CONTACT: Terri Hamiter (409)740-7722

GALVESTON, TX-The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Bessie Coleman for induction to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Ms. Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas and raised in Waxahachie, Texas before moving to Chicago, Illinois to pursue her dream of flight. Ms. Coleman, a world-renowned aerobatic pilot, skydiver, and airshow performer, opened the frontier of aviation for African-Americans and continued the quest to remove gender barriers in aviation. In 1921, [she] became the first African American individual to receive an international pilot's license from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France.

Along with Bessie Coleman, the honorees to be inducted in November 2000 are: Ronald G. Bliss, Air Force pilot; Capt. Eugene Cernan, astronaut; General Claire Chennault, founder of the Flying Tigers; Charlie Hillard, first American to win the world aerobatic championship; D.U. "Dee" Howard, innovator of the military and commercial aircraft conversion industry; Fred Parks, bomber group intelligence officer during the famed World War II Ploesti Raids; and Leland Shaw, designer of the Snow air tractor and leading innovator in aerial agricultural application.

Confirmed by the Texas legislature and dedicated in 1997, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame honors Texans that have contributed to the advancement of aviation, and outstanding aviation achievements within the state. The Class of 2000 will be honored in special induction ceremonies at the annual Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Gala in Galveston, Texas on November 10, 2000. For further information on the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, visit the Lone Star Flight Museum website at or call (409) 740-7722.

© Lynne Spivey
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