Elm Farm Ollie Day

Feb. 18 is Elm Farm Ollie Day, commemorating the first flight in a plane by a cow. An article posted over at rootsweb.ancestry.com tells us that Elm Farm Ollie (aka Sunnymede Ollie, Nellie Jay, or Sky Queen) is remembered each year at the dairy festival in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin:

Celebrated as a pasteurized legend of the pasture, Ollie has for 60 years remained the star attraction at the Feb. 18 dairy festival held each year at Mount Horeb, Wisc. In addition to having her praises sung in such works as "The Bovine Cantata in B-Flat Major" (from Madame Butterfat) and the stirring "Owed to Ollie," she has been the subject of stories, cartoons and poems. E. D. Thalinger even painted her portrait for posterity.

A 1930 news-wire story provided details about the historic flight:

Will Milk Cow in Air
Claude M. Sterling, of Parks Air college, will pilot Sunnymede Ollie, Guernsey from Bismarck, Missouri, over the city in a tri-motored Ford.
The cow will be fed and milked and the milk parachuted down in paper containers. A quart of milk will be presented to Colonel Lindbergh when he arrives.
Weighing more than 1000 pounds, the cow will be flown to demonstrate the ability of aircraft. Scientific data will be collected on her behavior.
-The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) - Feb. 18, 1930.

More info at wikipedia and mustardmuseum.com.
     First Posted: Feb 18, 2014
     Reposted By: Alex - Tue Feb 18, 2020
     Category: Animals | Farming | Air Travel and Airlines | 1930s

I'm just thankful that cows cannot fly on their own. Imagine what every statue would look like if they could.
Posted by KDP on 02/18/14 at 09:19 AM
I'm thinkin' Peggamoo??

"Scientific data will be collected". I can tell you something else that's going to be "collected" if they try to milk her.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 02/18/14 at 10:13 AM
I guess you've never heard this schoolyard poem:
"Little birdie in the sky
Little birdie lets one fly
Angry farmer wipes his eye
Awfully glad that cows don't fly!"
Posted by Captain DaFt on 02/18/14 at 04:35 PM
No, Captain, I hadn't. A very close version was from a Tom Lehrer song, "A Christmas Carol" where the ending lines allude to flying reindeer.
Posted by KDP on 02/19/14 at 10:35 AM
To paraphrase RFC 1925: with sufficient thrust, cows fly just fine.
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/20/14 at 06:51 AM
They produce enough natural gas to fuel flight!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 02/20/14 at 07:20 PM
There's a key quote in a story linked from the Wikipedia page. The Curator of the Mustard Museum found the story while looking for something to base a holiday on. So, “In the best tradition of American journalism, I made up the rest.”
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/18/20 at 01:00 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.