdrew after she was forced to make an emergency landing in Calexico. She said she had evidence that acid had been poured over her plane's engine wires.

Two other pilots including Rasche who received the warning telegram were forced down before Yuma but they were able to make repairs and continue. One of the more amusing incidents was that of one of the pilots who landed at the wrong airport that turned out to be in Mexico. Precious hours were wasted trying to get clearance to fly back to the U.S.
      The same thing happened to the very experienced Pancho Barnes who was following railroad tracks. She in Mexico also, but she didn't wait around. She immediately took off.
      Nineteen of the original 20 pilots arrived in Yuma with Marvel Crosson missing and her whereabouts unknown. The next day her body was found near her crashed plane. She had evidently attempted to parachute from her failing plane but she was too close to the ground for the parachute to fully open. Was caused her engine to fail was never proved.

The women continued. In Thaden's autobiography she wrote

"If your time has come to go, it is a glorious way in which to pass over. Smell of burning oil, the feel of strength and power beneath your hands. So quick has been the transition from life to death there must still linger in your mind's eye the everlasting beauty and joy of flight... Women pilots were blazing a new trail. Each pioneering effort must bow to death. There has never been nor will there ever be progress without sacrifice of human life."

      As usual in such cases of a woman's death in a "man's business," the media and masogonists called for the race to be stopped.
      "Women have been dependent on man for guidance for so long that when they are put on their own resources they are handicapped," a newspaper editorial in 1929 screeched. The race committee, speaking for the united women pilots said, "We wish officially to thumb our noses at the press."

The race route went on to El Paso and then Pecos, Texas.

[Over the span of many years and many trips, the compiler of WOAH has driven the entire route of the first women's derby race in a modern automobiles with air conditioning. The desert southerwest is not hospitable - especially in August - and I can't even imagine doing it under the conditions that the early women pilots did it. Amazing women!!! --IS]

One of the amazing stories of early women's aviation occurred in the Texas leg of the race that forever would prove that women are the equal of men in flying. Blanche Noyes who was accused of only being a pretty face was forced to land her plane in a mesquite-filled strip of the desert when she smelled smoke. There was a blaze in the baggage compartment! In the emergency landing, she scorched her hands and in the rough landing, lost a wheel. She put it out by throwing sand on it from the ground - the only means to do it. She was all alone in the West Texas desert in August!
      Does this give you some idea of the bravery of these women????
      Then she did the really amazing! She took off on one wheel and made an awe inspiring landing on a make-shift new runway that had recently been carved out of the mesquite desert at Pecos on only one wheel. She was able to continue the race with a new wheel. Ladies and gentlemen, that's flying! Her face was still smoke smudged from the first when she landed!
      Pancho Barnes who had been fored to return to the last stop because of a fuel leak crashed into an automobile that pulled up too close to the runway. Her plane was damaged too badly to continue.

If there was no sabotage, the coincident of tragedy was mounting.
      The women skipped jumped from Midland to Abilene to Fort Worth, stopping for fuel and short rests. One of the pilots, Margaret Perry was rushed to the hospital in Fort Worth. She had been flying with a high fever and was found to have typhoid fever. Her life lay in balance for ten days before she recovered.
      It was on the Abilene to Fort Worth leg that Ruth Elder had one of the most quoted incidents in all of early aviation.
      Describing her experience after her map was destroyed by gusty winds RE said she decided she'd have to land to get directions. Seeing a big pasture close to a farmhouse she put her plane down.

"There were a lot of animals in it but that didn't bother me any until after I had landed, when out of a clear sky I remembered my ship is painted brilliant red! It was too late to take off, all those creatures were jogging toward me.
      " 'What did you do?' the other pilots asked.
      " 'I prayed. I said 'Oh God, let them all be cows!' "

      (A note to those who aren't familiar with cows, they are very curious creatures and will hurry toward anything new. Bulls, of course, are a different matter.)

The deserts and blowing sand were replaced by driving rain over the plains as the women flew to Tulas, OK, and then Wichita, KA. Thaden maintained her lead. The group head for East St. Louis where two of the women intentionally ground looped to keep from going off the end of the extremely short runway. Neither plane was seriously damaged and they were able to go on.
      One has to wonder if the women were getting nervous about some of the accidents. For example, Thaden made a last minute check of her engine and found some intentional damage. The part was replaced and she went on but when she was in the air, gas started shooting out of her main gas tank cap. A felt washer was discovered to be missing as she limped to the next stop!
      Little things that could easily have spelled death!

One of the reasons so many of the incidents seemed to happen to Thaden is that she is the only one to have written an autobiography in which she describes the race in detail.
      Surely the other women in the race faced the same kind of sabotage or poor maintenance by the males at the various airports who resented women taking part is a man's game. As one pilot said, "what glory is in it for us if a woman can do it?"
      In Terre Haute, IN, men who ran the gas refueling trucks had the wrong size nozzles hooked up and instead of changing them, tried to jam them into the planes' small gas lines, perhaps in exasperation and perhaps hoping to cause intentional damage.
      The contempt of the men towards the women's accomplishments were palpable. Sabotage of women's planes had been experienced by every woman aviator, including the very first woman pilot who died when her plane went down.
      Again in Terre Haute Thaden's plane was found to have been... what? The oil drain plug had been removed. There was no oil in the engine which would have caused it to overheat and quit in the air. Fortunately she saw it in her final check and the oil was refilled.
      On the way to Cincinnati, OH, the mechanical problems continued but none were serious. Also several of the pilots got lost but eventually found their way. The desert and the flat plains had been replaced by rolling green hills and fields that also all looked the same from the air.

On Monday, August 26, 1929, 14 of the starting 20 turned north to Cleveland, OH that would become the noted end of so many air races.

[The compiler of WOAH in later years sat on the roof of her home in and around Cleveland's airport to watch the nation's premier races held at there for many years. In those days, the propeller driven planes flew so low you could see the pilots faces - smell the engines - almost reach up and touch them. They were lone pioneers paving the way to the future. In fact, on the last year races were held in Cleveland - the population had expanded so that the air races were no longer traveling over empty land - one plane crashed into a home just down the road from where she lived 1949- 1953. It was also the beginning of the jet age when it all changed. -- IS]

      When Louise Thaden landed first with an elapsed flying time of 19:35 hours from Santa Monica to Cleveland, she did not know she had won. (The same thing happened in the 1935 Bendix race when she thought the officials running towards her was trying to wave her to another part of the field - where she did go with the officials still chasing her! It took her awhile to realize that they were trying to take her back to the finish line as the winner. This indicates how alone each pilot in those days. They only had the evidence of their own eyes. There was no radio.)
      Thaden was stunned with her victory. She managed so say, "I'm glad to be here. All the girls flew a splendid race, much better than I. Each one deserves first place, because each one is a winner. Mine is a faster ship. Thank you."
      Omlie won the aircraft second class division with 22 hours of elapsed time.
      Were the planes sabotaged in the first woman's race that would be continued annually for years? (The women's races became known in the popular press as the powder puff derbies.)

The reason for the engine failure that forced Marvel Crosson to her death was never conclusive determined.
      In her autobiography, Louise Thaden honored Crosson by writing,

"To us the successful completion of the Derby was of more import than life or death. Airplane and engine construction had advanced remarkably near the end of 1929. Scheduled air transportation was beginning to be a source of worry to the railroad. Nonetheless a pitiful minority were riding air lines. Commercial training schools needed more students. The public was skeptical of airplanes and air travel. We women of the Derby were out to prove that flying was safe; to sell aviation to the layman."
[WOAH editor's note: use the WOAH search engine to find other articles on this site about these remarkable women flyers, including a magazine article about Louise Thaden written by Irene Stuber.]

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Shain was First Woman Boxing Judge

Eva Shain broke the gender barrier and became one of the most respected boxing judges, scoring more than 5,000 fights, including a heavy weight championship.
      "It wasn't the idea of being a trailblazer. I was thinking about me, what I wanted to do,'' Shain said in a 1996 interview. Like many women who break barriers or are pioneers, she was helped along by her husband who was a longtime ring announcer.       She worked at judging for eight years in amateur contests before getting her professional license in 1975. In 1977 she judged the title fight between Muhammad Ali and Earnie Shavers. It was the first time in history a woman had judged a heavyweight championship fight and it put her in the Guinness Book of Records.
      Fighters whose actions she judged included Ali, Roberto Duran, and Mike Tyson, among others. She died in 1999 of breast cancer at age 81.

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B. 08-13-1752, Maria Carolina - Queen of Naples who held the real power in her small nation-state and adopted a pro-British, anti-French policy during Napoleon's two reigns. Her husband King Ferdinand of Naples later exiled her under threats from the British.
      The daughter of the politically astute Maria Teresa (WOAH judges Maria Teresa one of the most influential women in all history), she became a member of the ruling council when she bore a son. One of her sisters was Maria Antoinette.
      The French took over Naples twice, forcing the royal couple to flee both times.
      The British ambassador then convinced King Ferdinand to send his wife Maria Carolina into permanent exile when she refused to adhere to British demands. Ferdinand agreed because the British fleet had come to the aid of the couple when France invaded their city-state.
      During the duo's reigns, exiles and returns, a number of bad incidents occurred including a massacre that historians say must be at least partially laid at the feet of the royal couple.

B. 08-13-1815, Elizabeth Wooster Stuart Phelps - U.S. novelist.

B. 08-13-1818, Lucy Stone - U.S. pioneer for women's rights and abolition. LC was an advocate of a woman retaining own name after marriage although she saw nothing amiss in her daughter being given her father's name at birth or in her retaining it throughout her life. Women who followed her example and retrained their birth names were nicknamed "Lucy Stoners."
      LS was one of the major figures in women's rights organizations during the latter half of the 19th century and broke away from the Stanton-Anthony organization over their stand against Black MEN getting the vote before ALL women - as well as their broad social agenda that included divorce.
      [Modern note from WOAH: The U.S. Defense Department states it does not have any statistics on what happened to the women who served in this nation's armed forces as it does men because in marriage women lose their identities by changing their name (including social security records) and therefore the women cannot be traced.]
      LS's father opposed women's education, feeling that women only needed a smattering of the three r's. Her mother had nine children, did all the chores for the family and hired help without "learning." Legend has it that Lucy's mother milked nine cows while in early labor and was left alone to delivery as everyone rushed out to harvest the grain from a thunderstorm.
      LS worked as a school teacher and finally by the age of 25 saved $70 for the first semester at Oberlin College in Ohio. She finished by supporting herself by tutoring, etc., and graduated with honors in 1847, the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree.

Lucy Stone became a paid lecturer for the abolitionist movement but she soon began to realize that black slavery pointed out the slavery of women in the U.S. "I was a woman before I was an abolitionist: I must speak for the women," she announced.
      The first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls occurred in 1848, the year after LS graduated from college and by 1856 Stone had organized a national convention in Boston.
      At age 32 she broke her vow of perpetual singleness and married Henry Blackwell but retained her own name. The Blackwell women, natural and married, figure prominently in both the suffrage and abolitionist movements.
      Sister Elizabeth was the first medical doctor in the history of the U.S. and sister Emily soon followed.
      Their sisters-in-law were Antoinette Brown Blackwell, the first woman ordained a minister by a mainstream denomination in the U.S. and of course, Lucy Stone.

In 1869, Stone helped form and served on the board of the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1870 she founded the Woman's Journal which she and her daughter Alice Stone Blackwell edited from 1872 to 1920. Daughter Alice was instrumental in rejoining the Stanton-Anthony faction with her mother's group in 1890 to form the American-National Woman's Suffrage Association.
      LS became the board chair of the combined organization and Elizabeth Cady Stanton the president.
      Stanton's National organization had favored a broader platform than just the woman's vote. Stanton pushed for divorce reform, labor organization, as well as the defeat of the 15th Amendment if women did not get the vote at the same time as Black MEN.
      When she died at age 75, by her orders, LS was cremated, probably the first deliberate cremation in the history of New England.
      LS was often described as solemn, stubborn, and without mirth. It is said no one ever heard her tell a joke or speak in a lighthearted manner.
      She also refused to pay her taxes in Orange, NJ, protesting women's taxation without suffrage rights.

B. 08-13-1826, Martha Joanna Reade Nash Lamb - U.S. author. MRNL wrote of hundreds of historically accurate articles and a number of books. She was owner and editor of the noted Magazine of American History, that explored and saved a great deal of Americana that might have been lost. She was nationally recognized and honored by a number of historical societies.
      Her most noted book is History of the City of New York (two volumes 1877-1881). by her heirs and ceased publication eight months later. Died 08-17-1804,

B. 08-13-1840, Kate Chase Sprague, - U.S. fashion and social celebrity. She was the daughter of Abraham Lincoln's secretary of the treasury, Salmon Chase who political career she advanced.

B. 08-13-1849, Leonora Marie Kearney Barry, best known as Mother Lake - U.S. labor reformer. Like Mother Jones, LKB suffered personal tragedy in the death of her husband and her daughter at a young age. She was left with two boys 8 and 5 to support. She went into the mills and earned 65 cents a week.
      The abyssmal conditions and pay encouraged her to join the women's branch of the Knights of Labor in 1884.
      Unlike many labor organizations of the 19th and early 20th century, the Knights of Labor welcome women, even blacks after 1883. In 1886, LKB was already the head of her area's women workers that exceeded a 1,000 in number. She was one of the 16 women delegates to the 660 member national convention in 1886 and was elected to the newly created department of women's work in the union and assigned to organizing new unions. It was a paid position, the first time a woman organizer received money for her work. It paid her the princely sum of $24 a week and she had her own office and a secretary.
      She traveled widely and gave hundreds of speeches. One of her sons was in a boarding school and the younger stayed with her sister.
      In addition to her investigation of the working conditions of women and organizing them, she was also devoted to educating them on their rights and inspire them to unite. Her reports led to the Pennsylvania factory inspection law of 1889.
      Although she remarried and adopted her husband's surname of Lake and resigned her labor position, she continued to travel and speak out for labor rights, women's rights, and temperance. Her second husband also died but "Mother Lake" continued to speak out on the Chautaugua and Redpath lecture tours until illness at 78 slowed her down. She died two years later, a legend in her own time.

B. 08-13-1860, Annie Oakley - U.S. entertainer. An amazing sharpshooter, she became the star of the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show for 17 years.
      Known as "Little Sure Shot," she could shoot targets from galloping horses, looking in mirrors - just about any way anyone could think of - and could split a card on end from 50 feet.
      Legend has it that she was such an amazing shot that she was able to pay off the family farm with game she bagged as a child.
      At 15 she won a shooting match with noted marksman Frank Butler who she married when she was 16. They teamed in a vaudeville act but soon AO was the major star and her husband acted as her manager.
      She shot dimes out of the sky, shot the flames off candles while galloping on a horse, and even shot playing cards that were tossed into the air. The latter stunt led to the phrase Annie Oakleys for a punched complimentary show ticket.
      She shot for presidents and kings and queens and was probably the most famous woman of her day.
      Her career ended in 1901 after being injured in a train accident but she continued to teach and do limited shows. Although not an active suffragist or woman's righter, she said, "As I have taught nearly 15,000 women how to shoot, I modestly feel that I have some right to speak with assurance on this subject. Individual for individual, women shoot as well as men."

B. 08-13-1865, Emma Eames - U.S. opera lyric EE was celebrated for her pure voice, admirable technical ability, and dramatic expression.
      EE debuted with Paris Opéra in 1889. She sang with the Metropolitan Opera 1891-1908 and appeared often at Covent Gardens. Her autobiography is Some Memories and Reflections (1927).

B. 08-13-1884, Jo van Ammers-Kuller - Dutch writer best known for her historical novels.

B. 08-13-1890, Pauline Lord - U.S. stage actress PL's career was lackluster because of poor scripts. When she did get a good one, such as the lead in Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie the reviews were extraordinary.
      She was, however, faced with the most brilliant array of leading ladies Broadway has ever seen from Eve LaGallienne, to Katharine Cornell, to Lunt, to Judith Anderson to Ruth Gordon, etc. The competition for roles was awesome.

B. 08-13-1933, Joycelyn Elders - Afro-American pediatrician who continued the activism of the U.S. Surgeon General's office by advocating condoms for disease and birth control.
      Born into a poor family in rural Arkansas, she got her medical training under the G. I. Bill after serving as a physical therapist in the U. S. Army.
      She became a full professor at the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1976 and was appointed director of public health in Arkansas in 1987 by Gov. Bill Clinton who would appoint her U.S. Surgeon General in 1992 when he was elected President.
      Always controversial, she refused to tone down her call for sex education and condom use in the face of virulent opposition by right wing fanatics.
      Her confirmation was opposed by conservatives.
      Her years were marked by controversy but the last straw was when she appeared to advocate masturbation during an interview at a European conference on AIDS prevention. Clinton fired her.
      She was obviously set up because the TV cameras were there to record the incident but many feel that she should have sidestepped the question. [The compiler of WOAH spoke to Dr. Elder both before her elevation to Surgeon General and after. She's a remarkable woman. Her resentment of the politics that forced Clinton to remove her from office gradually lessened. -- IS]
      Elders has said that if she had her stint as Surgeon General to do all over again, she would do it exactly as she did it before. "I was called the Condom Queen. But you know what I've always said? I would gladly put that crown on my head, and sleep in it, if every young person who needed to use a condom did."
      After the grueling senate confirmation hearings, Elders said, "When it was all over I remember thinking, I came to Washington, D.C. like prime steak, and after being here a while I feel like poor-grade hamburger."
      In the face of growing controversy, she said "Bill Clinton didn t pick me to be a rubber stamp for him... If that was all he wanted, he would have left me in Arkansas."
      But she became just too controversial and her words and actions became detrimental to the office of Surgeon General.
      Elders advocated sex education in the schools and school clinics that could dispense condoms for birth control. She recognized the face that realists have known from the beginning of time; young people are going to engage in early sex. She sought to prevent pregnancy.
      Her remarkable record under Clinton's tenure in Arkansas - where no opposition was ever strong enough to force Clinton to do anything he didn't want to to - saw the growth of availability of birth control, counseling, and sex education at school based clinics; a tenfold increase in early childhood screenings, from 4,000 in 1988 to 45,000 in 1992; a 24-percent rise in the immunization rate for two-year-olds; from 1990 to 1992 a 17-percent increase in the number of women participating in the state s prenatal care program; to expansion of the availability of HIV testing and counseling services, breast cancer screenings, and around-the-clock care for elderly and terminally ill patients; and full development of a philosophy of preventive medicine.

B. 08-13-1947, Gretchen Corbett - U.S. actor.

B. 08-13-1948, Kathleen Battle - Afro-American coloratura soprano, fired from the Metropolitan Opera for "unprofessional ethics."
      She had evidently mistreated underlings from stage hands to dressers to lesser singers.
      Battle has gone on to be a premier recitalist on the concert stages of U.S. and Europe. An extraordinary talent with a great deal of ability, she has been accused of singing the simpler pieces rather than extending herself, taking the easy way.
      At her height, she was called the best coloratura in the world by her fans.

B. 08-13-1955, Betsy King - U.S. golfer. BK was one of the leading golfers of the Ladies Professional golf tour, winner of the 1990 U.S. Women's Open.

DIED 08-13-1995, Aminah as Sa'id - Egyptian journalist and writer. She was the called Egypt's leading feminist. She published Eve (Hawa') from 1954-69, the first woman's magazine in Egypt's very long history.

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      "I have NEVER known ANY woman to need an abortion who WASN'T ALREADY PREGNANT. I'm about preventing unwanted pregnancies."
            -- Dr. Jocelyn Elders

      "Last night I attended a "take back the night" protest march here. Year after year women organize and march to get back their right to unmolested freedom. My question is: when will men organize a 'give back the night' protest march?"
            -- Walter Bresette (Ojibwe activist) Madison, WI

      "A woman pilot, particularly a married one with children, must prove an interesting as well as inexhaustible subject to a psychoanalyst. Torn between two loves, emotionally confused, the desire to fly an incurable disease eating out your life in the slow torture of frustration - she cannot be a simple, natural personality."
            -- Louise Thaden, winner of the first race in the U.S. to pit women against me describing herself in her autobiography High, Wide and Frightened. New York: Stackpole Sons. 1938.

      "We women pilots have a rough, rocky road ahead of us. Each accomplishment, no matter how small, is important. Although it may be no direct contribution to the science of aeronautics nor to its technical development, it will encourage other women to fly. The more women who fly, the more who become pilots, the quicker will we be recognized as an important factor in aviation....
      "[What I want is] recognition for women. Men do not believe us capable. We can fly - you know that. Ever since we started we've batted our heads against a stone wall. Manufacturers refuse us planes. The public have no confidence in our ability. If we had access to the equipment and training men have, we could certainly do as well. Thank heaven, we continue willingly fighting a losing battle. Every year we pour thousands of dollars into flight training with no hope of return. A man can work his way through flying school, or he can join the Army. When he has a license he can obtain a flying job to build up his time. A man can borrow the latest equipment for specialized flights or for records; and what do we get? Obsolete airplanes. And why? Because we are women seldom are we trusted to do an efficient job... but if enough of us keep trying, we'll get someplace."
            -- Amelia Earhart, 1932.

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