Newspaper Page Text
1 . l" Bill l;1 I Holder of America's Cross-Country Non-Stop Flight - Trick Flying Helping Uncle Sam, Bond Selling to Charting Air-Routes Copyright, 1918, The International Syndicate. I ft ATHERINE STINSON, holder of T America's, cross-country, non I stop flight record, and the only woman flier to whom has been intrusted Uncle Sam's air mail, did not intend to make Hying her lite work when she went into the game, six years ago. Her ambition was not to be America's champion bird-girl. Fly ing was to be only a means to an end. Miss Stinson is a musician, and the dream of the little girl in Jackson, Mississippi, was nothing more sensa tional than to become a teacher of piano. She did not believe in doing things by halves, and she wanted to be equipped with the very best musical education that was to be had. Her funds were exhausted before she had completed her preparation, which was planned to Include study in the musical centers of Europe. So she took up flying with the de liberate purpose of giving exhibition flights until the education had been provided for. She intended then to come back to earth and live in the same sphere as the rest of us. But I the world has moved since the peace ful days of 1912. Pioneer In Aviation Miss Stinson has been pioneering in I American aviation in fair competition with men flyeie, startling the world I both with stunt flying and breaking Life In Historic Mexico ,> j : rMmM: -Vf IMkwi MMl for Centuries Past Magnificent Scenery and Abject Poverty Go Hand In Hand Copyright, 1U1S, The International Syndicate. RESIDENT WILSON'S speech to the representatives of Mexico, in which he depicted us as a Big Brother nation, will have a tendency to convince the Latin American people that we have no de sire to be highwaymen, and that we have no ambition to gain territory. In other words, what we desire the Mexicans and others to understand is that we are champions of liberty. We wish to hold a position of protection toward smaller nations. It is to the credit of our country tht we are not eeklng territory, but ars fighting for he triumph of certain principles. We re trying to make Mexico and some ther nations understand this. The words of President Wilson are f such a noble import that it is oped they will give Mexico a clearer nsight into our aims, and strengthen he bond of amity between us. Car- anza'i country has been so torn with nternal strife that It may be difficult o get a wide viewpoint, but the friend- y attitude of our country, as manl- ested In the speech of President Wll on, may make them better able to e clear vision in looking at the coun try to the north of them. Those who tmderstand Mexico, with her historic ackground, charming climate and tlcturesque cities, hope that this war 'ill emphasize the importance of he diplomatic relations between the United States and all Latin-America, jBjTc I I o : ...v-v- i records for distance flights, and has hung up an American cross-country non-stop flight record that surpasses all other distance flights of both men and women aviators in this country. She can stop flying now any tlma that she wants to, and get the best that the musical world has to offer. But no one seriously expects her to, for the government has observed her work, and found it good, and since by her 6ex she is hopelessly barred from active participation in the war, she has taken up, with characteristic vim, the job of charting new air routes for mail transportation and carrying mail over the new highways in the clouds. Means To An End Miss Stinson has also' found a way to express her patriotism in. a way that is more directly connected with the war. In many cities where she has been flying since the United States entered the war she has volunteered her services to the army, navy and marine corps recruiting stations, and has been an earnest and enthusiastic "recruiting sergeant" pro-tem. This summer she is taking up, in addition to her recruiting activities, the pro motion of the sale of War Savings Stamps. Katherine Stinson has crowded a great variety of experiences and a Practically the Same As and the desirability that these rela tions be friendly as well as commer cial. The terrible conflict ought to impess on all of the nations of the Western Hemisphere that we ought to have solidarity of interest and action in international affairs. Carranza Has Big Job Those who know Mexico appreciate what a task Carranza has in keeping his country quiet at home and neutral abroad. If war had meant loss of life to Mexico that would have been bad enough, but railroads and mines were disabled, and public enterprises of all kinds suffered by the Mexican revolu tion. Carranza needs money to re build railroads and carry on govern mental work, and he has been facing a difficult proposition. Mexico City, though shot ridden in places, keeps a brave front to the world. Her shops were always fine, and they are apparently doing a good business. The Pasee de la Reforma the grand boulevard of the city Is as beautiful as In the days of Carlotta, and the Castle of Chapultepec, indis solubly connected with Mexican his tory, rears Its head as proudly as ever on the hill from which it gets its name. It Is true, there are soldiers oh the streets, and that in the country bandits occasionally Are at passing trains, but there is a generally opti mistic feeling that the worst Is over, and there is a great big. hope thai THE BEIDGEPOKT TIMES: r. A vast number of thrills into her six years of flying. Before the idea of be coming a flier occurred to her she had been impressed strongly bv the ro mance of the air sport, which was then far more hazardous than it is to day, and John Moisant and Archie Hoxey flying kings of their time were her idols. It was a tragic co incidence, but one that failed1' to daunt her, that both of her heroes were killed on the same day, Moisant in New Orleans and Hoxey in Los An geles. Exhibition Flights The financial success which these men were making of their exhibition flights inspired Miss Stinson with the idea of going into the work herself to acquire the funds which her ambi tious musical program demanded. It was an unheard, of thing for a girl and a girl of seventeen at that to at tempt. But Katherine Stinson is an innovator. Deaf to the remonstrances and dark predictions of her terror stricken friends, she entred an avia tion school in 1912, and in July of that year the Aero Club of America issued her license number 148. Few fliers alive today hold licenses with lower numbers. Her first solo fight was for this license, and took place in Chicago. She used a Wright biplane, with a Wright motor that was good for only forty miles an hour. The model which she used on that occasion was the one with which Walter Brookins did the spiral dive standing the ma chine on one end and sliding side wise. Carranza will prove equal to the sit uation. Villa may be instituting a sort of Hoover food control among his followers; at any rate he is credited with this, but Carranza has the brains and better social position. It is a sad Mexico, but it has certain things war fare cannot injure. There is the same blue, blue sky, the same magnificent white-capped volcanoes, and everyone who knows Mexico is glad that Chap ultepec remains the same, for it has the- most magnificent setting of any home occupied by the head of any gov ernment, and It is historic in a mark ed degree. Queretaro the Present Capitol Early in his assuming control as chief Carranza established his capital for the time being at Queretaro. This city is to the north of .Mexico City, and has a historic setting that makes it of unusual interest. To the casual visitor it is associated with its opals, for of all towns In Mexico this is the one in wtiich to buy opals. They come in all varieties and hues, and are worth from a few dollars up to sev eral hundred dollars. $ut the trav eler must be wary, for he may be met at the train by a vender of opals, some of which are merely glass with gilt paper pasted os the back. Only as w -S . Immediately after receiving her license Miss Stinson started giving ex hibition flights. If she had simply gone up and come down it would have been all that was expected of this rara ava this strange bird-girl. But Kath erine Stinson has never expected spe cial consideration because of her sex. She figured that the public demanded as much trick flying from her as it did from any other aviator. Whether the public expected it of her or not, she furnished the thrills. Miss Stinson has been from the first a stunt flier, and she has never departed from the dare-devil class. She was having a new machine built a military tractor when Lin coln Beachey took his tragit crash. Beachey had the best motor in the world a Gnome and Miss Stinson knew it. Hoodoos are nothing in her young life. She immediately effected the purchase of the wrecked ma chine's Gnome motor, which she in stalled in the new military tractor. Twelve successful flights she made with the new outfit, and on the thir teenth the thirteenth, mark you she reproduced the loop-the-loop trick that Beachey himself liad created. She was the first woman flier in the world to loop an areoplane, and the feat was accomplished by only two men Beachey and De Lloyd Thomp sonbefore she did it. Soon after this Art Smith found that he could amuse the public by risking his neck in night flying with the train moves out does this pur chaser see that he has been swindled most outrageously. Queretaro is one of the chief cities of the Bajio Valley, and associated with much of Mexican history. It was here that Maximilian fought against the liberal forces, was defeated and executed in- 1867, together with his generals, Mejia and fcliramon. Every one knows the story how Maximil ian, deserted by Napoleon, rejected by the Mexicans, 'was condemned to be shot by Juarez; how the Princess Salm-Salm pleaded for his life; how Carlotta eventually became insane. On the spot where that tragedy was enacted the story seems doubly real, and regrets arise that a life should be needlessly taken. ' The Austrian Em peror. erected a small chapel in mem ory of his brother and the two gen erals, and the place is filled with tragic memories. The town has fine churches, architecturally considered, and many are the works of noted de signers who have chosen the Oriental motif. A table, said to have belonged to Maximilian, is in the museum, and it is said his death warrant was sign ed on it. There is also the coffin in which his body was brought from the Cerro de las Campanas, or hill of ex 1913. fireworks the most hazardous, fool hardy and suicidal stunt that any aviator has ever attempted and sur vived. Any bit of trick flying that any aviator does anywhere little Miss Stinson regards as a personal chal lenge. She felt that never again could she hold up her head as an aviatrice sans peur if she did not pick up Art Smith's gauntlet. Wilting In Fire So, out In Los Angeles in Decem ber, 1915, she rigged her plane with a lot of calcium lights and an electric igniter, soared to the heavens one dark night, touched the button, dump ed her machine, and the trick was done. "There is absolutely no excuse for anyone doing this stunt," Miss Stin son has since said. "You don't stand a sporting chance, for you are utterly blinded by the lights. You have to loop and dip and dive to make a good display, and you haven't the faintest idea of where you are or what you are doing. You just wait for the fire works to burn out, and then if you are lucky you right your plane and get your balance." ' The morning after her first fire works exploit Miss Stinson picked up a newspaper and found in it a time exposure night photograph of her trick, in which the letters "C-a-1-" had been clearly written by her plane in its fiery course through the heavens. Furious, she rushed to Jier manager and held the picture in front of him. ecution. Quaint Old Customs War has made little difference with the- main features of this town, and the queer street scenes continue here as in other towns. Strangers still reg ister their names on blackboards placed on the office walls of hotels, keys are unknown in many places, and funeral cars seem a prominent feature of the street scenes only in time of war they are more frequent. Often twenty pass the Plaza Major, as the heart of the city is called, in an hour. Gambling in a small way still continues Carranza has been cred ited with trying o stop it and it will in some form always be dear to the Mexican heart. At one time even the street car tickets were good for a chance. Always in war times there is a certain happy-go-lucky spirit that says, "What's the use of worry; let's toss up the money, and our ticket may win." Life In Mexico City The Mexicans have seen scenes of terror, but they are a volatile people, and rebound quickly. That is one rea son why life in Mexico City seems to the casual outsider to go on the same as in the peaceful days of Madero. Many times a day the streets are sprinkled, pieces of paper are tied to door gratings to let passers by know that within rooms are to let, and the fire engines dash down the streets drawn by diminutive mules, gome times they stop to feed these email animals while the fire burns severely on. All the Saints' aays are still cele brated by total cessation from work. I -,wS3y!f4'is' vl "You know what I think of cheap press-agent stuff like this!" she ex ploded. "Isn't my flying good enough so you don't have to fall back on faking?" "Do you mean to say," he de manded, "that you didn't mean to spell the name of the State?" "Of course not!" she returned, hotly. "It can't be done! I know faked photographs when I see them." The manager had to .call in two newspaper' photographers, who had "shot her night flights," and get them to show her their negative before Miss Stinson was convinced that she had done what she thought impossible. Even then she disclaimed credit for it, and called it "just Katherine Stin son luck." But the Californians took it as an added trick , in their honor, and the story of her writing in fire works went all over the world. In November, 1916, the bird girl took her plane to the Orient to fly for the Chinese and Japanese. Two days before she sailed Ruth Law broke the American cross-country flight record, and Miss Stinson struggled hard against a burning desire to cancel the trip across the Pacific. She wanted that record herself. But honor pre vailed, and over she went. She gave special exhibition trick fights for the Emperor of Japan and the President of China, and did the fireworks stunt over Peking. Not being able to write Chinese, she did not attempt any heavenly inscrip tions, yet an English-language news paper published in Peking announced the next day that she had only spelled "P-e-k-," and complained that she must hve got frightened then and quit. Once again she exercised her pro fessional and feminine prerogative of going up in the air. "I suppose," she sniffed, "that if I had spelled it all out they would have felt they were swindled if I forgot to dot the '1'!" Flight for Red Cross After six months in the Orient, Miss Stinson returned to San Francisco on Decoration Day last year. Her next big flight was a cross-country tour and the letter writers still sit on the street corners ready to indite a love missive or a business letter as occa sion demands. One of the sights of Mexico City which still remains a sight despite war and all its havoc is the proces sion of automobiles and carriages down the famous Paseo de la Re forma. Like all great capitals, Mex ico's fashion drives have shifted from one part of the town to another. Once the most beautiful boulevard was the Paseo de Bucarell, then it was the Paseo de la Viga, and after Maxi milian and Carlotta came they plan ned the Paseo de la Reforma. Up and down this paseo, especially on Sunday, there Is a constant procession of the rich. War has Injured the pav ing, but this makes no difference in the number of automobiles, carriages and horseback riders. The throng is dressed In its best, women are beauti fully gowned and wear brilliant jew els, and it is a show of the aristocrats, worthy of any European capital In times of peace. Down this driveway passed daily- Carlotta, Maximilian, Juarez, Diaz, Madero to their summer home in Chapultepec Castle, and now that Carranza is at the helm the pro cession still continues, though the riders may suffer from bounces occa sioned by want of repair due to neces sary curtailment of the city's ex penses. Castle of Chapultepec This magnificent boulevard ends at the "Hill of the Grasshopper," on which is the historic Castle of Chapul tepec. Every ruler of Mexico has used this castle more or less, for it dates back to the time of the Aztec Montezuma. Nearby it is the Mili tary Academy of Mexico, somewhat like our West Point. Here boys are trained for the army, and wjien this hill was taken by the Americans un der General Scott the young cadets bravely defended It. To commemor ate this a handsome monument has been erected at the base of the hill. A memorial to the Americans who died at that time is in the American Cemetery. It is fortunate that war has not made havoc with this castle, but no matter what man may do to It the magnificent setting and view will from Buffalo to Washington In honor of the first Red Cross war fund of $100,000,000 then being subscribed. She picked up donations and cam paign reports en route, and delivered them to Secretary McAdoo on the Treasury steps in Washington. This was ona of the few long-distance flights that have ever been made ab solutely on time from start to finish. Miss Stanton now found that she had made a name for herself as a cross-country flier, and fbllowed the . Red Cross achievement with others of greater risk. One was from Chatta nooga to Birmingham, 250 miles through tricky currents over bad moun- ' tains, where there was no chance to ; land in case of trouble. Her course 1 T TT i TS a Alnlawto the town where she was born, and she dropped Red Cross and Liberty Bond "bombs" en ljpute. Still greater fame came with a fight , from San Diego to San Francisco over , the Tehachapi Mountains, a hazard ous course that many fliers had tried and failed. She did the 610 miles in nine hours and ten minutes, and was the first person who has ever had breakfast in San Diego and dinlrer in San Francisco. Breaking a Record 3 Miss Stinson's flight of all flights up to date was made only this last May, . when she hung up a master record by making a non-stop, cross-country jump from Chicago to Binghamton, N. Y. She followed the route of the i Erie Railroad over this course, which measures 783 miles. But the Aero ' Club of America figures all distance : flights as the crow flies, and her offi- ; cial distance record will be a little less. i Thus did Katherine Stinson break i the American cross-country record of 510 miles held by Miss Law, and be come the undisputed cross-country champion of all fliers in the United States. She had already, in Califor nia, broken all long-distance records : for men and women, and In the Chi-cago-Binghamton flight she broke her own record. She hopes to do even better before me summer is over. remain unchanged. A winding road leads to the brow of the 'hill, and passes a cave in which Montezuma is said to have disappeared for a time. No matter how one approaches the brow -of the hill there is no one so tired of world beauties but he ex claims at the scene. In the distance are the abrupt eminences of Ajusco, the blue heights of the Cordilleras, of Las Cruces, the hills of Tepeyao and proud Popocatapetl and Ixtaccihuatl. Nearer are the green plains and the blue lakes shimmering in the sun. In all directions are tiny villages, old wagon trails crossing, fields, groves of ancient trees, haciendas, and in one place the historic drainage canal. All is beneath a sky serenely blue and calm. It is an entrancing picture, and, fortunately, the quarrels of man can effect but small portion of it. The1 sky and mountains will remain, no' matter what the fortunes of Mexico. , It is said that Carranza Is not In! sympathy with the church system of Mexico, but that is no new thing in that country. Juarez was so opposed that he took the gold and silver from the altars, and used it for various pur poses, and he Issued many decrees which are in force now. One was that no religious meeting could be held oni the' streets. The street meetings are never seen as in the United States. On ; the other hand, though the Mexican peon is poor and dressed in rags, he is devout, and no matter what takes place in Mexico the Cathedral of Mex-; ico City is the most conspicuous and most frequented building in the city.' Nearby it is the National Palace, used since the time of the Spaniards for the. executive offices of the government,: and in recent years associated ""with the tragic ending of Madero. When one sums up the country to the south of us he stands amazed at the Incongruities and difficulties. Tempermentally the two social classes of Mexico are wide apart, and what suits one does not appeal to the other. The admixture of Indian and Spanish blood, the years and years of warfare, and the large number of peones must all be considered. Carranza is suc ceeding, and he is entitled to great, credit, for his task has been far from easy. - I ! .