“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” –Amelia Earhart
Born on July 2, 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart is among the most visionary American women. Among her achievements include:
- First woman to fly above 14,000 feet, October 22, 1922
- First woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, June 17-18, 1928
- Set woman’s speed record for 100 kilometers with no load and a load of 500 kilograms, June 25, 1930
- Set speed record for a 3K course at 181.18 miles per hour, July 5, 1930
- First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, May 20-21, 1932
- First woman to fly solo nonstop from the U.S. East Coast to West Coast, August 24-25, 1932
- First person to fly solo from across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, January 11, 1935
- First person to fly solo from Los Angeles, California to Mexico City, Mexico, April 19-20, 1935
- First person to fly solo nonstop from Mexico City, Mexico to Newark, New Jersey, May 8, 1935
According to Amelia Earhart, when a plane flew by her at a stunt-flying exhibition when she was in her 20s, she knew she was born to fly. After leaving a girl’s finishing school to work at a military hospital in Canada during the first World War, going to college, and becoming a social worker, Earhart took her first flying lesson in 1921. Just six months later, she bought her own plane, which she used to set her first altitude record (breaking 14,000 feet).
After being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, Earhart broke one aviation record after another, for both women and men alike. Earhart was an early feminist ahead of her time and felt her flights proved gender equality for “jobs requiring intelligence, coordination, speed, coolness and willpower.”
Earhart’s determination to break records ultimately brought her demise. In 1937, Earhart wanted to be the first woman to fly around the world. Bad weather, inaccurate maps, and lack of fuel caused Earhart difficulties and she went missing on July 2, 1937. Reluctantly, after $4 million and searching 250,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government called off the search. Truly a visionary and pioneering feminist, however, Amelia Earhart will not be forgotten.