The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) is kicking off its 50th anniversary celebration with the unveiling of the first Hall of Fame honorees at the Aviation Gallery.
Bessie Coleman, Ruth Law, Laurie Yonge, Charles Lindbergh, and Thomas Cole Imeson are the inaugural Hall of Fame inductees of the Gallery’s permanent exhibit.
“Bessie Coleman, 1892 – 1926, was the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license in just seven months from France’s well-known Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. She remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation. She tragically died in Jacksonville on April 30, 1926, when she was thrown from her aircraft while preparing for a flight demonstration.