Happy International Women's Day
"I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me, thinking 'what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther'" ~ Rupi Kaur.
I am grateful for the many women around the world who ventured out on their own to blaze the trail, see new things, find new adventures, and share their stories. Here are just a few that inspire me:
Jeanne Baret 1740-1807
She didn’t set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, but when she stepped onboard the Etoile in 1766 as a fellow botanist – disguised as an assistant “Jean” to join her lover, Philibert Commerson – that’s exactly what happened. Selected to be part of French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s round-the-world expedition from 1766-69, she was eventually outed in a terrible way, she returned to France in 1775 as the first woman to travel so extensively. Read more about her here.
Annie “Londonderry” 1870-1947
Annie was a Latvian immigrant to the United States who in 1894–95 became the first woman to bicycle around the world. Read more about her here.
Raymonde de Laroche 1882-1919
She was a French pilot and the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license. Read more about her here.
Bessie Coleman 1892-1926
Bessie was an American civil aviator, and the first woman of African-American descent and the first of Native American descent, to hold a pilot license. She achieved her international pilot license in 1921. Read more about her here.
Ellen Church 1904-65
The first female flight attendant, Ellen was an American nurse and aviation graduate who came to Boeing Air Transport in 1930 hoping to get a job as a pilot. Read more about her here.
Freya Stark 1893-1993
Raised in Italy and England, Freya was an explorer and travel writer. She wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as several autobiographical works and essays. Read more about her here.
Amelia Earhart: 1897-1939
Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. Her legacy has also been one shrouded in mystery given her disappearance in 1937, and recently made news when scientists believe they found her bones on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro. Read more about her here.
Valentina Tereshkova 1937-
Valentina is a retired Russian cosmonaut, engineer, and politician. She is the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than 400 applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. Read more about her here.
Junko Tabei 1939-2016
Junko Tabei was a Japanese mountaineer. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and the first woman to ascend all Seven Summits by climbing the highest peak on every continent. Read more about her here.
*As ever, Drunk History does a hilarious job of telling history stories, so watch this one on Bessie Coleman