Amelia Earhart – a legendary lady, indeed! Born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart grew up as fearless youngster, whose taste for adventure would pave the way through her immensely-exciting, but short-lived, life. The dawn of the aviation age was upon us; and it was beckoning intrepid souls to test the waters and dip their feet into the new and exhilarating world of flight. Flight was no longer a fantasy, but a very tangible reality; and the doors of adventure-in-flight were opened to anyone who dared to take a leap of faith within this thrilling realm.
At a time when women had just barely been given permission to vote, Amelia Earhart was ahead of her time, and was breaking records in the field of aviation – a field dominated, very proudly, by men.
The Seed Is Planted
Ms. Earhart became intrigued by watching stunt fliers in various air shows. During one aviation expo when Earhart was 20, a pilot flew his plane near her. Her response to that was: “I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by”. A few years later at another air-show, Earhart took a 10-minute plane ride; and it impacted her, as well. Earhart said, “By the time I got two or three-hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly!” It was during World War l (1914-1918) that this ambitious soul volunteered as a nurse’s aide. It was during this time that Earhart had an unprecedented opportunity to meet numerous pilots – she admired their daring and courage. The seed of flight had, already, been firmly planted in her mind, heart and soul; and there was no going back.
The Adventure Begins
Earhart took flying lessons in 1921; and during that same year, bought her first aircraft – a used, bright-yellow biplane she affectionately named, Canary. With that plane, Earhart achieved the world altitude record for women pilots in October of 1922. She flew 14,000 feet; and, later, set another altitude record when she flew at 18,415 feet. Then in April of 1928, Earhart received an unexpected phone call that would change her life, forever. She was asked to be part of a small crew that would fly across the Atlantic. This flight qualified Earhart as the first female to fly across the big pond – a trek that would last 20 hours and 40 minutes. Earhart became an aviation celebrity; and the press dubbed her, ‘Lady Lindy’. Earhart’s name had become a household word; but it was her solo flight across the Atlantic in May of 1932 that embedded her fame, even deeper. Due to this solo flight, Congress awarded her the US Distinguished Flying Cross!
Ahead of her time, Amelia Earhart was instrumental with forming an organization for female pilots known as the “Ninety-Nines”. Her passion for daring and independence encouraged and inspired other women of her time. In fact, it was in 1935 when Earhart was invited to become a visiting faculty member of Purdue University’s aviation department. Ms. Earhart eagerly accepted their request and took on the role of counseling women on various careers in aviation.
Sadly, it was in July 1937 that Ms. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to fly around the world. Prior to her last flight, Earhart remarked, “I have a feeling there is just about one more good flight left in my system; and I hope this trip is it.” Part of this transcontinental journey had taken place successfully; but as Earhart and Noonan neared Howland Island, located between Hawaii and Australia, weather-related problems ensued in addition to the radio antenna that may have been damaged, as well as maps that may have been inaccurate. After a final communication from Earhart’s plane, rescue attempts began, and continued for weeks. The air-and-sea search-mission became the most extensive in naval history. A total of $4 million was spent and 250,000 square miles had been scoured. On January 5, 1939, 40-year-old Earhart and companion, Noonan, were declared as officially deceased.
Earhart’s Famous Quotes
Amelia Earhart is known for some intriguing quotes that would inspire anyone in any field of life:
“Use your fear – it can take you to the place where you store your courage.”
“There’s more to life than being a passenger.”
“Adventure is worthwhile, in itself.”
“Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. It if is, stop worrying.”
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.”
“Never interrupt someone doing what, you said, couldn’t be done.”
“Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
Amelia Earhart remains one of America’s most inspirational female figures in terms of her courage, vision and ground-breaking achievements!