Michigan State University

April 16, 1912 : Michigan Woman Flies Solo Over English Channel

Jon Harrison
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 the autobiography of pioneer pilot Harriet Quimby

On this day Harriet Quimby became the first women to fly solo over the English Channel.

Quimby was born on May 11, 1875, in Kinderhook Township, Michigan. She is also credited with being the first licensed American female pilot.

She was highly competitive and a fearless, independent young woman with self confidence, beauty, ambition and brains. Harriet Quimby did not marry, drove an automobile, used a camera, a typewriter and flew an airplane. Any of these individually would have been a problem for men in the late years of Vistorian America, but all of these accomplishments rolled into one woman were impossible for most men to deal with.

Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

For more information, see Her mentor was an albatross : the autobiography of pioneer pilot Harriet Quimby / Henry M. Holden. Mt. Freedom, N.J. : Black Hawk Pub. Co., c1993 available for loan through MelCat.

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