American pilot Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier on this day in 1953. After taking flying lessons at Roosevelt Airfield in Long Island in the early 1930s, Cochran quickly mastered piloting aircrafts, earning her commercial pilot’s license within two years. By 1938, Cochran was setting numerous women’s world records for speed and altitude, winning five Harmon Trophies, rewarding “the most outstanding international achievements in the arts and/or science of aeronautics”. Known as the “Speed Queen”, Cochran was a maverick ahead of her time, spearheading the creation of a women’s division in the Air Force during World War II.
“Capacity never lacks opportunity. It cannot remain undiscovered because it is sought by too many anxious to use it.” —