Laura Frances Brooks Harney
On the 3d February 1930, Mrs. Laura Harney, a high school teacher from Mount Vernon, N.Y., successfully passed her tests at the Curtiss Airport at Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, for a private pilot's license. The ground school course covered airplane and engine inspection, navigation and meteorology. Flying included 30 hours instruction and completion of a cross-country flight to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and later a dead-stick landing after an engine crankshaft break.
Laura was a sports flyer and combined her interest with teaching aviation in city schools. A strong disciplinarian, she became a successful school principal.
Laura was an early member of The Ninety-Nines and also a member of the American Academy of Air Law.
An advocate of strong professionalism in her work, she was a member of the National Education Association and president of the Westchester County Section of the New York University Alumni Association. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women; International Federation of University Women; the Business and Professional Women's Association; and the New York Retired Teachers Association.
According to "Who's Who of American Women, 1974-5," she was born Laura Frances BROOKS, 7 February 1890 [should be 1885], at Schroon Lake, New York, the daughter of Smith BROOKS and Philomena ST. MARTIN. Laura married Patrick J. HARNEY, a businessman of Fulton Chain, from Cadyville, New York, on 30 May 1907. They had two children, Patrick (who is presently self-employed in Utica, NY) and James, (1912-17).
Laura was Principal, in a new school at Fulton Chain, Thendara, NY 1914-18; Taught physical education Tupper Lake, NY 1918-19; New Hartford, NY 1919-24; Boonville Central, NY 1924-25; Teacher of science and mathematics at Washington Jr. High School, Mount Vernon, NY 1926-43; Principal 1943-46; Teacher foreign service Orientation American Education to Germans, 1946, in Hamburgh and Liepzig; organizer, counselor, lecturer of German adults, 1947-48; Teacher at an American school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1949-50; Attache embassy, Karachi, Pakistan, 1952-53; faculty State Teacher's College, Frostburg, MD, 1953-60. Her education includes B.S., New York University, M.A. 1931, Ed.D. 1939; Bachelor's of Library Science, Albany State College, 1937; postgraduate Harvard College and Honorary Dr. of Oratory, Staley College, 1959. She is author of The Skycraft Book, 1932.
Laura spent two summers in Alaska studying the Matanuska Colony. Information gathered at that time was used in her dissertation for the Doctorate degree.
Throughout her career, Laura received recognition in several field including the New York University Alumni award for Meritorious Service, 1944. (On this occasion, Tech. Sgt. P.J. Harney Jr. USAF, an instructor at the MIT Radiation Laboratory attended).
References: Who's Who of American Women, 1974-5; New York Times article, 04 Feb 1937 27:3; Letter from The Ninety-Nines, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK, dated June 18, 1991; and remarks from a biography in preparation.