Dorothy LaVone Barden, 1903-1993 [RG3046.AM]

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID



RG3046.AM:  Dorothy LaVone Barden, 1903-1993



Scrapbooks (photocopies):  ca. 1927-1978

Bridgeport, Morrill County, Neb.:  Parachute jumper, rigger, and teacher

Size:  1 folder



BACKGROUND NOTE



Dorothy Barden, a native of Redington, Wyoming, began her unique aerial career in 1927 or 1928, when she made her first parachute jump at the Morrill County, Nebraska fair. Although her first jump ended in a lake, she was undeterred by this setback and over the next twenty years Barden made some 420 jumps in a professional career that took her all over the West.



At an early age, Barden became hooked on flying and eventually received her pilot’s license. She soon became interested in parachute jumping and began appearing in barnstorming shows billed as “the queen of the ‘chute jumpers” and “Nebraska’s famous falling star.” Barden eventually organized her own show, which included stunt flying and parachute jumping.



Dorothy Barden was the first woman in the country to get a parachute rigger’s license. During World War II, this skill was put to use as she ran a parachute shop and became parachute foreman for North American, a Kansas City aeronautics firm. Barden’s parachute jumping career ended around 1950 after she broke her neck while jumping at the dedication of the Lake Tahoe, Nevada airport.



From 1951 to 1960 Barden worked at McLellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California as a parachute rigger and evaluator for airplane instruments. She retired to Bridgeport, Nebraska in the mid-1970s. Dorothy L. Barden died in Bridgeport on February 15, 1993.



SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE



This collection consists of one folder containing photocopies from scrapbooks, ca. 1927-1978. This material relates to Dorothy Barden’s career as a parachute jumper, rigger, teacher and pilot. The collection is comprised of photocopies of newspaper articles, photographs, and publicity materials relating to Barden’s aerial career. In many cases, Barden’s handwritten notes provide additional information to the reports given in the newspaper clippings. Also of particular interest is a copy of a 1944 letter to Barden from “Sharpie” (Evelyn Sharp), famous airplane pilot from Ord. Although this collection contains material from the late 1920s through 1978, the bulk of the material, much of which is undated, pertains to Dorothy Barden’s parachute jumping and rigging career during the 1930s and 1940s.



DESCRIPTION


Folder


    1. Scrapbook material (photocopies), ca. 1927-1978



 


ADDED ENTRIES:

Aeronautical sports — United States

Barden, Dorothy LaVone, 1903-1993

Parachutes — Rigging

Parachuting — United States



 



AIP/ksa   01-1990

KFK/dco   09-11-2003

01-28-2010   Revised TMM

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Robert Ball Anderson’s journey “from slavery to affluence”

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

Marker Monday: The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers

No Father’s Day for Nebraska in 1915

No Father’s Day for Nebraska in 1915

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.