Pilot Bessie Coleman set to be honored with display at Orlando International Airport

Display showcased on third floor of main terminal through February

The Orlando International Airport is celebrating the legacy of aviatrix Bessie Coleman with a display that will stay up through February. (Greater Orlando Aviation Authority)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando International Airport is set to honor pilot Bessie Coleman with a display in celebration of Black History Month, according to a release from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

GOAA officials stated that Coleman was the first African American woman and first Native American to hold an international pilot’s license, which was issued from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France in 1921.

Shortly before Coleman’s death in a 1926 plane crash, she stayed at a church in Orlando, where she was encouraged to open a beauty shop in the city to help her save money and buy a plane to perform her one-woman “barnstorming” air shows, the release shows.

After her death, thousands of mourners attended a memorial service for her in Orlando, according to GOAA.

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West Washington Street was officially designated “Bessie Coleman Street” by the Florida Legislature in 2014, and the GOAA even named its executive conference room after the aviatrix, GOAA officials said.

The release shows that the display will be hosted on the third level of the airport’s main terminal through February.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.