Amelia Earhart

by Chloe from Casselman

"I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others." -- Amelia Earhart
A hero is a person who is full of bravery and courage. They would go through so many measures just to assure the safety of someone or something or they will fight for what they believe in and never give up. They are idealized for their striking performances and extraordinary actions. They have honorable qualities that are sometimes hard to find in a person. Amelia Mary Earhart (born July 24, 1897 and en route from Lea, New Guinea to Howland Island, she disappeared on July 2, 1937) was the 16th woman to receive her flight licence from the FAI (her licence number was 6017). Earhart was an inspiration to so many people. She was sent several letters indicating that the population was naming their children, animals and even lakes after her. Earhart was the type of woman who would follow her own rules. When flying she would refuse the typical flying gear and wear a suit or a dress and instead of wearing a helmet she chose to wear a hat. She despised the goggles that they had to wear while flying, so she would not put them on until her plane started to take off and she would take them off right away after landing.

Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas. Her father, of German descent, was Samuel ''Edwin'' Stanton Earhart, her mother was Amelia Otis Earhart and her younger sister was Grace Muriel Earhart. When Amelia was younger, her mother was hoping to raise a proper Victorian lady but she was known as quite the rebel. She would get easily bored. Amelia was kicked out of schools for doing stunts like walking on the roof in her nightgown. When she was seven years of age, she took a sleigh and brought it up a mountain, then ran and jumped on it in mid-air. She then slid under a moving horse's belly, missing both front and back legs of the horse plus the carriage the horse was pulling. After that event, she always took luck for granted. During high school, Amelia was fascinated by woman pioneering in new careers. She would collect magazine articles and pictures of woman moving up in the social world of men. But other than having such adventures, Amelia and Grace's childhood were very unstable; problems between their parents obligated them to move back and forth from their rich grandparents' house to their not-so-wealthy parents' house. Her father was a lawyer but that was never enough for his wife, so it caused marital problems which turned Edwin into an alcoholic. This addiction forced them move across the Mid-West to wherever Edwin could find work. Amelia adored her father, but he had disappointed her so much, that she had to learn to be self reliant.

Amelia was a courageous, determined, independent, adventurous and inspirational woman. She wasn't afraid of anything. When she first saw a plane take off the ground, she was not scared in the slightest to fly, herself. When it came to her lessons and owning a plane, she had to raise money and do proceed to take every step herself, since her dad was never around to help her. When Amelia finished her flying lessons and had gotten her pilot's license, she was so thankful for the opportunities that she had finally gotten that she always take advantage of them by breaking records; like being the first person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City and being the first woman to fly coast to coast non-stop. Amelia was the type of girl who would never give up, her flights kept on getting more dangerous. Moreover, the bigger the danger, the more determined she became to accomplish it. Whatever life brought her way, she knew she could overcome it. Amelia was an inspiration to so many woman all around the world because she had made a big step in a man's world and had made it easier for a lot of other woman to move forward in business and typical masculine domains.

Amelia Earhart and  husband, George Putnam ( ())
Amelia Earhart and husband, George Putnam ( ())

Amelia attracted the size and type of crowd that any famous person would wish for. She was known as the first woman hero and was adored by women and men all over the world because she had actually made it in a man's world. Even though she is the best known woman in America, nobody actually knew who she was and what she was actually thinking when she got ideas. Nevertheless, everybody knew at least one thing about her... She needed adventure and she needed recognition. So, on December 25, 1920, when her dad brought her to the opening of the new airfield in Long Beach, California (at the age of 23), she was fascinated and after paying for her first flight, she knew what she wanted to do for her future. She knew she needed to fly. After discovering the airplane world, she met a lady who had agreed to teach her how to fly a plane for a dollar a minute. Amelia had done everything to raise money for these lessons and to buy her own plane, like getting several jobs and advertising for companies. However, her mother was not too fond of her doings and wanted her to stop and start acting like a lady. Yet, Amelia, by the age of 25, had bought her own plane and had painted it a bright yellow to stand out. In 1925, Amelia had moved to Boston to work in a settlement house with children, flying then became a weekend hobby. Although, in 1928, when a publisher named George Palmer Putnam was told to find the ''right sort of girl'' to write an interesting book about, her career started to take off. George had decided that she was the girl he had been looking for. At that point, Amelia was known as Lady Lindy because George said she was the female version of Lindbergh (the first man to fly across the Atlantic alone). To really get her career started, George and Amelia had planned a secret flight called the Friendship Flight where Amelia was only going to be a passenger with two male pilots, but one of them was drunk almost every night. This flight made Earhart famous. Sadly the two pilots were not as known as Amelia was and she felt bad about that. After that, Amelia had become so famous she was doing stuff like flying across the country for interviews and photoshoots, giving flying lessons to the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, becoming the aviation editor of Cosmopolitan and helping to launch the first passenger airline, Transcontinental Air Transport. After all that publicity and fame, George had become her manager. To stay a popular figure, Amelia knew that she needed to stay adventurous, so she and George bought a new, faster and bigger plane so that she could race in the first cross country woman's air derby where she would place third. Following this big event, Amelia had gone under a lot of pressure because of her father's death by cancer and George begging for her hand in marriage. So on February 7, 1931, Amelia and George got married. Some say Amelia had agreed to his proposal because he could bring her higher fame and he was a rich man during the Great Depression. After the wedding, they had planned another secret flight; Amelia wanted to be the first person the fly across the Atlantic alone since Lindbergh, but also to prove her flying abilities. After Lindbergh, 10 people had died trying, but Amelia knew she could do it. Everywhere Amelia went during the flight, she was a celebrity and had fantastic greetings, especially in her final destination, New York, where a parade had been awaiting her. She had proved that woman can do exactly what men can do. In 1935, Amelia's popularity was going down. She was emotionally and physically exhausted. She had been hospitalized for a severe sinus infection and then she was bedridden for weeks because of back problems. Though, the second she got better, she was back to work.

In 1936, Amelia announced her flight across the equator and that it was going to be her retiring journey. Only, the longer the preparations took, the less focused she was and people said that she wasn't preparing properly. On March 20, Amelia and her navigator, Brad Washburn, had tried taking off but at the end of the runway, she had lost control of the plane and they had crashed, Amelia then felt fear of what she was actually doing. Brad had decided to quit because he was getting scared. So on June 1, 1937 Amelia took off with her new navigator, Fred Noonan but she had forgotten her parachute, life raft and her lucky elephant hair bracelet. "Amelia is a grand person for such a trip. She is the only woman flyer I would care to make such an expedition with. Because in addition to being a fine companion and pilot, she can take hardship as well as a man - and work like one." said Fred before the take off. When they stopped in Lea, New Guinea, Amelia was getting nervous because their next stop was the hardest, on a tiny island named Howland Island. Moreover, her navigator had had a bit to drink. George wanted her to cancel but she said it would all be alright. On July 2, 1937 Amelia and Fred took off for Howland Island. On their map, the island was 5 miles off, so all they had was luck and the coast guard radioing them from the island. Amelia had come close to the island, but never found it. She kept trying to get in touch with the coast guard, but even though they could hear her, she could never hear them. Between 7:42 to 8:43 that morning, Amelia had radioed: ''We must be on you, but cannot find you. We are circling, but cannot hear you. We are on the line north and south''. Her voice was never heard again, these were her last recorded words. They never did make it to Howland Island. Afterwards, the government had spent $4 million to send 10 ships and 65 planes to search for this famous woman. The search lasted two weeks and was the most expensive air and sea search ever. After the search ended, George started to spend his own money to continue the search but still no luck. Everyone knew then, that this was the end of Amelia Earhart's magnificent adventures.

Amelia is an inspiration for a lot of young girls just waiting to start their lives and prove that they are actually able to accomplish anything. In view of that fact, women, today, are still not really considered equal to most of the men in this world. Amelia was one of the first women who proved that changes can and will be made. She motivates woman everyday just by proving that women are not only equal to men but can accomplish things that men could never do. "Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn't be done." --Amelia Earhart

Page created on 3/26/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/26/2014 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links