Amelia Earhart

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Childhood

Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on 24th July 1897. When 10 year old Amelia saw her first plane at a state fair, she was not impressed. But a decade later on December 28, 1920, Amelia attended a stunt-flying exhibition where pilot Frank Hawks gave her a ride that would forever change her life. She knew she had to fly. Image Courtesy: curiosity.discovery.com

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Childhood
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Education

After graduating from Hyde Park High School in 1915, Amelia attended Ogontz, a girl's school in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She left in the middle of her second year to work as a nurse's aide in a military hospital in Canada during WWI, attended college, and later became a social worker at Denison House in Boston. Image Courtesy: images5.fanpop.com

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Education
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1st Plane

Amelia took her first flying lesson on January 3, 1921, and in six months managed to save enough money to buy her first plane. A second hand Kinner Airster, it was a two seater biplane painted bright yellow. Amelia named the plane "Canary," and used it to set her first women's record by rising to an altitude of 14,000 feet. Image Courtesy: www.aviation-history.com

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1st Plane
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Trans Atlantic flight

One afternoon in April 1928, a phone call came for Amelia. "How would you like to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic?", to which Amelia promptly replied, "Yes!" She was asked to join pilot Wilmer Stultz and co-pilot & mechanic Louis E. Gordon. The team left Trepassey harbor in Newfoundland, in a Fokker F7 named 'Friendship' on June 17, 1928, and arrived at Burry Port, Wales, approximately 21 hours later. Their landmark flight made headlines worldwide, because three women had died within the year trying to be that first woman. When the crew returned to the United States they were greeted with a parade in New York and a reception held by President Calvin Coolidge at the White House. Image Courtesy: curiosity.discovery.com

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Trans Atlantic flight
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Marriage

From then on, Amelia's life revolved around flying. Her life also began to include George Putnam, a book publisher and publicist. The two developed a friendship during preparation for the Atlantic crossing and were married February 7, 1931. Image Courtesy: curiosity.discovery.com

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Marriage
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Awards

On May 20, 1932, she took off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Paris. Strong north winds, icy conditions and mechanical problems plagued the flight and forced her to land in a pasture near Londonderry, Ireland. As word spread, President Herbert Hoover presented her with a gold medal from the National Geographic Society. Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross - the first ever given to a woman.

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Awards
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Breaking records & the Trans Pacific flight

In the years that followed, Amelia continued to break records. She set an altitude record for autogyros of 18,415 feet that stood for years. On 11th January 1935, she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific from Honolulu to Oakland, California a 2,408-mile flight. Image Courtesy: www.aviation-history.com

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Breaking records & the Trans Pacific flight
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Around the World

In 1937, as Amelia neared her 40th birthday, She wanted to be the first woman to fly around the world a monumental, and final, challenge. On June 1st, Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan departed from Miami and began the 29,000 mile journey. Inaccurate maps made navigation difficult for Noonan. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca, their radio contact, was stationed just offshore of Howland Island. Two other U.S. ships were ordered to burn every light on board, to act as markers along the flight route. Image Courtesy: curiosity.discovery.com

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Around the World
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Final contact

At 10am local time, Greenwich time on July 2, the pair took off. Despite favorable weather reports, they flew into overcast skies and intermittent rain showers. Her radio transmissions, irregular were faint or interrupted with static. At 7:42 A.M. the Itasca picked up the message, "We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. We are flying at 1,000 feet." The ship tried to reply, but the plane seemed not to hear. At 8:45 Amelia reported, "We are running north and south." Nothing further was heard from Amelia Earhart. Image Courtesy: s3.amazonaws.com

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Final contact
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Fond rememberance

A rescue attempt commenced immediately and became the most extensive air and sea search in naval history. On July 19, after spending $4 million and scouring 250,000 square miles of ocean, the United States government called off the operation. In 1938, a lighthouse was constructed on Howland Island in her memory. Her birthplace, Atchison, Kansas, has been turned into a virtual shrine to her memory. Amelia Earhart awards and scholarships are given out every year. Image Courtesy: usnews.msnbc.msn.com

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Fond rememberance
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Final words

In a letter to her husband, written in case a dangerous flight proved to be her last, this brave spirit was evident. "Please know I am quite aware of the hazards," she said. "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." Image Courtesy: www.aviation-history.com

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Final words
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