... 1912, Harriet Quimby became the 1st woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Just a year earlier, she'd become the 1st woman to take flying lessons and obtain a pilot's license, having taken a fancy to aviation while a New York-based reporter for Leslie's Illustrated Weekly. Clad in the signature plum-colored costume at right, she took to the exhibition circuit, and continued to write of her airborne adventures. On this morning, inclement weather led Quimby to land on a beach rather than in a field as planned. She wrote of the children, women, and men who gathered 'round her on this day:Quimby would die in a crash landing in Boston Harbor on July 1 of this same year.
'They were chattering in French, of which I comprehended sufficient to discover that they knew I had crossed the channel. These humble fisherfolk knew what had happened. They were congratulating themselves that the first woman to cross in an aeroplane bad landed on their fishing beach.'