This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
On what would have been her 125th birthday, an aviation pioneer who broke both color and gender barriers is honored with her own Google Doodle. Bessie Coleman, credited as the first African-American woman to be granted a pilot’s license, is the subject of the iconic logo takeover, being seen in 14 countries around the world.
According to a biography written by PBS, Coleman was repeatedly refused from aviation schools in the United States after World War I, on the grounds of being an African-American woman. In order to fulfill her dreams of taking to the skies, Coleman would have to travel to France.
Using her savings from working two jobs, Coleman learned French at a Berlitz school in Chicago, before departing for Paris with the financial assistance of Robert Abbott, one of the first African-American millionaires. In France, Coleman studied for less than one year in a 27-foot biplane before being granted an international pilot’s license from the FAI, organized in 1905 and internationally recognized as the governing body for aviation sports.
After earning her license, Coleman performed at air shows across the US for nearly four years, starting her career as a stunt pilot at a performance over Long Island in 1922. Coleman used her newfound fame as a platform to encourage other women and African Americans to enter the aviation industry, and would not perform at segregated aviation shows.
Her final flight took place on April 30, 1926, at an air show in Texas. After a wrench became lodged in the control gears, Coleman fell to her death when her aircraft took an unexpected dive.
The legacy she left behind has not been forgotten. Two separate aviation clubs in Chicago and Los Angeles were found in her honor to encourage women and African Americans to explore aviation. Coleman was also enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame at Dayton, Ohio in 2006.
Today, the International Society of Women Airline Pilots estimates there are over 5,000 commercial female aviators worldwide, including 1,500 female captains.
Featured image courtesy of Google.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards