HEAR Jacqueline Cochran's speech
to the last WASP graduating class.
Jacqueline Cochran went higher and faster into the frontiers of
aviation than any woman before, breaking through the glass ceiling and the sound barrier.
She still holds more distance and speed records than any pilot living or dead, male or
female. That record will never be broken.I doubt if the word "can't" was ever in her
vocabulary. She never went to college--she never finished high school.
She read, she listened, she asked questions -- and she seldom if ever took no for an
answer. She believed in hard work, persistence and God...not necessarily
order...and she believed airplanes couldn't tell the difference between a man and a
woman--only a good pilot from a bad one. What drove her? What made her special? There's no simple
answer...but, she did leave a message for the next generation:
"...flex your mental muscles and get cracking under your
own power. Derive emotional satisfaction from a good try and then another and
another and still another if the first ones fail. In the case of an airplane, speed
is determined by the outcome of the conflict between thrust of the power and drag of the
plane. So it is with humans.
If you will open up your power plants of vitality and
energy, clean up your spark plugs of ambition and desires, and pour in the fuel of work
and still more work, you will be likely to go places and do things.The formula for success has many components. There is never
precisely the same mixture. A drop of luck can substitute for a dash of opportunity.
But in every well-blended recipe for success will be found, in addition to honesty and as
main ingredients, determination and tenacity and a substantial portion of skill and
experience which come with trying. There will also be found imagination and faith which
will bring the other elements together as a potent whole.
This land of ours still has its Sawdust Roads and Tobacco Roads
that I knew in my childhood. ... but I have seen most of the rest of the world...What we
have here in the United States, good, bad, and mediocre taken into account, is the best
the world has ever known.Let's not let it be pulled down -- either by carelessness,
indifference or idleness."1
MORE on Jacqueline Cochran
with primary resources
Centennial of Flight--Jackie Cochran
Article on Jacqueline Cochran and the WASP