Title: Councilwoman's Book Discusses Aviation
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: Shereen Oca
During the first transcontinental flight across the United States, a pilot by the name of Calbraith "Cal" Rodgers completed his 70-stop trip from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., to the West Coast by taxiing his plane in the Pacific Ocean just off Long Beach's Pine Avenue pier in 1911.
In 1920, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Armed Forces, took her inaugural plane ride, flown by Polytechnic High School alumnus Frank Hawks, in Long Beach. At the time, Earhart and her father were attending the Earl S. Daughtery's air circus, a stunt-laden aviation event replete with wing walking and upside-down flying.
Daugherty, a commercial, military and stunt pilot, exhibition flyer and more, helped create the city's first non-beach airfield and Southern California's first municipal airport in 1923 -- now known as the Long Beach Municipal Airport-Daugherty Field.
In her second book, "Early Aviation in Long Beach," Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske highlights these firsts as she chronicles the accomplishments of legends during the "golden age of aviation."
"I think the most interesting thing was the fact that Long Beach was such a focal point for early aviation," Schipske said. "I'm a native of Long Beach. I certainly did not know that until I did research."
"Early Aviation in Long Beach" follows Schipske's first book with Arcadia Publishing, entitled "Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach." With more than 200 black and white photographs, this follow-up book explores the relationship between the city and aviation from Long Beach's beginnings to World War II.
"I think it calls attention to how significant Long Beach was in starting aviation in the country," Schipske said of her recently published work. "I think it's something we should celebrate and get the word out. I was stunned by how many significant aviation events happened in Long Beach."
Schipske said she initially set out to write a book about the history of the Long Beach Airport, but found such a wealth of information and images at the Main Library and Long Beach Municipal Airport as well as online in the Library of Congress and National Archives that she decided to split the project into two books. The next will most likely document the airport's development from World War II to the present, she added.
One of the most interesting revelations she had, Schipske said, came to her while she was conducting research for "Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach." She said she was stunned when she came across hundreds of photographs of Long Beach aircraft workers online at the Library of Congress Web site.
Long Beach," she continued. "I thought there's got to be more than this."
There was, and after 10 months of research and writing, Schipske finished "Early Aviation in Long Beach."
"I am especially interested in local history," said Schipske, who has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California, Irvine, among several other academic accomplishments. "I think that there are so many wonderful things that happened in Long Beach and because of Long Beach. We've got a great history here and we need to get it out and let people know."
"Early Aviation in Long Beach" costs $21.99.