This Day in History: My Grandmother Became the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World

My grandmother, Jerrie Mock, was a courageous, spunky woman who didn’t much care for gender-bias. She did love to cook (she was a gourmet chef), but she hated dresses and she hated the idea that a woman couldn’t do whatever she put her mind to.

On this day, 56 years ago (1964), she put that nonsense to rest. She, a housewife in a skirt and heels, took the record for being the first woman to circumnavigate the globe – and she did it solo in a single-engine plane.

She made 21 stops over 29 1/2 days, and took several world records, most of which she holds to this day.

For more reading on her journey around the world, you can read some articles I’ve written on her for various publications.

Al-Jazeera – Today’s story (2020) – A deeper dive into unknown incidents and events surrounding her flight, many of which have never been heard outside of the family and close friends. Plus new photos!

CNN Travel – 2019 – A narrative essay of Jerrie’s world-record flight with anecdotes about several unusual moments along the way

The Points Guy – 2019 – Another narrative of her journey, with different anecdotes about the flight

Paradise Magazine – 2019 – A look at Jerrie’s final flight, taking more world records

Once social distancing lifts and museums are open again, you can visit her plane, Charlie, at the Smithsonian’s companion facility at Udvar-Hazy in Chantilly, Virginia.