Books are written about her. Films produced. And her image is on stamps and memorabilia everywhere. Why is Amelia Earhart such a fascination for the world? It’s simple, Really. She trailblazed through the skies in a plane, during a time when many people thought it impossible for a woman to do so. She stands out in travel history. And it’s not just Amelia Earhart’s disappearance that explains why she is a household name. She set many aviation records and advocated for women in aviation.
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The Early Years
Born in Kansas in 1897, Amelia Earhart had a sense of adventure from a very young age. At the age of seven, she crashed her homemade roller coaster. After high school, she became a nurse’s aid, taking care of the wounded in World War I.
Later, following the war, she cast aside her intentions to go into medical research when she flew as passenger in a plane during an air show. That moment would change her life forever, when she knew she wanted to be a pilot.
And so, the adventures began, with a very determined Earhart working as a file clerk to help pay for flying lessons.
Above image via CarRentals.
Meet Pilot Amelia Earhart
Then, in 1921, she passed her flight exam. Only two days later, with the ink still wet on her pilot’s license, Amelia flew in her first aviation show with her own plane, “The Canary.”
After this, the aviation records began. Amelia setting her first record in 1922, just one year after passing her flight test. Perhaps her most famous aviation record came in 1932.
That was when Amelia Earhart became the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. There was only one other successful flight before her, when Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight.
Several solo flights later, Earhart embarked on the fateful journey that has haunted us since that day. It’s the subject of books such as this one.
Then, on June 1st, 1937, Amelia left Florida with her navigator, Fred Noonan. It was her second attempt to circumnavigate the globe. On July 2nd, they left New Guinea to fly to their next fuel stop in the Pacific, Howland Island. But they never arrived and officials declared them as missing on July 19th.
It’s not just her fame as a pilot that we remember Earhart for. Throughout her short life, Earhart encouraged equal opportunities for women in the field of aviation. In 1929, to promote the advancement of women in aviation, she formed an international organization called the Ninety-Nines.
Amelia Earhart isn’t the only woman who trailblazed around the world. Other heroines who left their mark in travel history, inspiring women everywhere to hit the road of adventure, include Jeanne Barat and Bertha Benz.