Daily Almanac for Sunday, May 15, 2022

On this date in 1930, Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess, at Boeing Air Transport. (photo via wikipedia commons)


Ellen Church (September 22, 1904 – August 22, 1965) was the first female flight attendant. A trained nurse and pilot, Church wanted to pilot commercial aircraft, but those jobs were not open to women. Still wanting to fly, Church successfully worked to convince Boeing Air Transport that using nurses as flight-stewardesses would increase safety and help convince passengers that flying was safe. Their first flight took off on May 15, 1930.


Church was born in Cresco, Iowa. After graduating from Cresco High School, Church studied nursing and worked in a San Francisco hospital. She was a pilot and a registered nurse. Steve Stimpson, the manager of the San Francisco office of Boeing Air Transport (BAT), would not hire her as a pilot, but did pass along her suggestion to put nurses on board airplanes to calm the public’s fear of flying. In 1930, BAT hired Church as head stewardess, and she recruited seven others for a three-month trial period.

The stewardesses, or “sky girls” as BAT called them, had to be registered nurses, “single, younger than 25 years old; weigh less than 115 pounds [52 kg]; and stand less than 5 feet, 4 inches tall [1.63 m]“. In addition to attending to the passengers, they were expected to, when necessary, help with hauling luggage, fueling and assisting pilots to push the aircraft into hangars. However, the salary was good: $125 a month.

Church became the first stewardess to fly (though not the first flight attendant, as German Heinrich Kubis had preceded her in 1912). On May 15, 1930, she embarked on a Boeing 80A for a 20-hour flight from Oakland/San Francisco to Chicago with 13 stops and 14 passengers. According to one source, the pilot was another aviation pioneer, Elrey Borge Jeppesen.

The innovation was a resounding success – the other airlines followed BAT’s example over the next few years – but an injury from an automobile accident ended her career after 18 months.

Cresco’s municipal airport was named Ellen Church Field (KCJJ) in her honor.


Question of the Day

I’m putting up an eight-foot cedar fence to shelter a brick patio area from the north winds. What can I grow on its shady side?We assume you’re looking for a climbing vine, as opposed to a ground cover or shrub, although you could certainly use all three. To climb the cedar poles, your best bet might be winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei radicans), which can extend up to 12 feet and is a hardy evergreen vine for Zone 5 (and even somewhat north of that). It shows a glossy, variegated leaf and thrives in partial or full shade and ordinary soil. It’s a member of the bittersweet family, but it displays a pale pink fruit and greenish white flowers. If you want something more fragrant, you might try a shade-loving clematis vine. Unlike the large-flowered clematis plants that love sun, ‘Sweet Autumn’ clematis is well adapted for shade and known for its autumn fragrance and small white flowers. It likes rich, well-drained soil. Prune it back for winter; you’ll want new growth in the spring. As for shrubs and ground covers, there’s no end to the shade-loving varieties.

Advice of the Day

Better a good cow than a cow of good kind.

Home Hint of the Day

If a board is twisted, you might get some use out of it by cutting it into two or more lengths — or, better yet, avoid using it altogether.

Word of the Day

RainbowRainbows are formed opposite to the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays in drops of falling rain. The raindrops are responsible for the colors of rainbows. They break the sunlight up into the full spectrum of colors, each drop acting as a sort of miniature prism. Each color emerges at a slightly different angle on each raindrop. When millions of raindrops gather, the spectrum shows up as distinct bands of color — each with a different length. Red is the longest and violet the shortest band. The arc is most pronounced when the Sun is close to the horizon.

Puzzle of the Day

Why did the cow cross the road?To get to the udder side.


  • L. Frank Baum (author) – 1856
  • Williamina Fleming (astronomer) – 1857
  • Pierre Curie (chemist) – 1859
  • Katherine Anne Porter (novelist) – 1890
  • Emmitt Smith (football player) – 1969
  • Rod Smith (football player) – 1970
  • Josh Beckett (baseball player) – 1980
  • Andy Murray (tennis player) – 1987


  • Emily Dickinson (poet) – 1886
  • June Carter Cash (singer) – 2003
  • Jerry Falwell – 2007
  • Barbara Stuart (actress) – 2011


  • English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold arrived at Shoal Hope in what is now Massachusetts. They caught so many cod there they renamed it Cape Cod– 1602
  • Johannes Kepler verified his Third Law of Planetary Motion– 1618
  • James Puckle was granted a patent for his Defence Gun, the world’s first rapid-fire gun– 1718
  • The Baily’s Beads solar eclipse phenomenon was first described– 1836
  • Rain and fish fell from the sky in Olneyville, Rhode Island. Most of the fish measured 2- to 4-inches long.– 1900
  • Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess, at Boeing Air Transport– 1930
  • First live TV pictures received from a U.S. spacecraft, (Faith 7)– 1963
  • Governor George Wallace of Alabama was shot– 1972
  • Boston Red Sox player Manny Ramirez hit his 400th home run– 2005
  • Four bear cubs playing on a backyard trampoline was caught on video in Avon, Connecticut– 2017


  • Thirty-six inches of snow, Haverhill, New Hampshire– 1834
  • Ninety-two degrees F at Portland, Oregon– 2006
  • 85 degrees F, Olympia and Seattle, Washington– 2007
  • 94 degrees F in Theilman, Minnesota– 2007

COURTESY www.almanac.com

Columbus Eagles News
2 weeks ago
Cincinnati Reds News
1 month ago
Colorado Rockies News
1 month ago
Daily Almanac for Monday, April 18, 2022