Amelia Mary Earhart was born July 24, 1897 and disappeared July 2, 1937. But today we celebrate the successful completion of the first flight across the Atlantic by a woman, May 21, 1932. She had intended to end the flight in Paris, but troubles along the way made it necessary to land early, and she touched down in a pasture just outside the small village of Culmore, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. When someone asked, “Have you flown far?” she replied simply, “From America.”
Earhart’s nearly 15-hour flight established her as an international hero. As a result, she won many honors, including the Gold Medal from the National Geographic Society as presented by President Hoover, the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress, and the Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French government.
Earhart was a remarkable woman in her time, pushing the boundaries of what women could do. She became involved with The Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots providing moral support and advancing the cause of women in aviation, becoming the organization’s first president in 1930. She set many aviation records, and her accomplishments inspired a generation of female aviators, including the more than 1,000 women pilots of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who ferried military aircraft, towed gliders, flew target practice aircraft, and served as transport pilots during World War II. She was friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, also someone who championed women’s accomplishments.
She married George Putnam in 1931 (after he proposed six times!) but in a move unheard of in that time, kept her maiden name. He seems to have been proud of his adventurous wife and very supportive.
In 1937, attempting a flight around the world, she and Fred Noonan were about three quarters of the way to their goal, when they took off from Lae, New Guinea, and disappeared. Someone has called her the most famous missing person in the world.
Amelia Earhart was a role model for women in a time when there were so few. I celebrate her as someone not afraid to follow her dreams.
She authored two books (20 Hrs, 40 Min, and The Fun of It) and left behind a number of inspirational quotes.
Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.
I lay no claim to advancing scientific data other than advancing flying knowledge. I can only say that I do it because I want to.
The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.
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. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.
My ambition is to have this wonderful gift produce practical results for the future of commercial flying and for the women who may want to fly tomorrow’s planes.
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace, the soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.
Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.
The most effective way to do it is to do it.
Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?
Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do.
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