May 21, 1932: Amelia Earhart Breaks Records

On this day in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She departed from Newfoundland and landed in a pasture in Northern Ireland.

Amelia Earhart may have been the most well-known woman pilot of her time, but she was neither the first nor the last to achieve great heights in the world of American Aviation. Check out American Experience’s “Women in Flight” photo gallery for more.

Photo: Amelia Earhart, c. 1928 (Library of Congress)


1977. East German ,,Pionierpanzer” operated by Young Pioneers (Jungpioniere), a suborganisation of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organisation. Sections provided with these mini-tanks were effectively called ,,Panzerbrigade” (Armoured Brigade), which apparently operated under STASI supervision.

These ,,Pionierpanzer” were powered by a Trabant engine and had a top speed of 15 kph. The turrets couldn’t traverse. The crew was composed of 2 Jungpioniere. Different models were in production, resembling actual tanks: T-34-76, T-34-85. T-54, SU-100, and SU-122.

Sources are contradictory regarding the guns: some claim they could fire live ammunition, some that they could fire only blanks, others that “hits” were scored using a laser system, similar to nowaday’s Laser Tag.

Existing footage confirms that they were at least capable of firing blanks.


Maria Teresa de Filippis then and now – Though she may not be a household name, de Filippis changed the Formula 1 racing community forever when she was selected by Maserati to represent them in the ‘56 Naples Grand Prix, in which she placed second. She then raced in the F1 professionally for only one year before retiring after a host of horrifying racing accidents killed many of her friends. She turned her back on racing for nearly two decades, before eventually joining – and later becoming Vice President of – the International Club of Former F1 Grand Prix Drivers, and founding the Maserati Club in 2004. This racing pioneer opened the doors for women in the professional motor racing community; that definitely makes her this week’s WCW! More info about de Filippis, and other fast females here: