I am proud to be the Harriet Quimby junior mascot because Harriet was the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel and she did not get the recognition that she deserved.
She flew from Whitfield near Dover to Equihen-Plage (a beach near Boulogne-Sur-Mer) on 16th April 1912. Her achievement, however, was not reported widely, and went largely unnoticed due to the media coverage of the sinking of RMS Titanic, which happened the previous day.
Let me tell you a little bit about Harriet. Her interest in aviation began in 1910 when she attended the Belmont Park airshow in New York. Her aviation career was extremely short. Just a few months after flying across the English Channel she was killed at the Annual Boston Aviation Meet on the 1st of July 1912. She was killed in an aviation accident with her passenger William Willard, the event organiser, when her brand new Bleriot monoplane unexpectedly pitched forward, ejecting them from their seats and they fell to their deaths. The plane landed in thick mud and was virtually undamaged.
Although Harriet only lived to the age of 37 and had a very short flying career she had big influence on other women in aviation. She could well have been an inspiration for much better known early aviators such as Amy Johnson and Amelia Earheart.
I think Harriet Quimby should be honoured and remembered for her great achievements by this and future generations.
25th March 2013
One for the kids! Download this free wordsearch puzzle designed by Oceanne,
official Junior Mascot of The Harriet Quimby Centenary Project.
Even though the words are French, it’s still quick & easy!