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Quimby, Harriet

Born: 1884 AD
Died: 1912 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Aviators

1884 – Harriet Quimby, born on the 11th of May in in Kinderhook Township, Michigan, to William and Ursula Quimby, a farmer, when the family farm failed, they moved to Oakland, California, where she briefly became an actress, and soon she began a second career, writing for the "San Francisco Bulletin" and other publications. She was the first American woman to get a pilot’s license, the first woman to fly across the English Channel, and the first woman aviator to die at an aviation meet (at the time, she was the fourth woman to die in an airplane).

1903 – She moved to New York City, where she began writing for "Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly," living independently, and later becoming a photojournalist.

1906 – She was given a ride in a racecar, and shortly after that, she purchased her own automobile, writing articles on how to maintain one.

1910 – Attended an International Aviation Tournament at the Belmont Race Track, and became friends with Matilde Moisant, whose brother operated an aviator school.

1911 – On the 1st of August, she passed the tests, earning her Federation Aeronautique Internationale License (FAI #37), and thus becoming the first American woman to earn an Aviator’s License.

1912 – Desiring to be the first woman to cross the English Channel, she made the trip on the 16th of April, flying from Dover, England, to a beach near Hardelot, France (she missed her destination, Calais).

      – On the 1st of July, she participated in the 3rd Annual Boston Aviation Meet near Quincy, Massachusetts, flying a new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. William Willard, the event organizer, went up with her, and at an altitude of 1500 feet the plane suddenly pitched, and both of them fell to their deaths (the plane was not equipped with seatbelts).

1991 – The United States Postal Service honored her by placing her on a 50-cent Airmail Stamp.