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Highlighting Amelia Earhart's most memorable flights and her fearlessness during Women's History Month

Flights including the journey across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and her attempt at flying around the world, are some of the most memorable of Amelia Earhart's time.

Amelia Earhart is regarded as one of the most influential women in history.

The legendary pilot was born in Atchison, Kansas. At a very young age, Earhart was considered a tomboy as she preferred getting her hands and clothes dirty and walked a dangerous line by climbing trees and hunting rats with a .22 rifle, according to the official website of Amelia Earhart.

Earhart worked in a military hospital in Canada during WWI. Though she was enrolled in the premed program at Columbia University, she dropped out in 1920 and moved to California to be closer to her parents. In 1921, Earhart took her first flying lesson, and just a mere six months later, she bought her own plane.

Years later, Earhart became the aviation editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. She also taught and toured students interested in the aviation industry. Ahead of Earhart’s flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, three men died attempting to complete the same journey. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip was more than 2,000 miles and she completed the task solo.


Once she landed from her marveling globetrotting in Ireland, it is recorded that Earhart said, "I am afraid I am a bit deaf after the terrible roar of the engine in my ears all the time, but at any rate I have done it," according to the Ohio History Connection.

Earhart was initially expected to end her trip across the Atlantic in Paris. However, she experienced a minor gas leak and mechanical issues which forced her to land in the Irish city of Londonderry.

The flight was the beginning of Earhart’s voyage to becoming the most famous pilot of all time. In 1935, she became the first pilot to fly the Pacific Ocean on a solo mission. She flew from Honolulu to Oakland, California – a 2,408-mile flight.

Earhart received a lot of recognition and a wealth of awards for her fearlessness and piloting around the world. In 1932, a year after marrying George Putnam, President Hoover awarded Earhart with a gold medal from the National Geographic Society. Then, just a month later, Earhart received the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress. She made history as the first woman to ever receive the honor.


Just a few weeks shy of her 40th birthday, Earhart was longing to polish off the most monumental flight of a pilot’s lifetime. She wanted to fly around the world. On May 21, 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan set off on the most historically challenging journey a pilot would take.

Noonan, often remembered as Earhart’s navigator, previously worked for Pan American World Airways, where he became a captain. Later, he worked for Pan Am as head navigator. While Noonan was not Earhart’s first choice for the journey, she selected him based on experience.

The two flew into irregular weather of overcast skies and sporadic rain. At one point, Earhart was heard on the radio saying, "cloudy weather, cloudy," according to her official website.

It is unclear today what happened to Earhart, Noonan and the rebuilt Lockheed Electra plane they were flying. However, it has been estimated the two died that day in July.

Earhart’s last words, heard by U.S. Coast Guard cutter ITASCA via the radio, were spoken at 8:45 a.m. on July 2, 1937. It is documented that she said, "We are running north and south."


The U.S. government spent millions of dollars on search and rescue efforts to locate the team’s whereabouts. The search was called off a few weeks later, on July 19, and both Earhart and Noonan were declared legally dead in January 1939.

After Earhart’s disappearance, Putnam found a letter written to him in case of her untimely death during a plane ride.

"Please know I am quite aware of the hazards," the letter reads, according to the official Earhart website. "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."

In 2015, a book titled "Amelia Earhart’s Last Photo Shoot" was released by Nicole Swinford and The Paragon Agency publishing house. The book features Earhart posing in front of the Lockheed Electra before fueling up for the travels of a lifetime. Inside, readers can find 80 pages of photographs taken of Earhart in California just days before she attempted to fly 29,000 miles around the world.

Earhart and Noonan made it all but 7,000 miles.

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