Timeline Description: Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman to earn her pilot's license. She fought hard and worked harder. This is a timeline of her life.
|January 26, 1892||Bessie Coleman is born
Bessie was born in Atlanta, Texas to a poor black family. She grew up in a very racist community.
|1905||Bessie leaves school to help her mother
Bessie worked hard and saved her money to pay for industrial college, but her mother needed her help at home. Bessie gave up her schooling to help at home.
|1915||Bessie moves to Chicago for a better life
Bessie moved to Chicago, hoping for less racism and a better life with her brother. She became a manicurist, where she met many rich black people.
|1918||Her brother tells tales of flying women
Bessie's brothers told her stories of French women who could fly airplanes, still a new invention. Bessie dreamed of flying, but no school would take her because she was black and a woman.
|1920||A friend helps her go to France
Bessie had met Robert Abbot during her work as a manicurist. He was a wealthy black man, and he helped her go to France to attend aviation school there.
|1921||Bessie returns to America a graduate
Bessie returned to New York with her pilot's license. She was celebrated as a pioneer.
|1922||She furthers her dreams of flying
Bessie returned to Europe to train as a stunt flyer so that she could make a living flying airplanes.
|September 1922||Betsy is praised for her skills
When Bessie returned to America she flew in an air show and she was called "the world's greatest woman flyer."
|1923||Bessie's flight takes a nose dive
Bessie finally earned enough money to buy her own airplane. However, she crashed it within a few days, suffering many broken bones.
|1924||She buys a second airplane
She finally saved enough money to buy a second airplane, and this one did well.
|1926||Bessie Coleman dies
Bessie died in April of 1926 while preparing for a stunt flight. Every year, pilots fly over her grave and throw flowers from the sky.
|1975||The Bessie Aviators
The Bessie Aviators is an organization that was founded by women pilots in Bessie's honor. It is open to women pilots of any race.
|1990||More honors for Bessie
Bessie Coleman was honored by several airports, including Chicago's O'Hare and St. Louis' Lambert Airport.
|1995||Bessie gets her own US postal stamp
The United States Postal Service issued a Bessie Coleman stamp in honor of the great pilot.