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January,1917      Flying                497

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The dinner held in honor of Miss Ruth Law at the Hotel Astor by the Civic Forum and the Aero Club of America on December 18th brought together 400 people, including the discoverers of the North and South poles, the Army, Navy and aeronautic authorities, members of the Aerial Coast Patrol Unit No. 1, Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Davison, Mrs. William H. Bliss, donor of the first aeroplane to the New York National Guard, and other workers for aerial defense. 

Miss Ruth Law, who was present and delivered an address, was presented by the Aero Club of America with a $2,500 check. Victor Carlstrom, who telegraphed that he could not be present, as he is making some important tests with military aeroplanes, received a gold watch from the Club. 

F. G. Diffen, representative of the Erie, Pa., Board of Commerce, announced that the Erie Board of Commerce, which has been establishing an aeroplane station at Erie, will give $10,000 to be expended by the Aero Club of America in the Trans-Continental Aeroplane Contest, for which the Club has already set aside a first prize of $20,000.

Sitting at the guest table were Miss Ruth Bancroft Law, the aviatrice who got the $2,500 made up of contributions from admirers, through the Aero Club of America; Rear Admiral Robert E. Peary, discoverer of the North Pole, who was the toastmaster of the evening, and Mrs. Peary; Captain Roald Amundsen, the discoverer of the South Pole, who is planning to use aeroplanes in his expedition to the North Pole; Captain Robert A. Bartlett, the explorer, who was the commander of the "Roosevelt," taking an active part in Peary's expedition to the Pole; Alan. R. Hawley, the President of the Aero Club of America; Henry A. Wise Wood, Chairman of the Conference Committee on National Preparedness: Major Carl F. Hartmann, commanding officer Signal Corps, Eastern Department of the United States; Commander R. K. Crank, U. S. N., in charge of the Eastern Recruiting District, U. S. Navy; Mrs. Douglas Robinson, sister of Theodore Roosevelt, who read a special poem dedicated to Miss Law, entitled "Flying;" Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Davison, Miss Eleanor Gates, Charles Oliver, Henry Woodhouse, Beatrice Forbes-Robertson; the following members of the 1st Unit of the Aero Coast Patrol: F. Trubee Davison, Albert J. Ditman, Ellesley Laud Brown, Earl C. B. Gould. 

Major Gen. Leonard Wood, who was to be present, was called to Washington to appear before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, and sent his regrets that he could not be present on that account. Likewise, Mr. Glenn H. Curtiss could not be present on account of pressing business, Congressman Murray Hulbert wired that he had missed the Congressional and regretted that "the Ruth Law Limited is not yet in operation." 

Mrs. William H. Bliss, who presented the first aeroplane and a course of training for two officers, which made it possible to organize the First Aero Company, New York National Guard, was also present, with Mr. Bliss. At their table there were also Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy, who contributed an aeroplane to the Aerial Coast Patrol Unit No. 1, which was organized with the co-operation of Mrs. Davison, and of which her two sons, F Trubee Davison and H. P. Davison, Jr., are members. 

Lieut. V. D. Herbster, U. S. Navy, aviator, who recently returned from Berlin, where he was connected with the Embassy for two years, and who is an authority on rigid dirigible balloons, and Captain Joseph E. Carberry, U. S. Army, Aviation Section, were also present. 

Miss Beatrice Forbes-Robertson, who was the first woman to speak, treated the audience with witty remarks and compliments to Miss Law. 

Major Carl F. Hartmann, Signal Corps, U. S. Army, one of the best posted officers in the Army on aeronautics told of the military value of such flights as Miss Law's and of the Army's need of civilian assistance in upbuilding the air service. Also of the work of aviators in the war. 

Miss Gates Trills Listeners

"The list of superwomen has been increased to three," said Miss Gates, who thrilled the listeners with sparkling witticisms. "The first, Lady Anne Blount, who went into India to bring out the finest horses; the second, Charmion London, who sailed the Pacific alone in a small boat; the third, Ruth Law.

"It is easy to get a dinner if you are a man. You get one if you are a such-and-such degree Mason, or a naughty Elk, or just because it's time to have another dinner. But for a woman to sit in glory at the Hotel Astor she must do something superhuman. 

"Woman has always been restrained. She has ruled her life by the don'ts, better-nots, should-nots and must-nots. Women have stood in front of the Venus de Milo and talked of her freedom, while they were corsetted to the limit. The sculptors must have been blind or without a sense of humor when they made the Statue of Liberty--a woman. 

"Ruth Law has done more than wing her way across the uncharted heavens. She's going to sweep away the cobwebs of the woman's sky. Here is a woman who deserves to be a model for a new Winged Victory." 

Admiral Peary Urges Command of the Air

Admiral Peary said:

"Miss Law's splendid accomplishment has shone so that the whole world may read what a woman can do. To her, to Victor Carlstrom, and to the New York Times will be due the near materialization of an over-night air mail route between Chicago and New York. Today and during the past several years, there has been no single influence for national preparedness that has been more active, more effective, more successful than the Aero Club of America. This club has substituted for the two thousand year old dictum of the Athenian statesman and soldier, that 'He who commands the sea commands all,' the modern dictum, that 'He who commands the air commands all.'

"Major General Pershing, in command of the expeditionary forces near Mexico, has recently put himself on record that one aviator is equal to a regiment of cavalry. My friend, the late Lord Kitchener, put it even more strongly, and said, in so many words, 'One aviator is worth a division of cavalry.' 

"It is an instructive fact that the first indictment in Lord Northcliffe's smashing editorial in the Daily Mail, credited by some with being the knock-out blow for the recent English Ministry, was that the failure to give Great Britain a separate and independent Department of Aeronautics has held up and delayed the effectiveness of the British air service along the Western front. 

"Trubee Davison and his associates in forming Unit No. 1 of the Coast Patrol, have given a splendid example to the young men of the country, an example, moral and physical, which should result in the formation in every university in the land of the club or corps of American aviators, the flower of our youth. He and his associates and their parents deserve the congratulations on the country. Mrs. Bliss, whose substantial contributions did much to start the movement to develop our aerial defenses, has rendered a service of national importance. 

"The present war has made the following statement an axiom: Command of the sea, Command of the land, are worthless without the command of the air. 

"Millions in our Navy will be useless without a great air fleet. Millions in our coast defenses will be useless without a great air fleet. Millions of Panama Canal will be thrown away without a great air fleet. Billions in our great cities may be ruined without a great air fleet. This magnificent country of ours, your home, my home, will be helpless without a great air fleet." 

Mr. Alan R. Hawley, president of the Aero Club of America said: 
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