Special Report

The Coolest Women's Firsts in History

Source: ftwitty / Gtty Images

Betty Miller
> First woman to: Fly solo across the Pacific Ocean
> Year: 1963

Miller left from Oakland, California, flying a Piper Apache. She stopped in Hawaii, Canton Island, Fiji, and New Caledonia. Her final destination was Brisbane, Australia, where she landed 20 days later. She got out of her plane wearing a cotton dress and high heels.

Source: Pi.1415926535 / Wikimedia Commons

Jerrie Mock
> First woman to: Fly solo around the world
> Year: 1964

She is known as the “Flying Housewife.” She is said to have been in an unofficial race with Amelia Earhart but only Mock’s flight was officially sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association.

Source: the359 / Flickr

Janet Guthrie
> First woman to: Drive in the Indy 500
> Year: 1977

Guthrie made history in 1977 when she became the first woman to earn a starting spot in the Indianapolis 500. She achieved the same feat at the Daytona 500 in the same year. She was Top Rookie. When a year later she finished ninth, racing for a team she managed herself, it was the best result by a woman until 2005.

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

Sandra Day O’Connor
> First woman to: Become Supreme Court justice
> Year: 1981

The Texas native was the first woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She was on the bench from 1981, when President Ronald Reagan nominated her, until 2006, when she retired. She was known as a moderate conservative and for extensively researching her opinions.

Source: Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons

Ann Bancroft
> First woman to: Walk to the North Pole
> Year: 1986

Bancroft made history by becoming the first woman to successfully finish expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic. In 1986, after 56 days, she and her team arrived at the North Pole by dogsled without stopping for supplies. In 1993, she led a women’s team that reached the South Pole on skis, making her the first woman to have been to both poles.

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