Rejected Princesses is a fabulous website featuring the stories of women “too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies” run by illustrator and former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath. I came across the site via his Twitter thread sharing Neerja Bhanot’s story resisting the armed hijackers on Pan Am Flight 73:
In 1986, a 22-year-old flight attendant named Neerja Bhanot fended off a group of armed hijackers on Pan Am flight 73. When the attackers boarded the plane, she shouted a secret command to the pilots, allowing them to escape. With them gone, she was now the senior member on the plane. It was her, the rest of the crew, and 300+ passengers.
She and the crew set about hiding all the international passengers’ passports, so they wouldn’t be targeted. After 17 hours, the power began to fail and the terrorists began opening fire and setting off explosives. She threw open the emergency exit. She died on that plane, shielding children with her body. She died 2 days short of her birthday, which is today [September 7th]. She would have been 54.
It’s also worth checking out the site’s blog which contains additional stories and bits of ephemera.