America.s famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas to Edwin Stanton and Amy Otis Earhart. Amelia had a sister, Muriel, with whom she was very close to. The girls had a difficult childhood due to her father being an alcoholic. The family had to travel a great deal as a result of her father always losing his jobs. In 1908, when Amelia was ten years old they were living in Des Moines, Iowa and it was at the lowa State Fair that she saw her first plane. However, surprisingly to her known accomplishment she then described a plane as a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting. Despite Amelia.s difficult childhood she excelled academically and had a love for sports, animals, and poetry.
In 1914, Amelia along with her mother and sister left her father after losing another job and Amelia.s mother sent the girls to private intermediate schools in preparation for college. After graduating from high school, Amelia planned to attend college, but while visiting her sister in 1917 at a college preparatory school in Canada she met four wounded World War I veterans. After hearing of their plight she decided to train as a nurses aid in Toronto and served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at a military hospital until the Armistice in November 1918. At the war’s end, she enrolled as a pre-med student at Columbia University.
Although doing well in her studies, in 1920 she decided to join her mother and father in California. While in California she went to an aerial meet at Daugherty Field in Long Beach with her father and that is when she became interested in flying. The next day after taking a ten-minute plane ride, Amelia knew she must learn to fly. So Amelia eamed the fee to take flying lessons with an instructor named Anita Snook. By October 1922, Amelia began participating in record-breaking attempts and set a women. altitude record of 14,000 feet. Amelia later sold her Kinner airplane and purchased a Kissel car and drove her mother cross-country to Boston. While there she took full advantage of her circumstances to promote flying for women.
On April 27, 1926, Captain H.H. Railey changed her life forever when he asked, How would you like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic?. Although she was just a passenger aboard, The Friendship, Amelia.s name was forever imprinted upon the world.s memory. A publisher named George Putnam covered the story and he was so impressed by her he proposed to her. Amelia flew a solo flight from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast in September 1928 to attend the National Air Races.
Amelia began organizing various events to further introduce women into the world of aviation. She was appointed Assistant to the General Traffic Manager at Transcontinental Air Transport with the responsibility of attracting women passengers. She organized the famous cross-country air race for women pilots, the Los Angeles to Cleveland Womens Air Derby, in 1929. Amelia also co-founded and presided over the Ninety-Nines Womens Pilot Organization. In 1930, she broke several women.s speed records and accepted George Putnam.s proposal of marriage a year later. Several years later, Amelia became the first woman to successfully complete the hazardous flight from Hawaii to California and then on to Washington, DC.
In June 1937 Amelia began what was to be her final flight. Amelia and navigator Fred Noonan set out in a twin-engine Lockheed Electra in an attempt to fly around the world. They departed from Miami, Florida to South America, and then across the South Atlantic Ocean to Dakar, Africa. After crossing the Sahara desert, they flew to Thailand, Singapore, Java, and Australia. However, after departing Lae, New Guinea for Howland Island, the U.S. Coast Guard lost contact with the plane. The United States Navy searched extensively but never found a trace of the aviators or the plane. The mysterious disappearance of Earhart and her plane has raised considerable speculation throughout the years. However, none of the many theories for her disappearance have ever been confirmed.
After reading the biography of Amelia Earhart, The Sound of Wings, by Mary S. Lovell I was overwhelmed by Amelia Earhart.s astonishing accomplishments and her infinite courage. She was and always will be remembered as an incredible woman. It was ironic how as a child planes didn.t interest her at all and she thought of them as merely things made of rusty wire and wood and as an adult she became a famous aviator. Since I come from a warm, supportive home I found it disturbing that Amelia.s father wasn.t there for her. He was too consumed with his bad habit to take notice of how outstanding his daughter was.
At the time when Amelia came to California and her and her father went to the aerial meet is when she discovered that she wanted to fly. However, he didn.t support her dreams. Nevertheless, that didn.t discourage her; she went on and worked as much as she had to to pay for her lessons. It seems to me that she had a lot to take on as a child, aside from her father disappointing behavior. Her mother and her sister appeared to have looked to her for comfort and support. Considering her rough childhood I found it amazing that she still had the will to succeed in life in the ways she did.
I felt exceptionally happy for her when hearing that she got a call from Captain H.H. Railey to take a flight across the Atlantic. She deserved to be honored due to the fact that she went through so much and worked so hard to get to where she was. She didnt take things for granted and expect things from anyone she took it upon herself to do what she needed to do to succeed. I have so much respect for her for I think she was an overall remarkable woman.
I felt sorry for Amelia Earhart when it took her so long to accept George Putnam.s proposal. I feel that as a result of the lack of love received as a child she didn.t know how to be close to anyone. He was by her side and supported her through everything she wanted to do in life. I dont think Amelia knew how to deal with that since she wasnt use to that sort of treatment and so use to being on her own.
What I found interesting about Amelia Earhart was how much she was capable of and how dedicated she was to being an aviator. She organized various things to encourage women to look into the world of an aviator. Besides taking on her own goals in life she set aside time to open other women.s eyes to what she was doing. Her dedication was mind-boggling.
To think that she was gone after all she did and how far she got was so upsetting. It is such a shame that so much was done to find her after the coast guards lost contact with her plane, but that it was unsuccessful. One thing that makes me feel better is that she went on doing what she loved to do. There is a saying..The Best Die Young.. That definitely referred to Amelia Earhart!