Explorers Heroes

Amelia Earhart

by Brenna from Williamstown

133092Amelia EarhartUnderwood & Underwood [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Amelia Earhart is my hero because she did what no other woman had dared to do. She became the first woman aviator in the world to try to fly around the world. She made it easier for other women to go out and do things only men had done.

Amelia had heard of a woman aviation teacher, Anita Snook, and took flying lessons with her at Kinner Field near Long Beach, California. In July, Amelia purchased a plane and named it "The Canary." In October, 1922, Amelia began breaking world records and set a women's highest altitude record at 14,000 feet, which was broken by Ruth Nichols a few weeks later. She then sold her airplane and bought a car.Amelia Earhart lived in Atchison, Kansas. Her parents were Amy and Edwin. She had a sister named Muriel who was called Pidge after a blue pigeon in her favorite song. She didn't have a very happy childhood, for her father was an alcoholic. When she became a teenager in World War One, she served as a volunteer nurse. After the war, she enrolled as a pre-med student at Columbia University. Although she was doing well in school, she went back to California to be with her parents. One day she went with her father to an "aerial meet" and went on a 10 minute flight over Los Angeles. At that moment, she knew that flying was what she wanted to do.

On April 27, 1926, Mr. H. H. Railey called Amelia and asked, "How would you like to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic?" Mr. Railey had been asked by George Putman, a New York Publisher, to find a woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. No woman had ever flown this far across the Atlantic. Since Earhart had no experience with more than one-engine planes, or instruments on a plane, Amelia went on the flight as a passenger. Two men, Wilmer Stultz and Slim Gordon, were actually going to fly the plane. On Sunday, June 3, 1928, Amelia went to Nova Scotia to start her flight. Some bad weather held the flight back until June 18, though. They flew through dense fog most of the way and landed in South Wales instead of Ireland with only a little bit of fuel left.

Amelia got all the attention as the first "girl" to fly across the Atlantic. She was upset that the two men who had actually flown the plane didn't get any attention.

Page created on 8/13/2014 12:25:09 AM

Last edited 7/21/2020 7:30:08 PM

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Related Links

Naval History and Heritage Command - A great biography on Earhart.
George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at the Purdue University Libraries - The Amelia Earhart collection offers a rare glimpse into the life of America's premier woman aviator. The online collection includes more than 2,000 scans of photographs, maps, and documents relating to Earhart.

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