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Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, mysteriously disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
Watch a short video about Amelia Earhart and fly through her childhood as a daring little child to her mysterious disappearance as an adult.
After a plane ride at an air show, Amelia Earhart decided she would learn to fly. After becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, she embarked on her flight around the world and disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.
Amelia Earhart embarked on the longest non-stop flight by a woman.
Remains of Amelia Earhart's plane lead to theories about her demise. From the "Biography: Amelia Earhart - Recovery Expedition" video.
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The press dubbed her "Lady Lindy," a derivative of the "Lucky Lind," nickname for Charles Lindbergh. George Putnam had already published several writings by Lindbergh, and he saw Earhart's flight as a bestselling story with Amelia as the star. Thus began their personal and professional relationship. Putnam started to heavily promote her through a book, lecture tours, and product endorsements. Earhart actively became involved in the promotions,
especially woman's fashions. For years she had sewn her own clothes, and now she contributed her input to new line of women's fashion that embodied a sleek and purposeful, yet feminine, look.
Through her celebrity endorsements, she gained notoriety and acceptance in the public eye. She accepted a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, using the media outlet to campaign for commercial air travel. From this forum, she became a promoter for Transcontinental Air Transport, later known as Trans World Airlines (TWA), and was a vice president of National Airways, which flew routes in the northeast.
Not content with just celebrity status, Amelia set her sights on establishing herself as a respected aviator. Shortly after returning from the transatlantic fight, she set off on a successful solo flight across North America. In 1929, she entered the first Santa Monica-to-Cleveland Woman's Air Derby, and placed third. In 1931, Earhart powered a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro and set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet. During this time, Earhart became involved with the Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots advancing the cause of women in aviation. She became the organization's first president in 1930.
Rumors of an affair with George Putnam led to speculation that Amelia Earhart was responsible for the destruction of his marriage in 1929. But the couple insisted the early part of their relationship was strictly professional. After his divorce, Putnam actively pursued Earhart, and eventually fell in love with her. He asked her to marry him on several occasions, but Earhart declined.
Finally, on February 7, 1931, Putnam and Earhart were wed in Putnam's mother's home in Connecticut. Earhart referred to their marriage as a partnership with dual control. On the day of their wedding, she wrote a letter to Putnam telling him, "I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any medieval code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly."
Amelia Earhart's public persona presented a gracious, if somewhat shy, woman who displayed remarkable talent and bravery. Yet deep inside, Earhart harbored a burning desire to distinguish herself as different from the rest of the world. She was an intelligent and competent pilot who never panicked or lost her nerve, but she was not a brilliant aviator. Her skills kept pace with aviation during the first decade of the century but, as technology moved forward with sophisticated radio and navigation equipment, Earhart continued to fly by instinct.
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