Women in Aviation have long had a historical connection with Oakland, California. 

  • In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American pilot. One of the jobs she took in the mid 1920's was to drop advertising leaflets from her airplane over Oakland, California for the Coast Tire and Rubber Company. Because she was big news, Coleman also conducted interviews to promote the tire company.
  • On March 16, 1929, Louise Thaden made her bid for the women's endurance record from Oakland Municipal Airport, CA, in a Travel Air, and succeeded with a flight of 22 hours, 3 minutes.
  • Amelia Earhart landed her airplane in Oakland on January 12, 1935. Only 18 hours 16 minutes after departing Honolulu, she became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to the United States mainland.
  • On May 21, 1937, Amelia Earhart departed from Oakland with navigator Fred Noonan to continue their flight around the world. They had completed over two-thirds of the distance when her plane disappeared without a trace in the central Pacific Ocean.
  • In 1931, Ruth Nichols broke three major women's records: altitude, speed and distance. Although she failed in her attempt to cross the Atlantic, injuring her back, and even saw her plane go up in flames the day after breaking the women's distance record with her flight from Oakland, California, to Louisville, Kentucky.

Additional Links