AMELIA MARY EARHART
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Born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas in the home of her grandparents
to attorney Edward Stanton EARHART, and Amelia "Amy" OTIS. Amelia was
the second child born to the couple -- a daughter in 1896 was stillborn.
Amelia had a sister when Muriel Grace EARHART was born in December of
1899. Muriel came to be known as "Pidge".
During Amelia' s childhood, the family moved quite often. Soon after
Amelia's birth in Atchison, the family lived at 1021 Ann Ave., in Kansas
City. At the age of 19, she attended the Ogontz School in Pennsylvania,
and later worked at a military hospital as a nurses aid in Toronto. She
even enrolled in pre-med at Columbia University in 1919.
Amelia took her first flying lessons in 1921, and her life would never
be the same. One of Amelia's first adventures came in 1922 when she flew
to an altitude of 14,000 feet --this was higher than a woman had ever
Edwin & Amy, her parents, divorced in 1924, forcing Amelia to
put flying on hold and remove to Massachusetts so she could be with her
mother and sister. The three settled in Medford and Amelia got a job teaching
English. Flying never left Amelia's mind and soon she was back at it.
She became good at it -- very good.
June 17, 1928 was a landmark date; Amelia flew across the Atlantic
as a passenger. She always played this down, during the great publicity
following the flight, and was even somewhat embarrassed by the fact that
she never even got to touch the controls. However, it only spurred on
her desire for greater flights. More speed and altitude records followed
suit. During this time she met George Palmer Putnam and they were wed
on February 7, 1931 on the Connecticut shore. On May 20, 1932, she took
another step in aviation history becoming the first woman to fly solo
across the Atlantic Ocean.
On August 25, 1932, she became the first woman to fly across the U.S.
nonstop and on January 11, 1935, she flew nonstop from Honolulu to Oakland
across the Pacific.
Soon, the only task left for Amelia to accomplish was a trip around
the world, and early in 1937 she decided to do just that. With her navigator,
Fred Noonan, Amelia's Electra took off from Oakland, California on St.
Patrick's Day 1937. Taking off to the west and headed for Honolulu, this
first attempt was unsuccessful after damaging the plane in Hawaii.
Her second attempt began on May 20, 1937 and this time she took off
to the east. After completing more than 80% of the journey, Amelia and
Fred disappeared on July 2, 1937 near Howland Island in the Pacific, supposedly
after running out of fuel. The plane and its pioneers were never located.