June 9, 2011

First and foremost…

Many, many firsts on this,  the 9th of June : The first corporation in the Americas was formed in 1650 – that would be the Harvard Corporation, which consists of the president of the college and six fellows.

A little over a century later, the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War took place and in 1790 the first copyright was granted to the Philadelphia Spelling Book.  In 1868, Charles Hires sold his first bottled root beer.

And 102 years ago today, Alice Huyler Ramsey, 22, left Hell’s Gate in Manhattan driving a Maxwell 30 on her way to becoming the first woman to cross the country by car.  Accompanied by her two sisters-in-law and a friend, she made it in 59 days, arriving at the St. James Hotel in San Francisco to the cheers of the crowd.

She had successfully driven 3,800 miles – and only 132 of them were paved.

Alice Ramsey

It was quite an adventure – at one point she and her fellow travelers were surrounded by Indian war party on horseback, but were allowed to proceed. Oh, and Alice definitely gets all the credit, since none of the other three could drive. She died in 1983 at the age of 96.

In 2009, Emily Anderson and her father celebrated the centennial of Alice’s trip by duplicating it – though Mr. Anderson, a car buff, had to construct a Maxwell pretty much from scratch, since only one still existed and it wasn’t for sale..  You can read about the trip here.

Many happy returns to Michael J. Fox and Aaron Sorkin, both born in 1961, and to Johnny Depp, who’s two years younger.  Now, some snaps from Alice’s road trip:



  1. happy bday JD! 🙂


    Comment by nina c — June 10, 2011 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  2. Go girl and she did


    Comment by avery — June 15, 2011 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

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