Friday, June 21, 2013

Girls Fly!!

I know when most people think of Oklahoma they think of cowboys.  And if you get to visit Oklahoma City you probably will be more likely to visit the Cowboy Hall of Fame.  But of course I had an alternative desitination in mind. 
Should any of my readers get the chance to spend some time in what my GPS calls OCK-LA City, I suggest a visit to the 99s museum where you will learn about the women who first took to the skies.

The museum is housed in the building that is the headquarters for The 99s.  Begun in the 1930s by a group of 99 women pilots and headed by Amelia Earheart, the organization has continued to exist and provide support for women who dare to let their feet lift off the earth and soar.  Of course we all know the name Amelia Earheart.  And maybe, if you were around during WWII or have studied women's contributions to the war effort you will be familiar with the names Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love Harkness.  These are the 2 women who found the WASPs and the Women's Aircraft Ferry Service.  But I was also excited to see exhibits on Louise Thaden, the first woman to win what is known as the Powder Puff Derby and course lots about the women pilots of WWII including the British ATA and the Russian women pilots known as the Night Witches.  There was even a section on the Whirly Girls (I'm sure you guessed it: women helicopter pilots) and women blimp pilots. 

Of course the museum included the story of women pilots in the commercial airlines and astronauts as well.  For a small space they pack a lot of history.  Even I learned a lot and that's saying something for me on this subject.  The admission is only $5 (I can go back in 2 years and get the senior rate of $4!) and while I only got to spend a couple of hours there I really enjoyed my stroll through this unique piece of women's history. 

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