Harriet Quimby was one of the greatest early female aviators. In 1911, Quimby became the first woman in the country to get her pilot’s license with the Aero Club of America. When she wasn’t busy flying planes recreationally, Harriet Quimby enjoyed quite a successful career in Hollywood by writing screenplays that were turned into silent shorts. Eventually, Quimby decided to embark on an ambitious task: flying across the English channel. No woman had done it before.

She completed flew across on April 16, 1912. She took off from Dover and landed 59 minutes later on a beach near Calais in France. She officially became the first female pilot to fly the Channel, but her feat drew little interest from the media. Why? On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank during its maiden voyage.