• Ruth Law
    History,  News

    Ruth Law the Record-Breaker Flying with a Skirt

    February is Aviation Month at the Governors Island Explorer’s Guide. As anyone who has been to Governors Island knows, there are more than 50 bronze plaques around the island. Only one plaque on the whole island bears the name of a woman. This is Ruth Law. When Amelia Earhart was 19, Law landed a biplane on the island. Ruth Bancroft Law was born March 21, 1887, in Lynn, Massachusetts. Law was 5’ 5” with light brown hair. Reporters noted her blue eyes, fair complexion, and serious nature. About 1907 she married fellow Lynn resident Charles A. Oliver, who raced motorcycles and was an expert mechanic and engineer. He approved of…

  • History

    Wilbur Wright Flies Over New York Harbor in 1909

    Governors Island played an important role in the history of aviation. Each week this month will be a historical look at one event in the island’s contribution to the history of manned flight. Southeast of Liggett Terrace is the Early Birds Monument, the first public sculpture on Governors Island. From a distance it looks like a propeller mounted on a base. What it symbolizes is the men and women who flew on the island prior to 1916. The propeller was cast from a plane that belonged to the Wright Brothers. It was dedicated in 1954. In 1909 Orville and Wilbur Wright were at the top of the new field of…