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I want to do well because I know that I'm representing other women, other pilots, military pilots as well as civilian pilots who are hoping to come here to NASA and be pilots themselves for the space shuttle. (24) Collins became the first woman to pilot a space shuttle when she flew aboard a mission in February 1995 - the first flight of the new joint Russian-American space program. Her second shuttle flight in May 1997 was the sixth mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian space station Mir. On her third shuttle mission in July 1999, at the age of forty-two, she became the first woman to be a space shuttle commander. Collins adroitly combined her role as space traveler with that of wife and mother. (45) It was a dream of mine to have the opportunity to be part of such an important astronomy mission. It is my hope that all children will see this mission and be inspired to reach for their dreams, too. Because dreams do come true. (46) For a timeline regarding women astronauts see http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/women/index.htm.
One [person] with courage makes a majority.
President Andrew Jackson. (15: fw) This paper has already focused on a sampling of women visionary leaders. Without courage, their vision would have resulted in unfulfilled dreams.
The word courage comes from the same stem as the French word coeur, meaning heart.
Many consider courage to be the foundation and reality to all other virtues and personal values.
Without courage love may become mere dependency. (10:254-255) As a key attribute of leadership, courage has many faces. Being courageous is standing up for what you believe and questioning the status quo, even when you are confronted with dissenters. (56:303) President John F. Kennedy summed it up well in his novel, Profiles in
Courage is much more than bravery on a battlefield. It can mean acting according to your beliefs whatever the consequences. Courage requires no exceptional Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 10 qualifications, no magic, no special combination of time, place and circumstance.
In whatever arena one meets the challenge and opportunity of courage, whatever may be the sacrifice faced, each person must decide for themselves the course to follow. Many people never have the opportunity to show such courage. But all of us have the opportunity to recognize such courage in others. The events of past courage can define that ingredient—to teach, offer hope, and provide inspiration.
(15:xix, xviii, 133) It can also mean being vulnerable and compassionate. Leaders can either stimulate or stifle courage within their organizations. In some cases, people are attacked for speaking their minds.
After experiencing this for a while they become resentful or passive and unwilling to take risks.
But organizations need as many acts of courage as they can muster. Courageous people help an organization ask tough questions, sharpen its ideas, and renew itself (to become more effective in accomplishing its mission). (56:303) Credibility must also go hand-in-hand with courage, as discussed earlier in the focus on visionary leadership. A person must temper personal views and passion, acknowledge the legitimacy of opposing positions, and be prudent and fair-minded, while still acting courageously and with conviction. (56:309) Harriet Tubman 1820-1913 Famous underground railroad conductor and Union soldier Harriet Ross (Tubman) was born into slavery in 1819 or 1820, in Dorchester County, Maryland. Given the names of her two parents, both held in slavery, she was of purely African ancestry. She was raised under harsh conditions, and subjected to whippings even as a small child. (41) At the age of 25, she married John Tubman, a free African American. Five years later, fearing she would be sold South, she made her escape. (41) She fled North to freedom. There she joined the secret network of free Blacks and White sympathizers who helped runaway slavesthe “Underground Railroad.” She became an Underground Railroad conductor who risked her life to lead other people to freedom. In all, she is believed to have conducted approximately 300 persons to freedom in the North. (24) Tubman was closely associated with Abolitionist John Brown and was well acquainted with the other northern abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, Jermain Loguen, and Gerrit Smith. She worked closely with Brown, and reportedly missed his famous raid on Harper's Ferry only because of illness. (41) Brown believed he could free the slaves, and he selected Harpers Ferry, West Virginia as his starting point. Determined to seize the 100,000 weapons at the local arsenal and to use the Blue Ridge Mountains for guerrilla warfare, abolitionist Brown launched his raid on October 16, 1859. His 21-man force seized the armory and several other strategic points. 36 hours later, with most of his men killed or wounded, Brown was captured in the Armory fire enginehouse (now known as John Brown's Fort) when U.S. Marines, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee (who later went on to become the famous general of the Confederate Army), stormed the building. Brought to trial, Brown was found guilty of treason, of conspiring with slaves to rebel, and murder. He was hanged on December 2, 1859. John Brown's short-lived raid failed, but his trial and execution focused the nation's attention on the moral issue of slavery and headed the country toward civil war. (54) Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 11 Tubman was tabbed as the shadowy figure known as the conductor “Moses,” and became so feared that a huge reward was put on "his" head, for slaveowners did not at first believe a woman capable of such daring activities. Cool, resourceful, skilled in the use of disguise and diversions, she is said to have carried a pistol, telling the faint-hearted they must go on or die. (24) After the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Tubman served as a soldier, spy, and nurse. She worked among the slaves who fled their masters and flocked to Union lines. She organized many of them into spy and scout networks that operated behind Confederate lines from island bases off the coast of the Carolinas. (24) After the close of the Civil War, and after denied payment for her wartime service, Tubman settled in Auburn, New York with a new husband, Nelson Davis, and was active in support of women's rights. In 1908, she built a home for the aged and indigent. She devoted herself to caring for orphaned and invalid Blacks, and worked to promote the establishment of freedmen's schools in the South. (41) After her death in 1913, Harriet Tubman was buried in Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York, with military honors. She has since received many honors, including the naming of the Liberty Ship HARRIET TUBMAN christened in 1944 by Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1995, the Federal Government honored Harriet Tubman with a commemorative postage stamp bearing her name and likeness. (41) Jacqueline Cochran, 1906-1980 “I have no fear – I know you can do the job” Jacqueline Cochran's life was about risk and about triumph against all odds. She led herself from the lowest possible levels of poverty and hardship. She was an aviation pioneer and head of her own highly successful national cosmetics firm. In 1943, she became Director of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS) in World War II. At the time of her death in 1980, Cochran held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, female or male.
(24) (1:24) Orphaned early in life (legend has it that she picked her name out of a phonebook) and with almost no formal education, in 1932 Cochran learned to fly at age 22 (flying alone by the third day of her training) (61:109) (6:40), and it became a lifetime passion. Early on in aviation she tested speed and altitude. The data she collected were invaluable in developing pressurized craft.
She tested a new fuel in 1939 that was later used during World War II. (6:43-44) The first woman to win the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race (l938), she established a woman's altitude record (1939) and broke speed records, as well. (6:40) In July 1941, just after the start of World War II, Cochran developed a national proposal for a organization of a Woman's Pilot's Division of the Air Corps Ferrying Command. Actually, this was not the first written proposal of this type. In May 1940, Boston pilot Nancy Harkness Love submitted a proposal to recruit qualified women pilots for the new Air Corps Ferrying Command. Cochran and Love banded together. Soon the Women's Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS), which had started flying Army plane ferrying missions in 1942, and the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) were unified to become the WASPS. She became Director of the WASPS, teaching 1,200 women to fly transports. She also became the first woman to pilot a bomber across the North Atlantic. (14:100) Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 12 In 1943, the first class of WASP women pilots received their wings (paid for by Cochran).
She delivered the following message to them:
Now, we are on the verge of seeing this whole dream blossom into reality in a truly big way. The Women's Flying Program has already approached the proportions of our entire air program prior to the start of the war. What will be the ultimate resultgood or badwill be up to the girls themselves. You of the first classes will have the real responsibility. By your actions and results the future course will be set. You have my reputation in your hands. Also, you have my faith. I have no fearI know you can do the job. After graduating, I will be following you with anxious and proud eyes, and your success will be my satisfaction. This work of mineplanning, sitting at a desk, and working well into the night as regular routineis no great pleasure for one who loves to have her hand on the throttle; but, it has to be done if you are to succeed. My compensation can only come from your morale and accomplishments. I am proud of you. (61:109) By their end of duty in December 1944, WASPs had flown over 60 million miles crisscrossing the U.S. and Canada, operating 77 different types of military aircraftevery kind of warplane manufactured in America at the time. (14:305) Although 38 women died in service, they were not honored as war veterans until November 23, 1977 when President Jimmy Carter authorized veterans status for the WASPs of World War II. (61:109) (14:316) Cochran and the WASPs’ story in itself is one of courage. They overcame countless instances of prejudice and discrimination during this period in our history. For them, the hazards and incomprehension were peripheral to their vision of doing something special, something beyondto fly in the service of America. They were courageous pioneers, and Jacqueline Cochran led the path. (14:x) Jacqueline Cochran was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945 and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve. In 1953, piloting a Sabre jet, she broke the world's speed record. That same year, Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier and published her book, The Stars at Noon. A few years later she was flying at speed Mach 2. She became the Chair of the National Aeronautic Commission and was enshrined in the Aviation Hall of Fame in l971, the first living woman so honored. (24) (6:44) Kelly Mogk She made the title of her rank, aviation survival “man,” obsolete Kelly Mogk was the first female rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard and was the only woman, at that time, to graduate from the Navy Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola. (36) On January 3, 1989 during her first rescue case as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Aviation Survivalman Third Class Mogk, played the key part in the rescue and life saving of a downed Air National Guard jet pilot who had ejected from an F-4 over the Pacific Ocean during a training exercise. She was awarded the Air Medal and congratulated in person by President George Bush. Admiral Paul Yost, Jr., Commandant of the Coast Guard, cited Mogk’s courageous feat as one of the most deserving of a place in any account of the outstanding rescue achievements during the Coast Guard’s 200-year history. (58:17-33) Women's History Month 2001: Inspiring Stories of Vision and Courage 13 This was the first actual mission of the first woman to qualify as a rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard or any other branch of the Armed Services. Her aircraft commander for the mission, Lieutenant Commander Peterson, was quoted at the time that in his 12 years of flying rescues missions, the conditions were worse than any he had seen for putting a rescue swimmer down to render assistance to an individual in distress. Even upon departure from Air Station Astoria, OR, it was understood that the rescue swimmer would most likely need to enter the water to assist the ejected pilot. The sea state was sixteen-foot waves with a six-foot, wind driven chop, and a temperature of fifty-six degrees. The pilot was severely hypothermic and near death with extensive, life threatening injuries from ejecting at a speed of 600 miles per hour.