Daily Almanac for Saturday, April 17, 2021: Newark, Ohio native Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock made his on this date

On this date in 1964, Geraldine Jerrie Mock completed a solo flight around the world. Her April 17, 1964 press photo. By Unknown author UPI, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org.

Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock (From Wikipedia Commons)

Geraldine “Jerrie” Fredritz Mock (November 22, 1925 – September 30, 2014) was an American pilot and the first woman to fly solo around the world, which she did in 1964. She flew a single engine Cessna 180 (registered N1538C) christened the “Spirit of Columbus” and nicknamed “Charlie.”  The trip began March 19, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and ended April 17, 1964, in Columbus, Ohio, and took 29 days, 21 stopovers and almost 22,860 miles (36,790 km). An almost forgotten part of this flight is the “race” that developed between Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith who had flown from a field near San Francisco CA on March 17, 1964. Joan’s departure date and flight path was the same as the aviator Amelia Earhart‘s last flight and though not in direct competition with each other, media coverage soon began tracking the progress of each pilot fascinated with who would complete the journey first; Mock did. The story of this race is told in a book written by Taylor Phillips entitled, Racing to Greet the Sun, Jerrie Mock and Joan Merriam Smith Duel to Become the First Woman to Solo Around the World (2015). Jerrie Mock was subsequently awarded the Louis Blériot medal from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1965. In 1970 she published the story of her round-the-world flight in the book Three-Eight Charlie. While that book is now out of print, a 50th anniversary edition was later published including maps, weather charts and photos. Three-Eight Charlie is a reference to the call sign, N1538C, of the Cessna 180 Skywagon Mock used to fly around the world.

Geraldine Jerrie Jerrie Mock’s Spirit of Columbus, a Cessna 180, hanging in the Udvar-Hazy Center. By Pi.1415926535 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org.JPG

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