The First Woman to Fly Solo
Across the Atlantic
Amelia Earhart was born July 24, 1898 in Atchison, Kansas. She was a lively tomboy throughout her childhood and unlike most American women in her generation and generations before, she never outgrew this trait. She volunteered in a Red Cross Hospital during World War I, taught English to immigrant factory workers, and studied pre-med for a short time. But airplanes were her first love.
Amelia loved excitement. Impressed with stunt fliers and air shows, Amelia learned to fly and became a licensed pilot, making her first solo flight in 1921. Soon she saved enough money to buy her own plane.
In 1928, Amelia was asked to be a part of a team of pilots that were to make a transatlantic flight. She accepted and became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She was hallowed by the press and dubbed “Lady Lindy”, winning public affection. But Amelia was not satisfied with this. Because of her adventurous spirit and love for the spotlight, Amelia became determined to perfect her flying skills, making plans to fly the ocean on her own. This she did on May 20, 1932. Amelia achieved a number of flight “firsts”. She was the first woman pilot to fly the Pacific Ocean and the first woman to make a transcontinental flight in an autogyro, the predecessor of the helicopter, which was still in it’s developmental stage. But while attempting to fly around the world in 1937, Amelia’s plane vanished and she was presumed lost at sea. She was 39 years old.
Amelia Earhart was a woman of great courage. She chose to loose herself from the conventional roles of women in her generation and follow her heart, doing what she loved best – flying.