On June 18, 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger. She accompanied pilots Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon in the Fokker Friendship, a tri-motor aircraft.
Here is a link to a newspaper article about her flight.
Earhart, Stultz, and Gordon successfully made it across the Atlantic in around 21 hours.
Exactly 55 years later, on this day in 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly to space.
Obama later said of Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Dr. Sally Ride:
Sally inspired us to reach for the stars, and she advocated for a greater focus on the science, technology, engineering and math that would help us get there. Sally showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve…
These two record-breaking and inspiring women proved that the sky’s the limit in what women and science can accomplish.
On this date in 1901, 973 college-bound high school students sharpened their pencils for the first ever standardized test administered by the College Board. This precursor to the SAT featured tests in history, English, German, Latin, French, Greek, mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Exams were then read by experts in the subject and rated as Excellent, Good, Doubtful, Poor, or Very Poor (ouch!).
Father and Son in Greenbelt, Maryland, 1938. Picture by Marion Post Wolcott.
The idea for Father’s Day came from Sonora Dodd, who was raised by her father after her mother died in childbirth. Thanks to her campaigning, her town of Spokane, Washington celebrated Father’s Day in June 1910.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson named the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. And in 1972, President Richard Nixon made LBJ’s proclamation permanent.
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe was born today in 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her Presbyterian family was committed to social justice and helped shape her views.
Stowe began publishing Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1951 soon after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1950, which made it illegal to aid a runaway slave.
Stowe is, of course, best known for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a groundbreaking novel that exposed the horrors of Southern slavery to Northern readers with the hopes of instilling change. The book definitely set the wheels in motion for abolition. Some even say that Stowe is responsible for the Civil War. In fact, when Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln for the first time, he supposedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
While it’s impossible to verify whether Lincoln truly believed Stowe singlehandedly started the Civil War, it is safe to say Stowe revealed the truth behind a social crime and caused many unenlightened or indifferent people to finally talk about it and make a change.