|08-13 TABLE of CONTENTS:
Twenty women fly across the continent
Shain was First Woman Boxing Judge
DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and
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
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
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
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.
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
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."
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.
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
"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,
[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
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
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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08-13 DATES, ANNIVERSARIES, and
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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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QUOTES DU JOUR
"I have NEVER known
ANY woman to need an abortion who WASN'T ALREADY PREGNANT. I'm about preventing
-- 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
"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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