August 26, 1929
Aviator Louise McPhetridge Thaden of Bentonville (Benton County) won first place in the prestigious National Women’s Air Derby, the first women-only airplane race. The race started at Santa Monica, California, and ended at Cleveland, Ohio, eight days later. In 1951, the Bentonville airport was renamed Louise M. Thaden Field in her honor. She became a founding inductee in the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame and is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Aviation Hall of Fame. In 1976, Thaden returned to Bentonville for a rededication ceremony at Thaden Field, and Governor David Pryor declared August 22, 1976, as Louise M. Thaden Day.