Who is Harriet Quimby?

June 23rd, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by GD  

Harriet Quimby Harriet Quimby is the first American licensed female pilot, and she is an inspiration to many. She enjoys a very enviable position in the world aviation history. She was the first woman to fly over the English Channel all by herself on April 16, 1912. It was a very commendable and courageous endeavor by this very determined woman. Harriet was very determined that no European woman should beat her in crossing the English Channel before she did. She kept her plans under wraps even though bad weather caused her to delay her flight by several days. When she finally made it, she could not enjoy her record because at that time the world was mourning the tragic sinking of the Titanic.

The first man to fly across the English Channel was Luis Bleriot, who had become very famous after his daring feat. Harriet’s feat was no less deserving of fame and acclaim, but she could not realise her dream of being famous due to unexpected events. Harriet was born in 1875 in Michigan. She was only two years old when her family moved to California. Harriet started her career as a photojournalist before she went to become a pilot.

She wrote reviews of plays, drama, and even motion pictures. In her career as a journalist she traveled in Europe, Mexico, Cuba and Egypt. Later she also wrote screenplays for the well-known film-maker, D. W. Griffith. It was in the capacity of a journalist that the independent and high-spirited Harriet discovered her love of flying. Her flying career lasted a mere 11 months, cut short by her tragic death on July 1, 1912, while she was flying at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet. Her death is certainly tragic, but her short yet daring life is an inspiration for anyone who would care to glimpse through it.

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