Iconic Women: Amelia Earhart

The one and only Amelia Earhart

You may have come across news of the expedition planned to find and salvage remaining pieces of Amelia Earhart’s plane, the Lockheed Electra. Some of you may wonder, who is Amelia Earhart? Better yet, why should I care? I’ll give you many big reasons why you should, as well as give you a new role model to look up to.

Born 24th of July, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, U.S., Amelia Earhart went on to beat the odds and change the way the world saw women and became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many aviation records that many of her male counterparts hopelessly failed in beating at the time. Earhart was the first woman to do many things, one of those things being the first woman awarded the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross.

As well as being a pioneer in aviation, she was also a best-selling author of books such as “20 Hrs., 40 Min.”, “The Fun of It”, and “Last Flight” – all of which are her personal memoirs of her flying experiences. She contributed greatly to the founding of The Ninety-Nines, an organization designed for female pilots.

In a time when it would have been considered preposterous for women to work, Earhart joined the faculty of the Purdue University aviation department in 1935 to counsel women on careers. She holds a strong image as a feminist, being a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. She has great charismatic appeal, inspiring independence, tough persistence, coolness under pressure, strong courage, and a goal-oriented career, making her a widely known international celebrity during her lifetime.

Tragedy struck when Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, had disappeared over the South Pacific during a record attempt at flying the equatorial line of July 2nd, 1937. The two were declared dead on January 5th, 1939. She was 41.

So this is what the search is about. Whether or not they find any evidence that may solve the great American mystery, Amelia Earhart has left behind a great legacy. Her life is a motivational tale for girls of all ages and her accomplishments inspired a generation of over 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. Her legacy continues to live on through the working women of today.

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