In 1911, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to received a pilot's license and fly across the English Channel. This guide provides access to material related to "Harriet Quimby" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Before Amelia Earhart’s rise to fame, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to receive her pilot’s license and opened doors for so many hopeful flyers. Quimby was also the first female to fly across the English Channel. A popular birdwoman, her short flying career was full of achievements. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
June 13, 1911
Harriet Quimby, a New York journalist, begins learning to fly a monoplane.
August 1, 1911
Quimby becomes the first American woman to receive a pilot’s license and breaks a record for her landing.
September 24, 1911
Because of adverse weather conditions, Quimby is the only woman to participate in race.
May 26, 1912
Quimby gives an interview describing many aspects of her flying experience and other issues, including her flying costume.
June 2, 1912
Harriet Quimby is the first woman to cross the English Channel.
July 2, 1912
At an aviation meet, Quimby and a passenger are killed in an accident caused by a gust of wind.