Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race is a documentary film about the first women’s cross-country air race in 1929 and the legacy of women’s air racing today. Parkland College will host a viewing of the film June 18 at 7 pm in Room C118 on Parkland’s main campus. Film commentary will be provided by Terry von Thaden, granddaughter of the first air race winner, Louise Thaden.
The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The eyes of the country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation.
Today, the Powder Puff Derby continues as the Air Race Classic. The modern-day racers carry out the legacy of the original racers with their adventurous spirit. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to push beyond the powder.
This year the Air Race Classic celebrates its 40th anniversary and will include a stop at Willard Airport and the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College in Savoy, Illinois. The 2016 Air Race Classic runs June 21–24.
For more information about the film please visit Hemlock Films.
[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]