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Who Was Amelia Earhart?

Updated on May 18, 2015

Amelia Earhart Facts, Photos & More for Amelia Earhart Day

Who Was Amelia Earhart? Honoring Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Day occurs every year on July 24th. It was created to honor Amelia Earhart, one of the most famous aviation pioneers in U.S. history. Not only was Amelia a female pilot, which was unheard of in those days, but she set many aviation records with her aviation career.

The mystery around Amelia Earhart is quite disturbing. In attempt to be the first person and the first woman to fly around the world, she and Fred Noonan were lost at sea, or so it is believed. Neither they, nor the aircraft, were ever found and there are several theories surrounding what might have happened.

Public Domain Image

Amelia Earhart Tribute - Honoring Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Facts

~ Amelia's full name is Amelia Mary Earhart after both her grandmothers.

~ Amelia Earhart's Birthday - July 24, 1897.

~ It is expected that she died on July 2, 1937, but she was not officially declared dead until January 5, 1939.

~ Amelia married George P. Putnam, the man who initially urged her to take her first record breaking flight in order to create himself the perfect plot for a book he wanted to publish.

~ Amelia had her on clothing line names 'Ninety-Nines' which originally consisted of aviation wear and slowly transformed into both aviation wear and women's active wear and later included a luggage line. Her creations were sold at Macy's and even featured in Vogue magazine.

~ Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo.

~ Amelia was the 16th female to receive her International Pilot's License from the FAI.

~ She was given the nicknames "Queen of the Air" and "Lady Lindy"

~ She was also the first lady to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross

~ The home she was born in was turned into the Amelia Earhart Museum and features her belongs, awards, books and other memorabilia.

Public Domain Image Amelia Earhart in front of a CIT-9 Safety Plane

Amelia Earhart & President Hoover - January 2, 1932

Amelia Earhart & President Hoover at the White House on January 2nd, 1932. Amelia received the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Herbert Hoover.

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Things to Do With Your Kids on Amelia Earhart Day

Amelia Earhart day is celebrated to honor her on her birthday... why not enjoy something related to aviation.

~Go to an aviation museum.

~Watch Amelia or an Amelia Earhart documentary- great to do with the kids to teach them more about her.

~ Take your kids to a location near a local airport and enjoy a picnic while watching the planes come in.

~Research Amelia Earhart and view photos, videos and documentaries online with your children to teach them more about her.

Amelia Earhart Quote

"Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn't be done."

~ Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Model 10 Electra, at Oakland, CA on March 20, 1937.

Public Domain Image

Timeline of Amelia Earhart's Aviation Career

Amelia Earhart Timeline

Timeline of Amelia Earhart's Aviation Career

1921: Began taking flying lessons at Kinner Airfield

1922: Set a new world record for ascended to 14,000 ft.

1923: Earned her pilot's license from FIA.

1927: Complete 500 hours of flying time.

1928: Amelia Earhart & Wilmer Stultz completed the Trans-Atlantic flight

1931: Amelia married George Putnam

1932: Amelia was the first person to fly solo Trans-Atlantic.

1935: Amelia took the first solo flight from Honolulu to Oakland

1937: Amelia and Fred Noonan began their flight around the world on June 1st, but never returned. They disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island in around July 2nd. That day was the last time there was ever any contact with Amelia, Fred or the plane.

1939: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan was officially declared dead. Their bodies, plane, wreckage or any obvious signs of the landing were never recovered.

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Amelia Earhart Documentaries

Amelia Earhart in the Cockpit of Her Lockheed Electra - Sometime During 1936

Amelia Earhart in the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra, taken sometime during 1936.

Public Domain Image

Who Was Amelia Earhart?

Amelia Earhart Bio

Amelia Earhart but born July 24th 1897, in Atchison Kansas. Her father was a railroad attorney so she spent her childhood moving from city to city.

Amelia attended Ogontz School in Pennsylvania when she was 19 years old. Her time there was brief. Nearly two years later she went to Toronto, Canada, to visit her sister, Muriel. After the visit she never returned to finish her schooling at Ogontz. She decided to stay in Canada and become a nurse's aide at the Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto. As a nurse's aide she attended the Red Cross First Aid course and tended to battlefield soldiers during World War I.

Shortly after beginning her new career in the medical field, Amelia became a student at Columbia University in New York where she began studying medicine. Unfortunately, she never finished due to returning to California to be with her parents.

California would be the place that ultimately claimed her fate and would change her career path forever. After arriving in California, Amelia took great interest in aviation and it became a hobby that she was very passionate about. She took on various jobs to help pay for flying lessons and learn more about the aviation field. It didn't take long for her to purchase her fist plane.

In 1922, with the help of her mother, and Muriel, she purchased a Kinner Airster. After learning to fly Amelia moved back east she began to work as a social working in Boston Massachusetts.

In 1928, George Palmer Putnam requested she be the first female passenger on transatlantic flight. She completed the trip in 20 hours and 40 minutes with Wilmer Stultz, a well-known pilot, and mechanic Lou Gordon. She flew from Newfoundland to Wales via a Friendship, a trimotor plane.

Amelia married George Palmer in 1931. George was a book publisher and the one who had requested her be the first female to fly the transatlantic. Amelia held her maiden name for the sake of her aviation career and due to the book that George had published about Amelia's first trip.

Amelia and George created a partnership to endorse his books and to boost her career. George handled the public affairs side of the business and Amelia took control of the flights.

By 1932, Amelia had set a number of records and had become the first woman to fly around the transatlantic solo. Her fame and fortune was increasing quickly and she was becoming well-known around the world.

With the fame and fortune she created her own line and brand of clothing called Ninety-Nines. It was a high-end line of aviation wear that eventually included active wear for ladies as well.

Amelia became the first person to complete a flight between Hawaii to the American mainland in 1935. She then became the first person to fly the Pacific as well as the first person to fly the Atlantic & the Pacific Oceans.

That same year she became a female career consultant at the Purdue University where she purchased a Lockheed Electra which would continue to make her successful, help her achieve her goals, break records, and ultimately leave her with the fate of an untimely death.

Public Domain Image

The Last Footage of Amelia Earhart - Final Flight Documentary

Amelia Earhart's Final Flight

June of 1937, Amelia Earhart met her fate. She was attempting to be the first person to fly around world. Her trip consisted of flight plan that would lead her around the world by flying near the equator. When she was last heard from, her venture was nearly 2/3 complete with 22,000 miles flown and 7,000 left to complete.

June 2nd, 2007 was the last time anyone heard from her. She was flying the Pacific Ocean and just departed Lae in route to Howland Island which would be her next check point to refuel. Amelia never made it. She, nor Fred, nor the Lockheed Electra were ever found. No debris field, no 'May Day's", no scrambles of radio traffic and no long lost post cards to be sent. Amelia was lost at sea.

Public Domain Image: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in May, 1937 shortly before their flight around the world.

Radio Recordings from Amelia Earhart's Last Flight

Amelia Earhart's Flight Route Around the World - The Flight Path She Would Take to Fly the World

Amelia's Expected Flight Path When She Went Missing

Amelia Earhart went missing somewhere between when she departed Lae and was en route to the Howland Islands. Her exact route was never determined but this was the expected flight path she would have taken.

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What Do You Think Happened to Amelia Earhart?

What Do You Think Happened to Amelia Earhart?

Amelia Earhart Quote

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."

~ Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart Books

Amelia Earhart - June 20th, 1928

amelia earhart photos
amelia earhart photos

Amelia Earhart the Mayor of Southampton, Mrs. Foster Welch.

Public Domain Image

Amelia - Amelia Earhart Movie

A heroine love story about the life of Amelia Earhart featuring Hilary Swank as Amelia and Richard Gere as George Putman.

Amelia Earhart Theories

What Happened to Amelia Earhart?

Theories about what happened to Amelia Earhart

~ Amelia ran out of gas and crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

~ Amelia was a spy for the U.S. and was taken down by Japanese military forces.

~ Some believed that Amelia made propaganda radio broadcasts to serve Tokyo Rose. This was investigated and nothing ever proved the she was part of Tokyo Rose.

~ Amelia and Fred landed safely on a remote island and was stranded and later perished.

~ Gardner Island hypothesis- believing that they landed at Garner Island and some mysterious events took place. There have been several other planes who were none to have landed there and never heard from, found or seen again. A female skeleton was found and believed to have been Amelia's but the DNA test were inconclusive.

~ Amelia crashed into the island of Saipan and were executed by the Japanese who had taken over the island.

~ She's with Elvis. Okay, not really with Elvis but some do believe that her in Fred landed in a remote island, changed their identity and lived happily ever after as some fictitious couple.

~ There is also the possibly that she turned back, possibly for an aircraft emergency, lack of fuel or some other unknown reason. On the way back she crashed her plain in New Britain. During that time, soldiers had reported seeing the crash site of an unpainted, twin-engine plane. They documented the serial numbers, map location and attempted to report it but no military officials ever looked into it. In the 1990s one of those soldiers begin to investigate. He was able to match the serial numbers and compare them to model numbers, identifiers and frame numbers and was actually able to compile a very viable possibility that it as indeed Amelia's Lockheed Electra Model 10E. Unfortunately, after nearly 60 years, the plane was no wear to be found.

What Happened to Amelia Earhart?

What Do You Think Happened to Amelia Earhart?

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Amelia Earhart in Oakland, California - March 17th, 1937

amelia earhart pictures
amelia earhart pictures

Paul Mantz, Amelia Earhart, Harry Manning and Fred Noonan in Oakland California.

Public Domain Image

Amelia Earhart's World Flight Accomplished By Linda Finch

In 1997, Linda Finch flew around the world following Amelia Earhart's same path, using a 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E.

While others had completed the flight, she was the first person to fly it exactly using an almost-identical plane.

The Spirit of Harbour Grace - Amelia Earhart Monument

The Spirit of Harbour Grace and monument to Amelia Earhart at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland.

Creative Commons Image by Tango7174

The Earhart Light

earhart light
earhart light

Day beacon "Earhart Light" on Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Creative Commons Image by Joann94024

What Do You Think About Amelia Earhart?

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm a big fan of hers, since I grew up in Kansas. I have a lens about how to dress up like Amelia.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! I really enjoy speculating about mysteries, and her disappearance is one I should be looking into more.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great information, love the old photos and films.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens. thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      She is an example that confirms that persistence produces results for all human beings regardless of genda.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens tribute to an extraordinary woman :))

    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 

      6 years ago

      I saw a wonderful Amelia Earhart exhibition at the Museum of Flight outside Seattle a few years ago. it is a traveling exhibition.....I recommend looking for it. It's worth seeing. Thanks for this lens! I looked for an Amelia Earhart lens before, and didn't find one. I'm glad to see one now.

    • Angelgirl1976 profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a fantastic lens 10/10 really informative and full of facts. I have liked and shared on my fb and google. Thank you for posting, brilliant :)

    • piedromolinero profile image


      6 years ago

      She was an amazing woman. Recently I read that some guys want to look for traces on an island where they suspect her to have stranded after she got missed. Maybe their research will shed some light on her case.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic info. Blessed!


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