This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Monday, July 15, 2019 2:54 PM

1939 - Clara Adams of New York City landed at Newark on a United Air Lines flight setting a new speed record for a flight around the world as a passenger. She flew 25,000 miles, all on regularly scheduled airline flights, in 16 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes. Her around-the-world airfare cost $1935. She had already gained "first flighter" fame as a passenger on the first flights of the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg from Europe to the U.S., the first round trip flight across the Pacific, the first commercial flight from New York to Bermuda, the first clipper flight between San Francisco and New Zealand, and the first flight of the giant Dornier Do-X between New York and Rio de Janeiro.

1967 - The Michigan Legislature declared it "Ann Pellegreno Day," in honor of the pilot who just completed a 28,000-mile flight to commemorate the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. The parade in Ann’s hometown of Saline, Michigan, occurred just a week after her return from a round-the-world flight that shadowed Amelia’s last flight exactly 30 years earlier.

1985 - Gabriella Musy-Luthi was the first woman airline pilot hired by Swissair, formerly one of the world's leading airlines. Swissair would stop flying in 2002 after more than 70 years of continued service all over the world.

2006 - Bessie Coleman was among four legends of aviation to join the 186 enshrinees of the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Born in Texas in 1892, Bessie traveled to France for flight training after being turned away from several U.S. aviation schools because of her color. After graduating in 1921, she returned to America as the only Black female pilot in the world and the first licensed Black pilot in the U.S.

2009 - Julie Payette, 45, who served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007, launched onboard the space shuttle Endeavor on her second spaceflight. She was carrying a signed sweater of the famed Montreal Canadiens star Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, taking "The Rocket" into the rocket to celebrate the ice hockey team’s 100th anniversary.