Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) is the pinnacle of the wonder of aviation for America in the 20’s and 30’s. Much like Charles Lindbergh she gained fame nationally for her daring ventures in the air. Being a modest being with her short cut hair made her an interest for the media of the age. Although her career lasted a decade (1928 to 1937), she managed to fulfill her goals of uplifting commercial aviation and empowering women.
For most of Earhart’s life she was a restless soul. By 1928, she worked as a social worker in Boston who flew in her free time. Upon the offer of one George Palmer Putnam to fly the Atlantic she hastily agreed to it. The flight of June 1928 from Newfoundland to Burry Port, Wales, made her an instant hit although she did not fail to mention that she was just a passenger keeping the log. In 1932 she voyaged across the Atlantic solo and once and for all proved to the world and herself (from 1928) that the earlier escapade had not been a farce.
After the flight of 1928, Amelia Earhart switched from social worker to pilot. As the vice president of an airline company and an author she preached that the airline industry would soon become the apex of travel. Her widely advertised flights of the Atlantic, Hawaii and the round-the-world attempt quickly set the routes for international flights. In her career her manager was Putnam whom she married in 1931, more for the sake of business than love. Even after marriage she kept her own name and had no children. She was a beacon for the ideology of feminism and served as the pioneer president of the female pilot organization, the Ninety-Nine’s.
As an individual, Earhart appreciated flight like a poet does prose and to her the best reason to fly was simply that she desired to. She was presented the Lockheed Electra by the Purdue University where she was a flight consultant since 1935. This enabled her to embark on her round-world expedition. The first attempt in 1937 failed due to her plane crashing during takeoff in Hawaii. Two months later she tried again flying in the opposite direction. July 2 1937, during the longest 2556 mile segment from New Guinea to the small island of Howland in the Pacific, both the pilot and the navigator, Freb Noonan, vanished without a trace.
The exact details of Earhart’s 'popping off' (her used phrase) have been a mystery ever since that day. Was the expedition a secret spy mission for the president Franklin Roosevelt? Did she land on an island and become a prisoner? Most pertinent being that her plane ran out of fuel and she sank around Howland Island. But as is the imagination and fancy of such a venture, the search for answers still dredges on.
Amelia Earhart 115th Birthday