Why She’s Amazing
Amelia Earhart didn’t want to be a princess. She wanted to be more.
On May 20th, 1932, she realized her dream of becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Paris, France. In doing so, she broke many records, including the following:
- First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic
- Only person to do so more than once
- Longest non-stop distance for a woman to fly
- Shortest time ever for this particular flight
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And, when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
Amelia didn’t stop there. On January 11, 1935, she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California.
More important than breaking records, however, was how Amelia began to change people’s perceptions of just how much a woman could achieve. For example:
- President Herbert Hoover presented Earhart with a gold medal from the National Geographic Society
- Congress awarded her the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross – the first ever given to a woman
- Vice President Charles Curtis praised her courage, saying she displayed “heroic courage and skill as a navigator”
Amelia believed her groundbreaking flight proved that men and women were equal in “jobs requiring intelligence, coordination, speed, coolness and willpower.”
While Amelia’s aviation accomplishments are inspiring, her strength and perseverance are even more so. Time and again, Amelia was met with societal prejudice and the ensuing financial obstacles, yet she continued to defy conventional feminine behavior.
Amelia’s dad, Edwin, was afraid of flying. Fortunately, her mom, Amy, had an adventurous spirit like her daughter. With her mom’s assistance, Amelia purchased her first plane, The Canary.
Setting her standards high, Amelia didn’t want to be famous just because she was a woman who flew. She wanted accolades for accomplishing things as a human being, not merely a woman. Amelia once said, “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And, when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
A True Inspiration
Amelia was a leader who defied everything and everyone who told her she couldn’t do what she wanted to do or be who she wanted to be.
Amelia was elected as the first president of the Ninety-Nines Club, an organization for female pilots founded in 1929. Today, her inspiration lives on for future generations as one of just a half-dozen women among one hundred men in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
From Shirley Temple cutting her signature ringlets to look more like Amelia, to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt signing up for flying lessons, to the modern day Amelia Earhart taking to the skies to complete the around-the-world first attempted by her namesake, Amelia’s inspiration knows no boundaries.
A fitting tribute for the woman who once said, “Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
- She wasn’t impressed the first time she saw a plane.
- Another pioneer female aviator, Neta Snook, taught Amelia how to fly.
- She taught at Purdue University in the Department of Aeronautics.
- She created her own fashion line, Amelia Earhart Fashions.
- Amelia also kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in predominantly male-oriented fields.