Washington DC – Day Trip 2 – Maryland – Prince George’s County

Many historical sites relating to female aviation and space flight are to be found in Maryland, along with  some pretty amazing political adventurers.   Their new frontier is very much an influence for a new generation of young women.

1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive • College Park, Maryland 20740  301-864-6029

The College Park Aviation Museum is on the site of the world’s oldest operating airport!

There are interactive exhibits, programs and more along with the Civilian Aviation Room, with displays highlighting inventors, aviators, memorabilia, trophies, panels about air shows and races. One to highlight is “Breaking the Gender Code” about WASPs (Women Air Service Pilots) aviators from World War 2.

The airport boasts an impressive list of women who earned the title “aviatrix” including:

Dr. Vera Rollo, who won her wings at age 19, and who was a World War II flight instructor and multi-engine/seaplane pilot for many years. She flew in air shows and air races.

Bernetta Adams Miller, the fifth American woman to earn her international Aviator’s license (1912), joined the Women’s Overseas Service League and served in France in the 82nd Infantry Division.

Elaine Harmon qualified to join the WASPs in WW2.  Polly Hill, former College Park airport manager,  is a commercial pilot and flight instructor.  Elizabeth Materese now works for the Federal Aviation Administration, and several more brave and accomplished women pilots from here.

And, let’s not forget Mrs. Ralph H. Van Deman, who was the first passenger to fly in the United States, when Orville Wright took her for a 4 minute flight over this airport in 1909.

12450 Sir Walter Drive • Glenn Dale, Maryland 20769

Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) was the first woman to run for the presidency of the United States. In 1884 she announced her candidacy on a farm in Landover, Maryland, in a cabin called Grigsby Station. This building has since been moved to nearby Glenn Dale.

Belva received 4,149 votes-all cast of course by men, since women did not have the right to vote. She was the first woman to attend and graduate from Genesee College in New York state, and one of the first in America to earn a law degree.

Denied the right to practice law in Maryland, she had a successful legal career in Washington, D.C. When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to let her argue a case before it, she persuaded Congress to pass a law that permitted women to do so.

Thomas Johnson Middle School • 5401 Barker Place • Lanham, Maryland 20706 • 301-918-8680

Christa Corrigan McAuliffe (1948-1986) was chosen by NASA as the first participant in the Teacher in Space program, and she, along with the rest of the crew, died on Challenger.

After her marriage, she earned a Master’s degree from Bowie State University in Maryland. She stayed to teach at Benjamin Foulois Junior High School and from 1971 to 1978 at Thomas Johnson Junior High School.

A lecture program at Bowie State University, a sculpture of Christa at Bowie New Town, and displays at Thomas Johnson Middle School honor her memory.

School of Engineering • University of Maryland
College Park • College Park, Maryland 20742

Following Sally Ride,  Dr. Judith A. Resnick became the second American woman astronaut in space, in 1984, aboard the space shuttle Discovery. Her job was to work the robotic arm to raise and lower a solar wing outside the craft. Earlier she developed experimental software, but on her second flight, in 1986, she was killed when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on take-off.

Dr. Resnick received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, where an auditorium at the A. James Clark School of Engineering is named for her, as well as a scholarship, in her memory. She was also inducted into the University’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 1995.

Part 1:  C&O Canal

Part 2:  Maryland Women Pacesetters

Part 3:  Clara Barton, Rachel Carson

Washington, DC Travel – Archived Articles

©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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