Take Flight for Women’s History Month with GoWYLD

Mar 16, 2021

Bessie Coleman standing on the wheel and lower wing of a biplane, black and white image.

Bessie Coleman, African-American aviator, with her plane. Image (dated 1922) from Biography (Gale in Context), used with permission.

From early pioneers of flight to modern space missions, women have taken to the air.

Discover more about these women of exploration and science, these dreamers and doers, within the resources of GoWYLD.net, free to every Wyoming resident. Begin with Biography (Gale In Context) to explore these American women who took to the skies. Find it in our Biography resource guide.

Bessie Coleman: first African American to earn an international pilot’s license. During her brief yet distinguished career as a performance flier, she appeared at air shows and exhibitions across the United States, earning wide recognition for her aerial skill, her dramatic flair, and her tenacity.

Jacqueline Cochran: first woman to ferry a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean in support of the war effort in 1941. By 1961 she had become the first woman to break the sound barrier and held more speed records than any other pilot in the world.

Eileen Collins: in July of 1999, she earned the distinction of being the first woman to command a shuttle mission. The space shuttle Discovery, with Collins as the pilot, made a history-making rendezvous with the Russian Mir space station

Mae Jemison: her eight-day space flight aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992 established Jemison as the United States’ first female African American space traveler. In 2017 she was one of several Women of NASA represented in new Lego sets.

Shannon Walker: in 2020, American physicist and astronaut Shannon Walker was one of four crew members on the Crew-1 SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Notable for being the longest-duration crewed spaceflight in history, the mission was jointly operated by SpaceX and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Find details on each of these distinguished flyers in Biography (Gale In Context).  GoWYLD.net resources are available free to every Wyoming resident. Log in from home with your library card and PIN, or access them at libraries and schools. For more information, contact your local library or Chris Van Burgh, Database Instruction Librarian, chris.vanburgh@wyo.gov.

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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