This year marks the 50th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, becoming the first woman to have flown into space and the 30th anniversary of American astronaut, Sally Ride, becoming the first American woman to have flown into space. Before becoming a cosmonaut Valentina worked in a textile factory and was an experienced sky diver. Before Sally Ride entered NASA’s astronaut training program she was encouraged by Billie Jean King to become a professional tennis player after King witnessed Sally playing tennis at Stanford University. Both these women blazed a trail for the many female astronauts that have followed. On Saturday, March 9, 2013 the International Women’s Air & Space Museum will celebrate their achievements at the museum’s eighth annual free family day. The event is open to the public and will take place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Parking is available in the Burke Lakefront Airport terminal municipal parking lot. Landing fees at the airport (BKL) are waived for visitors to the museum that day. Support for this year’s Family Day is provided by Dollar Bank and Dominion.
The museum will be celebrating Women’s History Month throughout the day and will give visitors the opportunity to learn about the lives and accomplishments of Tereshkova and Ride through a biographical timeline of hands-on activities, including a Bounce House to simulate “weightlessness,” Man (or Woman) on the Moon Photo Booth, Create your Own Textile, Sally Ride Tennis Challenge, and more! Free activities will also be provided by several area organizations. Families and youth groups are encouraged to attend this free special event.
The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International
Women’s Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (DMd.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month.
The International Women’s Air & Space Museum is located in the Burke Lakefront
Airport terminal building, 1501 N. Marginal Road. Museum admission is free and exhibits are open 8:00 am – 8:00 pm daily. The Fay Gillis Wells Research Center and Gift Shop are open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Monday through Saturday. The Joan L. Hrubec Aviation Education Center is open to the public on Saturdays and hosts school groups during the week. Call (216) 623-1111 for more information or visit us on the web at www.iwasm.org.