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Harriet Quimby: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of Harriet Quimby, the first woman to receive a pilot's license and fly across the English Channel, in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Harriet Quimby, Daredevil Pilot Dies in Flying Accident. July 21, 1912. "Omaha Daily Bee" (Omaha, NE), Image 19. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

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.