Learning to fly in 1921, Amelia Earhart accumulated an impressive number of hours in the air before becoming famous as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger in 1928. Embarking upon an extensive flying career, she made the first recorded woman’s solo flight across the continent in 1929 and participated in the first Powder Puff Derby of the National Air Races. After setting numerous speed records, she began a career in commercial aviation and helped promote women’s interests in air travel. In 1933 she became the first woman to pilot an autogiro, setting an altitude record and also making a solo exhibition tour across the country.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, flying from Newfoundland to Ireland. A participant in the National Air Races during the 1920’s, she was the first woman to make a non-stop transcontinental flight in 1932 and set several non-stop transcontinental speed records. In 1935, she made the first solo flight from Hawaii to California. She also made a solo goodwill flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City, and then on to Newark, New Jersey. In 1937, she planned a flight around the world with navigator, Fred Noonan. They flew across the United States, the Atlantic, Africa, and Southeast Asia before disappearing on a flight to Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.
Amelia Earhart Putnam was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame on December 17, 1968 for outstanding contributions to aviation by her dedicated promotion of the interests of women in flying, setting of numerous records in the air, and pioneering in transcontinental and transoceanic flights. Amelia was born in Atchinson, Kansas July 24, 1897 to Edwin and Amy Otis Earhart.
Following are Amelia’s many accomplishments:
- 1922 May 16, received pilot’s license.
- 1928 June 17-18, became first woman to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger. During this time, Amelia was also the first woman to make a solo round-trip flight across the United States.
- 1929, took third place in the first Women’s Air Derby in her Vega.
- 1930, set women’s speed record of 181 miles per hour.
- 1931, Set autogiro altitude record of 18,451 feet.
- 1932 May 20-21, became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. June 21, received the National Geographic Society’s Special Gold Medal. August 24-25, set women’s transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles, California to Newark, New Jersey.
- 1933 July 7-8, broke her previous women’s transcontinental speed record form Los Angeles, California to Newark, New Jersey.
- 1935 January 11-12, became first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. April 19-20, became first person to fly solo from Los Angeles, California to Mexico City. May 8, became first person to fly solo from Mexico City to Newark, New Jersey.
- 1937, broke her previous women’s transcontinental speed record from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. Finally, Amelia’s record flight around the world along the equator, before disappearing with her navigator after covering more than 22,000 miles (two-thirds of her total flight).
For a fascinating tour of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, click on http://www.ameliaearhartmuseum.org/.