Arkansas’ Amelia Earhart…
Louise McPhetridge Thaden, born in Bentonville on November 12, 1905, was an aviation pioneer and holder of numerous flight records during the late 1920s and 1930s. At one point, she was the most famous female American aviator only after Amelia Earhart. Raised on the family farm, McPhetridge discovered an early interest in aviation after a ride in a plane with a barnstormer. More info and photos at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
Listen to the records this amazing woman held:
Upon gaining her pilot’s license, she became the first and only pilot to hold the women’s altitude, solo endurance, and speed records simultaneously. She set the women’s altitude record (20,260 feet) on December 7, 1928, the solo endurance record on March 16–17, 1929 (twenty-two hours, three minutes, twenty-eight seconds), and the speed record on April 18, 1929 (156 mph).
Not only did she hold all those records, she “competed and won against fellow aviators Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes, Blanche Noyes, and others in the first all-women’s transcontinental race, the National Women’s Air Derby held August 19–26, 1929.”