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Friday, May 15th. Flying became more pleasant for airline passengers on this date 90 years ago. That’s when United Airlines made the first flight with a stewardess -- Ellen Church. She tended passengers on a flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In 1930, the criteria for the job was that she could be no older than 25, no taller than 5 feet, 4 inches, and weigh no more than 115 pounds and be a registered nurse. Being a stewardess quickly became one of the most sought-after jobs for young women.

Today the proper term is “flight attendant,” and they are a vital part of the U.S. airline industry. In 1930, there were just under 500 airliners in service.

Today, there are over 7,300, with more than 58,000 male and female flight attendants.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at

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