Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:37 PM
niyad (54,046 posts)
a biography of the day-ruth nichols (aviation pioneer)
Dates: February 23, 1901 - September 25, 1960
Known for: more than 35 women's aviation records
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For her high school graduation, her father presented Ruth Nichols with an opportunity to ride in a place with Eddie Stinson, ace pilot of World War I. She began secretly studying to fly even as she studied at Wellesley College, planning for a career as a physician. Shortly after her graduation from Wellesley, Ruth Nichols became the first woman in the world to earn an international hydroplane license. In 1927, she was one of the first two women to receive a Department of Commerce transport license.
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With the Depression, Ruth Nichols turned to competitive flying, and in 1930 went to work for Crescent Aircraft where the company would allow her to spend most of her time in competitions. She began to make a name for herself as an aviatrix.
In 1931, Ruth Nichols broke three major women's records: altitude, speed and distance. Although she failed in her attempt to cross the Atlantic, injuring her back, and even saw her plane go up in flames the day after breaking the women's distance record with her flight from Oakland, California, to Louisville, Kentucky, Nichols worked to raise funds to replace her plane. In 1932 she also was part of the "good will tour" promoting the International Congress of Women in Chicago for 1933.
Her dream of being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic was shattered when Amelia Earhart achieved that feat in May, 1932. (Years later, she'd join Earhart in founding the Ninety-Nines, an organization promoting women pilots.) Ruth Nichols tried a flight from New York to Los Angeles for another record, but her planned record-breaking flight failed again due to plane failure. She did, however, achieve more notoriety with that flight by using it to drop campaign literature for Herbert Hoover.
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After this, Ruth Nichols worked to apply her aviation skills to humanitarian projects. In 1939, she founded the Relief Wings, a civilian air ambulance service, and by the fall of 1941 had established centers in most states. This project was absorbed into the official Civil Air Patrol when the US entered the war in December 1941.
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a biography of the day-ruth nichols (aviation pioneer) (Original post)
|Helen Reddy||Feb 2013||#1|
Response to niyad (Original post)
Sat Feb 23, 2013, 12:58 PM
Helen Reddy (998 posts)
1. Love this thread! TY
Women's achievements are so underreported .... in just about anything!
Remember this awesome young girl?
After her death, so many folks slamming the mom, what a bad mother she was for letting her daughter fly. They even slammed the mom because she home schooled, it went on and on. Made me sick. Time magazine had a cover of Jessica with the title "Who killed Jessica?" Efff that foolishness.