So Minnesota: Cora Fuller, first woman in state history to get a pilot’s license

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Nearly a century ago, one woman made her mark in the Minnesota sky.

In 1931, Cora Fuller became the first woman in Minnesota to be issued a pilot’s license.

The Fairmount woman flew solo over Hall Lake in southern Minnesota, making two trips of about five minutes each and reaching an altitude of 500 feet.

Fuller’s flight opened the runway for all women that followed.

“Somebody like Cora Fuller who breaks ground at a time when there are so few opportunities for women,” said Bill Convery with the Minnesota Historical Society. “For her to say so I’m going up anyway is kind of remarkable story, and I would say she is an inspiration for people who are pushing against barriers to try something new to break through those barriers to get to the next level.”

Fuller passed away in 1972, likely not knowing the impact she would leave behind.