Famous Women Pilot: Harriet Quimby and Bessie Coleman


The deaths of Harriet Quimby and Bessie Coleman impacted public opinion about women pilots highly, as they thought women were not capable of being pilots. The text states "Both Quimby and Willard were thrown from the plane and plunged to their deaths in the Boston Harbor. The New York Sun used the opportunity to speak out against women fliers" They thought since it was a woman that had crashed, then it meant they were weak and incapable of anything. Although, if it were a man, it would have been so tragic, and he was so heroic and strong. So they used Harriet Quimby's death as an excuse to be against women pilots. The text also states "Once again critics used the tragedy to assert that neither women nor blacks were mentally or physically able to be good pilots." After Bessie Coleman's death, the same part took place. They again used the death of a female pilot to cover up for the hate that they had. One more detail the text gives is "Bessie Coleman died tragically, her plans to open a flight training school for blacks were continued by those she had inspired." Although some people were terrified at even the thought of a woman or a black flying a plane, she did inspire some, and they even continued her dream to open a flight training school for blacks. The deaths of Harriet Quimby and Bessie Coleman impacted public opinion a lot, although some doubted them both from the beginning, they did inspire some people, and Bessie Coleman's dream was even continued.

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