Famous Firsts in Sports by American Women February 28, 2006 at 8:53 PM CST - Updated July 2 at 12:35 AM 1926 Gertrude Ederle American Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel. 1931 Maxine Dunlap Maxine Dunlap becomes first American woman to earn a glider pilot license. 1932 Amelia Earhart Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours. 1946 Edith Houghton Edith Houghton becomes the first woman hired as a first major-league baseball scout. 1967 Althea Gibson Althea Gibson is the first African-American tennis player to win a singles title at Wimbledon. 1970 Diane Crump Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.