Friday, April 16, 2010

On April 16

On this day in ...

... 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:
'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.'
Quimby would die in a crash landing in Boston Harbor on July 1 of this same year.

(Prior April 16 posts are here, here, and here)

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