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Smaranda Brăescu, the first female parachute-jumper

The house that hosts Good Living is built in 1897 and restored in a painstaking, 2 year process, between 2015-2017. The end of the 19th century was a time of great transformation for Romania, and for Bucharest in particular. In this series of articles we look at what has happened to our city and our country in 1897.

Smaranda Brăescu, the first female parachute-jumper in Romania is born in 1897. She would soon set the European record for parachute jumping in 1931 (jumping from an altitude of 6,000 meters), and the world record in 1932 (jumping from 7,200 meters in Sacramento, USA), a record that would last for more than 20 years.

Smaranda Braescu

Smaranda was also a plane pilot, and broke the speed record for flying over the Mediterranean Sea. During World War II, she became part of the "White Squadron", a rescue-mission air-force operated by female pilots only. Their job was to transport injured soldiers away from the battle field to the closest hospitals.

Following World War II, the Communists seize power in Romania through vote rigging. Smaranda signs a petition to the Allies, trying to explain the electoral fraud. In response, the Communists sentence her to prison. She escapes by hiding and changing her identity, and dies anonymously in 1948.

Smaranda in traditional Romanian costume


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