As I’ve mentioned, we aren’t able to travel right now. I’ve used that time wisely by googling “the most interesting things about Columbus, Ohio” and I found out the first woman fly around the world solo (and finish) is from Ohio! Who is she and when did it happen?
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The “Flying Housewife”
In my search for interesting things about Columbus, I discovered Geraldine Fredritz Mock (aka Jerrie Mock). Who exactly is she?
While we (Americans, at least) remember Amelia Earhart, Jerrie Mock isn’t nearly so famous, even though she is the first woman to fly solo around the world and finish her journey! Not only that, she left from Columbus, Ohio in a Cessna called “Spirit of Columbus.” She began the journey on March 19, 1964. The birthplace of aviation delivers again.
The competition between Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith
Another woman was attempting to do the same thing at the same time. Her name was Joan Merriam Smith and she left from San Francisco two days earlier. Smith was following Earhart’s path. The media developed it into a competition (as the media does). Of course, upon learning about Smith’s quest, Mock did move up her departure date by 2 weeks, so maybe there was a little something to it.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner… err. Statue in an Airport
Ultimately, Mock was the “winner.” She returned to Ohio’s capitol city on April 17, 1964. Surprisingly, Mock isn’t much of a celebrity in Columbus, though there is a statue of her at the Columbus airport. Her birthplace, Newark, Ohio, also celebrates her accomplishments with a bronze statue outside The Works museum. (Source, source, and source). Mock died on September 30, 2014.
Jerrie Mock is virtually unknown, even with such an amazing accomplishment under her belt
Finding out about Jerrie Mock’s accomplishment was a fun discovery. In fact, visiting The Works museum might be a fun field trip!
What are fun facts about your own town? Are there are any underrated people who should be celebrities that hail from your home town?
PS – My friend, Julie, who blogs over at Waiting for Fireflies graciously allowed me to post Why Natalie Chooses World Schooling and Asking Why. Thanks, Julie!