Posts tagged history
Posts tagged history
Bessie Coleman was the first African American female pilot. She grew up in Texas, but moved to Chicago at age 23 with two of her brothers. It was here that Coleman began hearing stories of pilots returning home from Europe during World War I. These stories spurred her interest in aviation, but because of her race and gender Coleman wasn’t accepted into any flight school she applied to. On the advice of Robert Abbott, the owner of the “Chicago Defender” and one of the first African American millionaires, Coleman decided to learn to fly in France.
After seven months of flight training the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her an international pilot’s license. She would also travel to the Netherlands and Germany to receive advanced training. Upon Coleman’s return to the US, she was treated as a celebrity. For the next five years she did many stunt shows and encouraged other African Americans to learn to fly. Tragically Coleman was killed in an accident while preparing for a show in 1926. She has received numerous honors since then, including a public library in Chicago named after her and an induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
After I graduate next year I think I’m going to take an east coast, historical road trip. I want to go to some of the lesser known historical places. I live in Orlando so I’ll just work my way up and back down. Some spots I plan on going to:
Any good places that I should add?
Born Marianne Joan Elliot-Said, Poly Styrene was a British singer/songwriter for the punk rock band X-Ray Spex. She was one of the first female punk icons. Styrene moved to London on her own at 15, studying to be an opera singer. After seeing the Sex Pistols she decided to strike out into rock, placing an ad in a British magazine looking for “young punx who want to stick it together”. This led to the formation of X-Ray Spex. The group released one album, but became very popular in Britain performing in Chelsea and at the Roxy. They also toured in the US. Being of mixed race, having braces, and wearing bright colors, Styrene wasn’t the typical front person for a rock band in the 70’s.
After X-Ray Spex broke up, Styrene went on to release three solo albums and remained active in the music scene. She died in 2011 from cancer. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Trigre are said to have been inspired by her.
The last page of a medieval book is usually a protective flyleaf, which is positioned between the actual text and the bookbinding. It was usually left blank and it therefore often filled up with pen trials, notes, doodles, or drawings. This addition I encountered today and it is not what you’d expect: a full-on drawing of a maiden playing the lute, which she holds just like a guitar. A peaceful smile shines on her face. I love this rockstar lady, so unexpectedly positioned at the end of the book, trying to catch the reader’s attention as he is closing it.
Pic: London, British Library, Sloane MS 554 (more here).
Rosalind Franklin was an English biophysicist and x-ray crystallographer. Her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA led to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Along with DNA Franklin was instrumental in the understanding of the molecular structures of RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Franklin received a Ph.D from Cambridge University in 1945. In 1951 she began working as a research associate at King’s College London in the biophysics unit. It was here that she was able to photograph DNA showing its double helix structure. Without her knowledge, and because bitches be trippin’, her research in DNA was shown to James Watson and Francis Crick who were also working on understanding DNA. Using her photographs allowed them to deduce the structure of DNA. Franklin, along with Watson and Crick, published their findings in the journal Nature in 1953.
Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958 not knowing that her data was a key part of Watson and Crick’s research. These two, along with Maurice Wilkins, won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, but didn’t mention Franklin’s contributions. Through the publications of historians and others, including friend Anne Sayre, Franklin would begin to receive recognition for her work.
Incredible pictures formed by thousands of US soldiers during World War I.
This is one of the many historical places I want to visit one day. I would love to spend a day hiking along it.
Maureen Dunlop de Popp
Maureen Dunlop de Popp was an Argentine born British pilot who flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II. She was one of many female pilots who flew planes between factories and military airfields across the country. In order to join the ATA, de Popp and the other female pilots needed to log 500 hours of solo flying (whereas men only needed 250) often times with little training. She was trained to fly 38 different types of aircraft including Spitfires, Mustangs, and the de Havilland Mosquito. Although she wasn’t allowed to fly combat missions, her flights weren’t always safe due to weather conditions.
After the war de Popp worked as a flying instructor and commercial pilot in Argentina. In 2003, she was one of three female ATA pilots awarded the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigator’s Master Air Pilot Award. She died in 2012 in Norfolk.
The first Englishwoman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle.
Three decades ago, 24 year old architecture student, Elspeth Beard, set out to ride her bike around the world– a trek that would take 3 years and over 48K miles. The young Englishwoman, who’d been riding since she was just 16 yrs old, had already taken a few solo journeys to Scotland and Ireland– and now was ready to take on more before she finished school and settled down into a career.
Beard’s bike was a used 1974 BMW R 60/6 flat-twin.
"Damn the Torpedoes!"
From the series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes
A combined assault by a Federal fleet commanded by Rear Admiral David Farragut and Union infantry forces defeated a Confederate fleet and the 3 forts defending Mobile Bay, Alabama on August 5, 1864 (the forts would fall several days later following a short siege). The loss would deprive the Confederacy of one of its last major ports. (Farragut had captured New Orleans two years before.)
During the battle Farragut is widely reported to have ordered his ships forward despite the threat of submerged mines (then called torpedoes), calling out “Damn the Torpedoes, Go Ahead!" or more likely: "Damn the Torpedoes, Four Bells…”