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Few of us have ever met someone as courageous and independent as Amelia Earhart. Throughout this paper, we will examine the life and accomplishments of Amelia Earhart.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas (Biography.com, 2018). Her father Edwin Stanton Earhart was a worker for the railroad and her Mother Amy Otis Earhart was a seamstress and a stay at home mom (Lakin, Patricia, pg.12). The couple were married on October 16, 1895 (Jones, pg.3). She was the first child of Amy Otis Earhart and Edwin Stanton Earhart (Orr, pg.11). Only just two years after her birth, her parents had another child name Grace Muriel Earhart (findagrave.com, 2018). Amelia was always very close to her sister since birth. She received the nickname Meelie from her younger sister, because as a young child Muriel could not pronounce Amelia’s name correctly. Amelia was originally named after her two grandmothers, Amelia Harres Otis and Mary Wells Earhart (ameliaearhartmuseum.org, 2018).
Amelia first glimpse of an airplane was one summer day when her father took the family to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. She was only a little girl. At that time airplanes were actually spelled as “aeroplaine.” The first air crafts were made out of wood, wires, oiled canvas, and powered by tiny engines. They were very rickety. The flights could only last for a couple of miles. Her father was very excited at the fair to see his first glimpse of an airplane. Amelia and her sister Muriel were around riding all the fair rides. Her father scrambled up the whole family, so they could all see this amazing flying machine. Her first glimpse of an airplane she was very uninterested. Her father was amazed, but all she could think about was all of the fair rides (Burke, pg. 1-2).
She had a very curious and adventurous attitude and loved to explore the woods (wearing pg.6). Amelia’s mother’s parents were very wealthy. Her grandparents’ home was on a high hill in Atchison, Kansas. It had eleven rooms and also maids and a cook (Jerome, pg. 5-6). Amelia’s uncle Carl Otis, helped constructed there own rickety roller coaster on top of their father’s shed. Amelia was the first one to go down. It slid off the trestle, but brave Amelia just got right back up and tried again. During this stage in her life her family realized she was growing up to be a tomboy. Since her little sister Muriel kept getting hurt. Her mother demanded to have the roller coaster removed (Burke, pg. 2-3).
Sadly, during her early childhood her father discovered the bad habit of drinking (Lakin, pg.13.). Every evening her mother and sister would wait for hours, for their father to come home, and determining if he had been drinking or not. Since he found this awful new way of life the family began to have problems (Burke, pg. 3-4). Amelia’s father had trouble keeping his job and became very irresponsible with money. He became a very scattered man (Jerome, pg.6.) They would have been living on the streets if it wasn’t from Mrs. Earhart trust fund. It seemed for the Earhart family there was no other way, but to split up the family (Burke, pg4).
Most of her early childhood she lived with her grandparents (Wearing, pg.6). Amelia’s mother sent her to her parents. Amelia’s grandmother was grieving a lot with the loss of many family members and took comfort with having her grandchildren there with her. Amelia’s mother decided she would stay with her grandparents during the school year, and come back to their home in Kansas City during the summer time. Her mother visited very often (Jones, pg. 4).
She was homeschooled along with her sister Muriel (www.thefamouspeople.com, 2018). In Amelia’s time girls did not play sports, wear pant, have short hair, or plan to have a career. Most girls were expected to get married, and have children, and stay at home. She loved sports and adventures. Amelia would go outside and play basketball with her cousins and even her sister Muriel. A new kind of short pant was invented called bloomers, which helped Amelia jump and run freely.
When she was around ten years old Amelia and Muriel had to leave their grandparents house. Since her mother and Father have been in Kansa, her Father finally got a new job with another railroad company in Iowa (Lakin, pg. 10-12). When she was in the seventh grade, she was sent to a public school in Iowa (www.thefamouspeople.com,2018). They moved away from her father again to Chicago. When she was eighteen. There at her new all-girls school she had the opportunities to play sports. She never joined because she had to help out at home. Her family was in poverty. She always was a bright young girl. She hid from her best friends about her father’s drinking problem. The Earhart’s were moving constantly, because her father continued to drink. Even during this struggling time, she always made sure she was succeeding in school. She had amazing grade point averages, which were in the high eighties. They moved from Kansas to Iowa to Minnesota to Illinois. She graduated high school in 1916, in Illinois (Lakin, pg.13-14).
After graduating, she studied at Ogontz School in Pennsylvania (www.thefamouspeople.com, 2018). It was a very highly regarded women’s college. Around this new chapter in her life she began to gather newspapers and many magazine articles into a scrapbook, which she entitled “Activities of Women.” It held stories of powerful women with interesting and varied careers. After her first semester at Ogontz, she vacationed with her friends. Returning back to school that fall, Amelia seemed uncertain about a future. Major world events were beginning. World War I was raging in Europe since 1914. The united stated entered this major conflict in April 1917 (Jones, pg. 14-15).
In 1917 Amelia decided to visit her mother and sister in Toronto. Her experience there changed her world in many ways. Since Canada was involved in the war, she saw the cruelty of war. When she arrived back to school she could not stop thinking about the men who lives were changed with a blink of an eye. She continued her studies and working hard.
That February, Amelia left college in her third semester, and returned to Toronto. She joined the Volunteer Aid Detachment. She took many first aid course, and then was assigned to go to Spadina Military Convalescent Hospital (Jones, pg. 16-17). She helped care for many wounded soldiers (Jerome, pg. 26). Many of the soldier she helped were pilots. They told her fascinating stories of their journeys in the air (Lakin, pg. 17). One of the pilots invited her and her sister to a stunt-flying show. She was stunned, she loved how the plane soured through the air, and how it could be risky too. She wanted to learn more about it.
Unfortunately, in 1918 she had a severe sinus infection. It came to the point it was so bad she had to undergo surgery. She spent months in bed recovering. She came to the point again thinking about her future (Orr, pg. 18-19). A year later, she then enrolled in Columbia University to study Medicine, and which she wanted to be a doctor. She soon left the university, then went to the University of Southern California
In the summer of 1920, father had stopped drinking, and wanted to bring the family together. In this stage of her life her parent’s relationship was having multiple problems. Her father Edwin schedule Amelia to ride in an airplane. In her day and time, it only cost $10.00 to receive a ride on an airplane. The pilot of her flight thought Amelia shouldn’t be aboard. He thought she was going to get into mischief, such as jump out. He was so frantic having Amelia aboard the flight, he had a second pilot fly with them.
Pilot Frank Hawks, had no need to worry. Amelia was so amazed, she could hardly even say a word. She later then wrote “As soon as we left the ground I knew myself had to fly.” After this eye-opening flight, she told her father she wanted to learn how to work this amazing flying machine. Her father refused he didn’t want to pay for any lessons, but that didn’t stop her she still went out a found a job at the telephone company, so she could pay for the flying lessons. (Jones, pg.21-27).
After her experience with pilot Frank Hawks, she wanted to find a women aviator teacher. That was a very hard challenge. In that period there was a small number of women flyers. When she visited Kinder Field, she met a women name Anita Snook. She was a women pilot, and was only a year older then Amelia. They agreed a dollar a minute for every lesson. In 1921, Amelia Earhart bought her first airplane which was a Kiner Airster. Amelia paid it with all of her savings and work money. The color of the airplane was bright yellow and she named it The Canary.
Earhart had her own sense of style. She cut her long hair into a bob, and started wearing a leather helmet, goggles, jodhpur, a tie, and a long leather coat. She was gaining confidence in herself. The flying lesson taught her multiple things like stunts, barrel rolls, dives, and many more. She earned her pilots license in December of, 1921. Also, in 1922, she broke the record of flying higher than any women, reaching 14,000 ft. Earhart sold her bright yellow plane to help with her parent’s financial problems. Her parents got divorced. Her mother moved to the east coast. (Orr, pg.20-31)
She joined the board of directors in 1928. She began flying less after selling her plane. Even thought she was she help Bert Kinner find areas to place his future airport and find customers. Multiple people heard about a women aviator name Amelia Earhart. George Putnam was a publisher in New, York. He heard about Amelia from a friend, and she was asked to be a passenger on Charles Lindbergh flight. He met with her and thought she was perfect fit for this journey. She went, but did not tell anyone except her parents. Brave Amelia was scared on the flight that she even sent a will to her parents. The plane a broken door, an oil leak, and many more malfunctions. She gained a lot of attention after this flight because she was the first women to fly across the Atlantic.
They nicknamed her Lady Lindy. She began writing a book called 20 Hours 40 Minutes, which was about her flight across the Atlantic. George Putnam offered to help her with her book. It was published the fall of 1928, which she toured, and lectured about. She became editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. She began to get paid. This was the first time Amelia felt like she could make a living through flying. (wearing, pg.13-14) (www.ameliaearhart.com, 2018)
Many years of building a relationship with Putnam, which was her Manager. Amelia thought by marrying someone she was giving up her freedom. That changed for Amelia. She fell in love with him. They got married in 1931. In 1932, she went across the Atlantic Ocean again, but this time she went solo. It took her 14 hours and 56 min. Amelia was the first women to fly, nonstop, across North America that year too. She helped form an aviation club for women, and was elected president of it. It was called the Ninety Nines; 99 women avatars were in it. Her husband, helped her multiple ways in her career, such as organizing press tours and endorsements. He lended a luggage company her name. The Baltimore Luggage produced a line with her name. It started in 1933. Amelia and George Putnam never had children. (Morsen, Jenn, 2018) (Dakers, pg. 65,75)
In Amelia generation sewing was a skill to learn. Even thought Amelia was a tomboy, she still loved fashion and dressing up. She never bought dresses she always made her own. Amelia liked practical fashion. She wanted to created clothes that were comfortable and very inexpensive. She designed a female friendly suit, because flight suits back then were designed for men. Also, her collection was one of the first to buy a different blouse to add to there skirt. Women used to have to buy the same skirt and blouse size, they couldn’t buy one individual thing. The clothing line was launched 1934, in 30 major cities. The things she made did stand out but most women were not into it because it was not in style at the time, until other generations. (Morsen, Jenn, 2018) (www.ameliaearhart.com, 2018). Multiple of her accomplishments were in her earlier life. After accomplishing so many things she was satisfied, but she thought there was one last flight in her.
“I have a feeling that there is just about one more good flight left in my system and I hope this trip is it. Anyway, when I have finishing this job, I mean to give up long distance, ‘stunt’ flying.” Said Amelia Earhart.
For her last trip she wanted it to be the best one. She decided she was going to travel around the world solo, but she was going to have the help of Fred Noonan to navigate and work the radio. With her own money she bought a Lockheed 10E Electra. This would be her last plane she bought. The plane she got was in horrible condition. She removed many part from it to make it lighter. She removed long-distance radio antenna and code equipment. At the time it seemed to be a good idea, but this could have been horrible mistake.
In 1937, she announced her journey she would be taking. The first time they tried this trip the plane gear collapsed and the wing was torn. They had to set the journey three month’s back. There were multiple monsoons, so they had to changer their route of the trip. June 1, 1937, they took off again. She shared the journey by sending notes and logbooks home. Everyone around the world were listening about her journey on the radio and news. They landed multiple places on their journey o fill up with gas and get more food and rest.
Sadly, on day 30, only having two more days to go they traveled into horrible weather. They were traveling to the destination of Howland island in the Pacific Ocean. The last hours of her life they were having trouble with communication. Hours later she was supposed to land a message came in from Amelia she seemed scared and frantic. Then it all went silent. That was the last message of Amelia Earhart. She disappeared on July 2, and was declared dead on January 5,1939. The sent-out search parties, but didn’t find anything. (orr, pg. 40-42) (Dakers, pg. 78) (www.ameliaearhart.com, 2018) (Lakin, pg. 44) (www.duckster.com,2018)
Her final resting place has long been a mystery. In memory of Amelia Earhart, a light house was built on Howland Island. She was supposed to land in Howland island to refuel, and continue home. The United States Government built a light house; in memory of Amelia Earhart. The light house is called Earhart today. Its not actually a light house but they made it to look like it. Unfortunately, when World War II happened, the Japanese began bombing the island and destroyed it. It was destroyed for nearly two decades. In the early 1960s it was repaired, by the U.S Coast Guard. It is still standing in Howland Island, but is not in the greatest shape.(Kaushik,2018)(www.ameliaplanet.com, 2018)
She inspired to take on new challenges, and she offered proof to the women of her day that no achievement was unattainable. Also, she encouraged girls and boys to follow their dreams and keep going even if people doubted them. (Lakins, Patricia, pg. 46-47) (Jones, pg. 116-117)
Throughout this paper, we examined the life and accomplishments of Amelia Earhart. The world may never know what happened to this amazing women, but we have all learned from her that it’s okay to try things that cause you fear.