Name The First Lady of Flight


Can you name this woman? She was a pioneer if aviation.

Can you name this gator? He had his last supper.

A little disturbance is set to drop down through the flow on Friday triggering strong storms to our west. Below you see the SPC forecast from Thursday for Friday. The idea is that the storms weaken as they approach our area. Scattered storms are possible late Friday. A weak boundary comes through and keeps the temperatures in the low 90’s for a couple of days, delaying the ridge a bit but we still have mid to upper 90’s by the first part of next week. Rain chances go off the board for the weekend into early next week. Here is the portion of the SPC discussion related to the Ohio Valley.

…MISSOURI VALLEY INTO THE SOUTHERN GREAT LAKES/OHIO VALLEY… INSTABILITY OVERNIGHT THURSDAY WILL NEGATE STRATUS/FOG FORMATION FOR THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY ALLOWING FOR INCREASED DAY TIME HEATING…COUPLED WITH THE APPROACHING SHORT WAVE AND ASSOCIATED VORT MAX FROM THE NORTH-NORTHWEST THE ENTIRE REGION WILL BE INCREASINGLY UNSTABLE AND RIPE FOR SEVERE ACTIVITY. SURFACE CONVERGENCE AND 850MB MOISTURE WILL ALLOW FOR EARLY AFTERNOON CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT WITH CONTINUED DYNAMIC SUPPORT AS THE SHORT WAVE APPROACHES LATE EVENING…30-40KT OF LOW-MID LEVEL SHEAR WILL ENHANCE CONVECTION.

On This Date In History: Perhaps the greatest and most courageous aviators no one has ever heard of got her flying license on Aug 1, 1911. Harriet Quimby was a single woman working in New York, which at the time was a pretty tough thing to do. Quimby worked for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. She was an independent and strong minded woman but wasn’t cast in the role of the Suffragettes. Instead she wrote articles that focused on neglect of children, corrupt politics and over hunting of certain species of animals.

Quimby also must have had a thing for machines because in 1906 while covering a race at the Vanderbilt Race Track, she went for a ride in a high speed automobile. So enthralled was she that she purchased her own car. I wonder if she was the only female car owner in 1906 New York. She covered a flying meet in 1910 and decided to take flying lessons. She said ” There is no more risk in an airplane than a high-speed automobile and a lot more fun. Why shouldn’t we have some good American pilots. She became the first American woman to get a flying license and the second in the world. On April 16, 1912 she became the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. So why haven’t we heard of her? On that date, the press was filled with details of the tragic Titanic sinking and her feat was left to the back pages and generally lost to history.

A few months later, she turned her sights on the air speed record. Her plane was a two seat monoplane. When she flew is solo, she used sandbags in the passenger seat in order to maintain balance. For some reason, she took a man on a ride, presumably before she went for the record. The man won the opportunity in a coin flip with his son. As the plane went on its journey, for unknown reason it pitched forward and the man was tossed to his death. Harriet maintained control briefly before the plane pitched again and she was tossed to her death at age 37(NYTimes 1912 story/obit). Like the more famous, Amelia Earhart, Harriet was quite the looker. Her flying outfit was a quite handsome purple silk jumpsuit. Earhart gained fame perhaps as much for her disappearance as for her flying feats. While Quimby has been largely forgotten, I have an idea that her death highlighted the need of seatbelts in planes. When you buckle up on your next flight, think of Harriet.

Here is a biography of Harriet Quimby.

Now..what about the gator. His name was Big Joe and he lived in the swampy waters around Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. A young boy was swimming when the 11 foot gator tore his arm off. Rescuers took him to safety and tracked down Big Joe. Amazingly, after they shot the big guy, they fetched the boys arm from his belly and doctors reattached it over 3 hours later. Miracles happen every day…let’s hope this one is complete with the boy regaining use of his arm. Doctors are not optimistic in this story.

4 Responses

  1. Hello!

    I think it is so important to keep this history alive through articles like yours.

    If you are interested in all of the twists and turns that played into women winning the vote way back when, you will find “The Privilege of Voting” fascinating.

    I am the author of this new and exhaustively researched historical e-mail series that tells the stories of suffragettes.

    This serialized novella goes behind the scenes in the lives of eight well-known women from 1912 to 1920 and reveals the sexy, shocking truth of HOW the suffragettes won the right to vote in England and America.

    Presidents Roosevelt, Wilson and Harding are featured, and the women depicted include two presidential mistresses, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt, and two of the most beautiful and outspoken suffragettes, Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst.

    But this is no boring history report. The chronological series is written in a unique, fun short story format called Coffeebreak Readers.

    Each action-packed episode takes about 10 minutes to read, so they are perfect to enjoy on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

    You and your lecture attendees can subscribe to receive free twice-weekly e-mails at:

    http://www.coffeebreakreaders.com/tpovpage.html

    Best to you,

    Virginia Harris
    Series Author
    Publisher
    http://www.CoffeebreakReaders.com

  2. Thank you, Virginia. I posted your response so that others who are interested can link up to your work. I agree that it’s important for people to gain a better sense of where we came from and how we got here.

  3. This is a very interesting blog. Thank you. I found you through the Alphinventions reading cycle.

  4. Thank you. I hope you get a chance to snoop about.

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