She Flew the English Channel in 1912

brave harriet 2brave harriet 3Brave Harriet by Marissa Moss tells us all of a little known pioneer of air flight. Harriet Quimby preceded Amelia Earhart and Berl Markham by 20 years and was the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Imagine if you can a beautiful socialite and reporter in a purple satin hooded airsuit landing in France to the amazement of other newsmen. Then imagine news of one of the most famous disasters in history also reaching newsrooms just as you achieved your goal. So sadly, but understandably, most school children have never heard of this daring prerunner to Charles Lindberg.

first_female_pilotsWilber and Orville were not teaching women to fly so Harriet's friend, Matilde Moisant, coaxed her brother to teach them. They were the two first licensed female pilots and performed in air shows. Tragically, Harriet's lovely new plane pitched forward and put an end to Harriet's career in aviation, but no one can take away her daring accomplishments. Those were the days before seatbelts when pilots were flying in little more than pipes and canvas. Your passenger's wrong move could prove fatal for him and for you.