|Jerrie Cobb (b. 03-05-1931)
pilot, was the first woman to qualify as an American astronaut and was
the first astronaut rejected because she was a woman.
At 21 JC had become the only female international
ferry pilot in the United States. As chief pilot, she flew over wild terrain
and mountains, once being arrested as a spy after a forced landing in South
JC passed the same 87 physical and psychological tests
administered by NASA in the selection of the original seven male astronauts.
Several women, including Cobb, surpassed the test results of the men who
were chosen (including John Glenn).
NASA officials admitted later in a Congressional investigation
that they had no intentions of allowing women to pilot space craft.
JC is one of the four Americans to hold the Golden
Wings of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale and was chosen 1959
pilot of the year by the National Pilot's association.
She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her
piloting of medical supplies into dangerous South American locations. Two
of the other noted women pilots tested by NASA (and passed the tests) were
Wally Funk and Bernice Steadman.
When John Glenn was selected as a senior citizen to
return to space, many of Jerrie Cobb's friends and admirerers campaigned
to get her into space.
The efforts to honor Jerrie Cobb faied and Glenn went
up and endangered the mission, a fact that was kept secret for a long time.
NASA attempted to cover up Glenn's physical breakdown in space that almost
caused an abort, amongst other things.
Janet Guthrie (b.
03-07-1938) an aerospace engineer, was one of the first four women to qualify
for the scientist- astronaut program of NASA and then disqualified when
a Ph.D. was made a requirement.
Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis
500, finishing ninth in 1978. Her other races had engine trouble.
The race officials did not even allow women in
the repair and refueling pits at the Indy until a lawsuit in 1972.
Guthrie could fly more than 20 types of aircraft.
She was named to the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 - but never an
astronaut although dozens of men were part of the program who did not have
Event 02-05-1777, Georgia's constitution
abrogated the European male prerogative of entail and primogeniture,
those two bulwarks of ancient patriarchal thievery.
Under primogeniture, the eldest male received all
the inheritance and women - even the wife - got nothing. When there were
no male children (even though there might be girl children), the estate
went to the oldest male distant relative.
Hand-in-hand with primogeniture were the laws which
gave ALL property (including clothes) owned by a woman, or her income from
her own work to her husband or father.
Thomas Jefferson abolished primogeniture for Virginia
in 1776 and the other colonies followed suit.
The Napoleonic Code abolished it in France after their
own revolution but it wasn't until 1925 that the Administration of Estates
Act abolished it in England. However, some estates are still bound to primageniture.
Modern laws attempt to protect wives and equalize
the distribution of inheritance between sons and daughters but trusts and
personal prejudices continually tip inheritances towards the male of the