General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold was born on June 25, 1886, in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. He was an early supporter of military air power, and later became the Air Force’s first five-star general.
On June 22, 1946, US Airmail was carried by jet for the first time. The flight was part of an event to showcase how GE’s aviation products could positively impact people’s lives and the future.
Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida. The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.
On May 8, 1911, the US Navy purchased its first airplane. This date is celebrated as the birth of US naval aviation.
On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She had a brief, but significant aviation career, becoming a pioneer and inspiration for countless female flyers.
On April 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower created the Air Force Academy to train officers. During its more than 60 year history, the academy has had over 52,000 graduates move on to become US Air Force officers.
The first US Airmail coil stamp was issued on January 15, 1948, in Washington, DC. Only a few more coil stamps would be issued over the next 30 years, but the DC-4 SkyMaster would appear on more than a dozen postal items.
On January 9, 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard carried the first letter by hot air balloon in America. The letter came from President George Washington, an avid balloon enthusiast.