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Museum News

The Women Who Made History

The International Women's Air and Space Museum, located in Centerville Ohio, celebrated its ten year anniversary in March. The Museum was originally the plan of a group of Ninety-Nines to preserve the achievements of women in aviation through personal artifacts and archives.

Did you know....
that Napoleon appointed a woman, Madame Blanchard, as his Chief Air Minister of Ballooning in 1804? Many women are still active participants in ballooning. For instance, Connie Wolf, a long time balloonist, loaned her balloon to the producers of the film Around the World in Eighty Days.

Katharine Wright....
Katharine Wright was not a pilot herself but was vital to her brothers' accomplishments through her assistance and encouragement. She was one of the many silent contributors to the advancement of aviation. A special exhibit to Katharine, who was a native Daytonian, is on display at the Museum.

In the early days....
Throughout the 1920's and 1930's women were wing-walking and barnstorming their way through aviation history. One of the most notable was "Brave Bessie" Coleman the world's first African-American pilot. And Harriet Quimby will always be remembered not only for her purple satin flying suit, but her accomplishment as the first American woman to get her pilot's license.

A date which lives in infamy....
On December 7, 1941 The United States was changed forever. Pearl Harbor was bombed, war was declared and women were called upon to serve their country through whatever means they could, whether it meant working in a factory or recycling their nylon stockings to make explosives. However, a select group of daring young women served their country by utilizing their knowledge and skills in the field of aviation: the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, helped us along the road to Victory.

Breaking barriers.....particularly the Sound Barrier!
The jet age did not leave women behind; Flying faster than sound, Jacqueline Cochran (USA) and Jacqueline Auriol (France) proved that Chuck Yeager wasn't the only one who could fly at mach one, or even mach two!

Boldly going where no woman has gone before....
Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union was the first woman to orbit the Earth in 1963. As early as 1961 the United States had 13 women with the "right stuff." Those first lady astronaut trainees, now called the "Mercury 13", paved the way into the space program for Dr. Sally Ride who 22 years later, in 1983, was the first American woman in space.

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Biographies & Photos

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Write to Us

Need more info about a female aviator? Want to know more about the International Women's Air & Space Museum? Jenna, our webmistress, would love to hear your comments, questions and suggestions!

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This page has been visitedtimes since April 3, 1996. Thanks for stopping by!

The International Women's Air & Space Museum is a non-profit (501-C-3) organization
This site was prepared and maintained by Jenna Kimberlin, Museum Site Coordinator