Amelia Earhart: A Great Aviator

Written By Zayd Hashimoto

First, A Little Bit of Context

The roaring 1920s was a decade that fundamentally changed what it was like to live in America. Many different things were happening in the US during the time. In 1920, Women finally gained the right to vote. This gave millions of voices the ability to have a say in the way that the country was run (Hogan, Harlan, and Richard Hawksworth). Organized crime was beginning to become a big part of America and its black market economy. There were many different crime rings and each of them had lots of power. Al Capone was the leader of one of these crime rings. Prohibition prevented the sale of alcohol, but also gave criminals something to make lots of money off of. People would pay a ton of money for bootlegged alcohol. Also, the KKK staged a comeback because many people started to be afraid of immigrants and minorities and did not want them around. The Ku Klux Klan preyed on people’s fears (Hogan, Harlan, and Richard Hawksworth). Women gained some freedom because of the flapper movement. Women could choose who to marry and if they wanted to marry at all. That was new. The flappers led to new fashion, shorter dresses, and more comfortable clothes in general for women (Hogan, Harlan, and Richard Hawksworth). There was a big boom in the economy. The stock market soared and many people’s finances improved. Except for farmers. They were going through a sort of depression because of a crash in the price of cotton, around 1923. But, people had more money for entertainment and fun, which led to the vast expansion of the movie business. On the subject of movies, talking films were introduced (Hogan, Harlan, and Richard Hawksworth). People were trying to set records and find the limits of human ability. They did things like sitting on top of telephone poles. Also, Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic solo, which was a big accomplishment and an indicator of things to come. The number of airlines drastically increased to forty-three and air travel became an accepted mode of getting from one place to another. Barnstorming and airshows were becoming a source of much entertainment for the public. Flying was establishing a niche for itself. The Air Force, then called the Army Air Corps, was also created (Hogan, Harlan, and Richard Hawksworth). Amelia Earhart was gaining fame during the 20s because of the public’s fascination with flight, records, and the impossible. Earhart contributed to the spirit that everything was possible. She set records and did things that wowed people. Earhart also helped to define the New Woman. She proved that women could do everything that men could with respect to aviation and being a record-breaker. And, Earhart’s records showed that intercontinental air travel was possible.  Amelia Earhart was a notable figure in the 1920s and 30s because she followed her interests instead of adhering to stereotypes about what women should do and because she was an excellent aviator whose disappearance is a big mystery.

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In August of 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was finally ratified. Women were given the right that they had fought to get for many decades, the right to vote. Half of the population was suddenly empowered and given the ability to have a say in policy. The nineteenth amendment enfranchised the largest number of people ever given the right to vote at once. It was monumental. Of course, it was still difficult for African American women to vote, especially in the southern states. The Nineteenth Amendment gave people like Amelia Earhart, and women in general, a lot more freedom. Since they had this power, the power to influence policy and government, they could do what they wanted a lot more. For example, the flapper movement, a fashion revolution, started. Women could marry for love or not at all. And a whole new range of professions was opened up for women. This directly benefited Earhart. It gave her the ability to pursue a career in flight and a career altogether in some ways. It also made women start to be elected to office (Gidlow).

Fads were sweeping the nation like wildfire. Telephone pole sitting was a big one. People would sit on top of telephone poles for as long as they could. One person sat up there for ten days. It was pretty crazy. Beauty pageants, condensed periodicals, book clubs, and crossword puzzles are more examples of things that became hugely popular during the 20s. People were trying to find themselves and who they were, so they were trying all sorts of new things. In addition, there were many dance crazes. The Charleston was a dance that was incredibly popular. People would do extreme things like see how long they could dance before falling over. It was crazy (Ushistory.org). Also, so-called “All-American” heroes were becoming the role models of children and people for adults to admire. An example of a hero was Charles Lindbergh. People idolized him and looked up to him because of his heroic solo crossing of the Atlantic in a small airplane. Lindbergh’s status in the public eye changed, however, during the nineteen-thirties and forties due to his political views. He supported Germany during World War Two. Baseball players were also seen as heroes. Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were examples of famous baseball players. Around a million young kids liked these baseball players and looked up to them. The American people needed people to idolize and be amazed at. Being wowed by famous people’s accomplishments helped ordinary people deal with the craziness of the nineteen twenties. American people were looking for people who they thought embodied America. They kind of missed the sense of patriotism that had been present during the great war. Other heroes of the twenties included Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel, and other sports stars (Ushistory.org). Amelia Earhart became one of these heroes during the twenties and thirties.

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Barnstorming was something that wowed and impressed many people during the 1920s. World War One called for the training of many pilots. Aerial combat and dogfighting, fighting from airplanes using complex maneuvers, were a big part of the fighting of the war. After the war, many skilled pilots came back to the United States. They wanted to continue flying and doing the dangerous stunts that they had performed during the war. And, they wanted to make money. So, many pilots bought aircraft. There were many surplus aircraft due to the war. Then, they started to give airshows, performing dangerous rolls, loops, and other crazy stunts. They created a whole new genre of entertainment. Airshows were initially called flying circuses. Pilots could basically do whatever they wanted because the government did not have any rules regarding aircraft at the time. Some famous maneuvers performed by barnstormers included spins and dives, passengers parachuting and skydiving from planes, loop-the-loops, and barrel rolls. It seems that the term barnstorming originated because these stunt pilots flew close to the ground, at the level of barns, sometimes. In addition, people would do acts not related to the actual flying. Wing-walkers would walk on the actual wing of the plane mid-flight, without parachutes. They would even do stunts while on the outside of the plane like dancing, maintenance, or handstands (Onkst). Barnstorming was one of the best ways to make money as a pilot back then, but it was still hard to make a profit. If not enough people came to the flying circus, the pilot might not get enough money to buy fuel and fly to the next town. And pilots even had to sleep in their planes sometimes. But barnstorming showed people the wonders of flight and brought flying to the mainstream. Barnstormers would sometimes give tame rides in their plane. One barnstorming company gave around one million rides to people, the Gates Flying Circus. Lastly, many barnstorming pilots went on to do great things in aviation. Barnstorming seemed to produce good pilots even though their line of work was kind of reckless. Charles Lindbergh was a barnstormer near the beginning of the nineteen twenties. Bessie Coleman, the first licensed African American pilot, was also a barnstormer and so was Pancho Barnes, a woman who was an air race winner. Amelia Earhart contributed to this spirit of extreme flying although she was never really a barnstormer (Onkst).

A Biography of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on the twenty-fourth of July in the year 1897 in Atchison, Kansas USA (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). Earhart vanished on July second, 1937 (“Amelia (Mary) Earhart”). She was known by many as AE (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). She is one of the most renowned pilots of all time, because of her achievements in aviation and her disappearance (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Encyclopaedia).

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Amelia Earhart’s father was Edwin Earhart and her mother was named Amy Otis Earhart (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Encyclopaedia). Earhart’s father was a good man deep inside but was afflicted by alcoholism (Biography.com Editors). His condition made him and his wife separate and get back together over and over again. Edwin Earhart was a railroad lawyer. Amelia Otis Earhart was a homemaker and liberal (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). Amelia Earhart had a sister named Muriel who was two years younger (Osborne).

As a result of Edwin Earhart struggling with getting a stable job and his alcoholism, Earhart and her sister Muriel lived with their well-to-do maternal grandparents, Amelia and Alfred Harres Otis, for a lot of the time up until Earhart was twelve (Gale Research Inc.).Her grandparents lived in Atchison Kansas (Gale Research Inc.) on a farm (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). Earhart went to a private school in Atchison (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). Because of this, she lived with her grandparents during the school year and with her parents in Kansas City Missouri during the summers. (Gale Research Inc). Her grandmother was the person who basically raised Earhart (“Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937).

In Atchison, Earhart would try to find adventures. She wanted excitement. Earhart and her sister liked to climb trees, hunt for rats, explore their neighborhood, and go for kind of scary but exciting rides on Amelia Earhart’s sled while living with their grandparents (Biography.com Editors). She also tried to fly using a homemade roller coaster that went down the back shed (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). She taught herself how to play many sports (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). Along with being adventurous and intrepid, Earhart was also stubborn as a child. She said that she was a “horrid little girl” on many occasions (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). Earhart was a curious child. Earhart liked school and spent a long time reading (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). She was known for her adventurousness and independence as a child (Biography.com Editors). 

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Earhart was not bound by gender roles. She liked doing things that people thought that boys and men should do. People called her a ‘tomboy’. She liked to disassemble mechanical objects like engines to learn how they worked and took a class on auto repair (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).

When Earhart was a little older, at the age of twelve, her family was reunited. In 1909, Earhart and her younger sister Muriel went to live with their parents in Des Moines, Iowa, where Edwin Earhart had been transferred (Gale Research Inc). During the next few years, Edwin Earhart struggled to keep a job due to his alcoholism. This caused the family to move around a lot (Biography.com Editors). Earhart went to many different high schools, six. They were located in Springfield Illinois (Gale Research Inc.), “Kansas City, Des Moines, St. Paul, and Chicago” (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). She graduated from the Hyde Park high school in 1915 but had yet to go to finishing school or college (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary).

Using inheritance money left by Earhart’s grandmother who had died in 1911, Amy Otis Earhart sent Earhart to the Ogontz boarding school in Pennsylvania. Ogontz was a senior high school, also known as a junior college (Gale Research Inc). Earhart entered the school in late 1915 or 1916. Ogontz was only for girls (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).

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While at this boarding school, at age twenty, Earhart visited her sister for Christmas in 1917 (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary) in Toronto, Canada. When she was there, she saw how bad the war was for Americans and Canadians (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). This made her want to become a nurse’s aid and be a part of the war effort. So she decided that she was not going to go back to Pennsylvania. She left Ogontz and became a volunteer nurse in a veteran’s hospital (Gale Research Inc.).  She stayed in Toronto for the rest of the war, until the armistice (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). Earhart became a pacifist after treating soldiers (Gale Research Inc).

After the war, Earhart joined her mother and sister in Northampton Massachusetts. Her sister was going to Smith University (Gale Research Inc.). A few months later, in 1919 Earhart entered Columbia University, a college in New York (Gale Research Inc.). She was a pre-med student (History.com Editors). Earhart left Columbia after only one year and went to Los Angeles where her parents were living together again (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Encyclopedia). It was in LA that Earhart became an aviator.

Amelia Earhart began to learn how to fly in 1920 and was already setting records by 1922. Earhart saw a plane for the first time in Des Moines, in 1909, at an airshow. She was not very impressed by it since airplanes had only recently been invented and were not advanced yet (Gale Research Inc). Earhart visited an airport in Toronto in 1918 and began to be interested in flying even more (“Amelia Earhart.” American). At the airfield, she watched soldiers flying aircraft, making training flights. The final event that prompted her to pull the trigger and pay for flight lessons was her first flight in a plane at an LA airshow. She asked her father for ten dollars to fly in an airplane as a passenger. As soon as Earhart took off at the airshow in 1920, she “knew that she had to fly”. Afterward, she asked her father to allow her to do so, and he agreed, hesitatingly (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). 

Earhart hired Neta Snook to teach her how to fly (Gale Research Inc.) and began to earn money to pay for the lessons. She got her own plane after logging just 2.5 hours of flight time, a minuscule amount. She bought a Kinner Airster Plane, a small experimental aircraft, in 1921 (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica).  In 1922, Earhart soloed in an airplane for the first time (“Amelia Earhart.” American). There were some hiccups during her first solo flight, but she was just proud that she had flown fearlessly (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). She got her pilot’s license formally in 1923 (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica).

During the next few years, Earhart attended a few colleges trying to find a career that interested her. In the end, flying turned out to be her career of choice. (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). Her attempts at going to college ended when Earhart became a social worker (settlement worker) at the Denison House in Boston in 1926 (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). AE continued to fly in Boston when she had time because she loved flying (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). She also joined the National Aviation Association (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). 

Amelia Earhart set many records in the field of aviation and became famous because of these records. Very soon after her first solo flight, in 1922, she set a new women’s altitude record (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). She went up to fourteen thousand feet in her plane (“Amelia Earhart.” American). In June of 1928, Earhart was launched into the international spotlight for being the first woman to fly over the Atlantic, as a passenger though (“Amelia Earhart.” Explorers). 

Earhart kept getting more and more famous as time went on and as she set more records. On June 6 of 1930, she set a women’s speed record in a plane. She went up to 181.18 miles per hour. She flew solo across the Atlantic on May 20-21 of 1932 and became the first woman and second human to do so (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary”). It took her a day to cross the ocean in her Red Lockheed Vega 5B aircraft (History.com Editors). Because of her flight, she was given the Distinguished Flying Cross, a military medal. She was the first woman to earn it (History.com Editors). Also in 1932, on August 24-25, she made the first solo nonstop flight across the entire US (History.com Editors).               

Amelia Earhart worked hard to create more opportunities for female pilots and make it easier for women to become pilots. She was an activist for women’s rights. Earhart confounded an organization called “the Ninety-Nines”. This organization was for women pilots all over the world. It sought to help licensed female pilots succeed and advance in the world. Earhart was the Ninety-Nines’ first president.  The Ninety-Nines exists even today and has members from forty-four countries (History.com Editors).

On February 37 of 1931, at age thirty-three, she got married to George Palmer Putnam, a publicist, and publisher of books (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). Then, Earhart set some more records. In January of 1935, she became the first pilot, man or woman, to fly from Hawaii to the US lower forty-eight states. Also in 1935, she flew from LA to Mexico City and Mexico City to New York. Both flights set a speed record (“Amelia Earhart.” American). Flying was beautiful for Earhart and she greatly enjoyed doing it.

In 1934, she was the opening orator at a New York City conference called Women and the Changing World” (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). During her speech, she said that in the world at that time, “the economic structure we have built up is all too often a barrier between the world’s work and the workers” (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). She wanted everyone to have a job and have it be one that they wanted, just like she had been able to get the job that she wanted, flying. She was an activist who fought not only for women’s rights but for the rights of ordinary people, the working class.

Right after this conference, Purdue University offered Earhart a job as a professor and she accepted. At the university, Earhart set to work teaching young women about how to succeed in their professional life. She told them about the barriers that they would face, both in the law and traditional. She also taught them to find the fun in work and to believe in themselves (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).

On a record-breaking attempt to circumnavigate the world, Earhart disappeared. It was something that had never been done before, so Earhart really wanted to do it (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary”). On June 1 of 1937, she took off from the United States in her Red Lockheed 10E Electra and began her second attempt to fly around the world. (History.com Editors). She had a navigator with her named Fred Noonan. (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).

Near the end of her flight (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary), after traveling over 22000 miles (History.com Editors), Earhart was flying from New Guinea to a small island in the Pacific called Howland Island (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). The date was July 2 (History.com Editors). They could not find this tiny island and searched for it for a while. Then, radio contact was lost with the plane. Earhart disappeared! The US Navy sent several ships to the area to try to find Earhart or the wreckage and crash site of the plane. But they found nothing (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).

There were many theories about what may have happened to Earhart. One story that went around was that Earhart and Noonan had landed. But, Japanese soldiers had caught them and the two were executed then and there (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). Some people even thought that she had been abducted by extraterrestrials!

That event marked the end of Earhart’s life, or at least the part of her life that is recorded in the history books. It was short, but a good life. She was loved and revered by America and the rest of the world and earned forty-four medals for her daring flying accomplishments (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). She was one of the best aviators of all time and an activist who made things happen. Her early death was an enormous loss.

What caused Amelia Earhart To Become So Notable?

Amelia Earhart became famous because she was an independent woman who followed her interests instead of doing what others thought she should do. Earhart liked to do all sorts of physical and mechanical activities as a child. She liked to do things like repair work and fix things up. Earhart enjoyed metalworking and also liked to paint houses. She also liked to disassemble mechanical objects like engines and learned how they worked (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary).  And of course, she would later love flying and the mechanics of flight. She played sports also, and was very active outdoors. She loved going on adventures (Biography.com Editors). All of this shows that Earhart had no regard for gender roles. She did what she wanted to do, even if these activities were stereotypically only for boys. This lead her to be called a ‘tomboy’ but she did not care.  Unlike the man in the story The Man, The Mule, and The Donkey, Earhart did what she thought was right instead of what others thought was right. She knew that it was best to do what she wanted.

In addition, Earhart really enjoyed schooling and briefly went to college. Although women’s education had come a long way since the nineteenth century, it was still uncommon for women to get as much education as Earhart. In 1920 only 7.6 percent of women went to college (Early College Women).  So Earhart went farther in school than many other women in her time.  Earhart’s education was not ordinary.

Earhart also became a pilot in a time when there were extremely few women in aviation. Most people in the field were men. The percentage of female pilots was most definitely in the the low single digits. There were only two hundred licensed women pilots in 1930 (Gant) and probably even fewer in 1920. So, when Earhart became a pilot she was one of very few women in her field. Gender stereotypes said that men should be pilots, but this was not true and Earhart knew it. She went against the norm and became a pilot. And, she was very good at being a flyer. 

If Earhart had not followed her interests, she would not have been a famous pilot or a pilot at all. If she had not done things that were thought to be only for men, she would never have gained an interest in flight. If she had not forayed into the world of adventuring, science, and mechanics, she would never have been interested in airplanes. And, if she had not strongly pursued a good education, she probably would not have been as successful as she was. Earhart showed that she was independent by doing what she wanted to instead of what other people wanted. She did not enjoy activities such as housekeeping (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary), so she went on adventures outside instead. She did not change what she was doing even if adults showed their displeasure. This led people to think of her as stubborn (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). But, what it really showed was that she had integrity. She continued to pursue her passions. And, this lead her to keep learning in various schools and become a pilot. She did not care if some people thought that she should not be flying planes. It was this willingness to follow her passions, this thinking for herself, that lead her to become the famous aviator that she was. 

Amelia Earhart was notable figure in the twenties and thirties because she was a very good pilot who set many records. Earhart was a good flyer almost from the start, which shows that she was a natural and was exceptional. Only a few days after getting her pilot’s license she went up to fourteen thousand feet in her plane, a women’s altitude record (“Amelia Earhart.” American). A man had gone higher before, but they had also had decades to try (“Amelia Mary Earhart.” Dictionary). It is impressive that she set the record so quickly after soloing for the first time. 

The raw number of records that Earhart set is staggering. She set speed records, like when she went up to 181.18 miles per hour in her airplane. She also got third place in a big air race, the First Women’s Air Derby. To add to that, she set many long distance flight speed records. And, Earhart made the first flight from Hawaii to the mainland US. She set other speed records too, but it would take too long to list all of them here. The point is that Earhart broke records almost every time she took to the sky (The Family of Amelia Earhart).

Amelia Earhart made the second solo flight across the Atlantic and did it in thirteen less hours than Charles Lindbergh (New York-to-Paris Flight). Lindbergh made his record breaking solo flight in over thirty-three hours but Amelia Earhart did the same in just twenty hours and forty minutes (New York-to-Paris Flight). The flight took place from May 10 to 11 in 1932, which was the fifth anniversary of Lindbergh’s earlier solo flight across the vast Atlantic ocean. Earhart definitively showed that intercontinental air travel was not only possible, but that it would make travel over the oceans a lot faster. She also showed that trans-atlantic flights were feasible enough to become mainstream in the near future. The solo Atlantic crossing was a very successful flight and is one of the most impressive records set by Earhart. It also gained her international attention, even more than anything that came before. She wrote a book on her experiences during the flight, and due to this accomplishment she became the aviation editor at Cosmopolitan magazine! So, this trip across the Atlantic made Earhart famous and caused her to be well known. 

In addition, Earhart was elected to a position in the National Aviation Association and helped to create separate aviation record classes for women. She even helped with the setting up and running of a new airline called New York, Philadelphia, and Washington Airways. And, she was a c-founder of the Ninety Nines, a group that wanted and still wants to get more women into the field of aviation (The Family of Amelia Earhart).

Earhart even set an altitude record of  18,415 feet in an autogiro. The date was April 8, 1931. An autogiro is a helicopter of sorts with a big top rotor for lift, but unlike a helicopter, it has a horizontally thrusting propeller at the back. Earhart could fly more than just classical airplanes. 

Every time that Earhart set a new record she got media attention, and therefore public attention. This caused her to gradually become more famous and more notable as a pilot. Her achievements also caused her to be given medals and awards. Most significantly, after her daring trans-atlantic flight, she was given the Distinguished Flying Cross by the US Congress and President Hoover gave her the National Geographic Society Gold Metal. Those were two big honors (The Family of Amelia Earhart). 

Earhart was not just a pilot, she was also an activist, writer, teacher, and businesswoman. But her main claim to fame was her flying. So, part of what made Amelia Earhart a notable figure in the nineteen twenties was the fact that she was a great pilot. 

Finally, Amelia Earhart’s legacy lives on today because there is a lot of intrigue and mystery surrounding her death.The main theory that is widely accepted is that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan just crashed into the ocean during their attempt to fly around the entire world. They got lost on their way from New Guinea to Howland Island, ran out of fuel, and their plane plunged into the ocean. Noonan and Earhart were killed right away according to this theory. Going back to the world of the certain, right after the crash the US Navy sent several ships to the area to try to find Earhart, the wreckage, or the crash site of the plane. But they found nothing. No evidence. This lead to the creation of many conspiracy theories about the circumstances of Earhart’s disappearance and the way that she died.  

Some people said that Earhart had just run away with Noonan and had staged the whole thing. These rumors did not make her husband happy  (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). One theory that was heard by many people was that a tall blonde woman and a blonde man who was kind of large had landed a plane in the Marianas, located near Saipan. This description fit Earhart and Noonan. Japanese soldiers had caught them and the two were executed right then and in that place. That story was not that far fetched, and some people actually think that it might be the truth. But, it is tragic (“Amelia Earhart.” Contemporary). 

Credit National Archives (photo no. 68141661)

Some people even think that she was abducted by extraterrestrials! This theory is built upon in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind when Earhart and other abductees step out of an alien spacecraft. But this is perhaps the most outlandish of all of the theories, and it does not seem to account for Fred Noonan.  Another fairly recent proposed explanation is similar to the execution story. This theory postulates that Earhart was captured by the Japanese, but she was taken prisoner and was kept in the custody of the Japanese. Maybe the Japanese thought she was an American spy. Evidence seems to corroborate that Earhart did some spying work for the US government. A photograph that has been used to support this capture theory appears to show Earhart and Fred Noonan on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands. But, the person who is supposedly Earhart is sitting with her back the the camera and the figure who is claimed to be Noonan is really far away and fuzzy. But when this photo is viewed with the context that Earhart might be in it, it is easy to see Earhart in that sitting figure. At one end of a big Japanese ship is what is claimed to  the wreckage of the plane (Amelia Earhart: Does photo show she died a Japanese prisoner?). This actually clearly looks like Airhart’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra, but she did not have the only plane of the kind. But, there are no Japanese soldiers in sight which would not match with the story of her being captured by the Japanese. Overall, it is possible but unlikely that Earhart is shown in this picture. 

Yet another theory says that Earhart and Noonan were able to make an emergency landing on four mile long Nikumaroro Island, which is three hundred and fifty miles south and west of Howland Island (their destination). The theory says that they lived as castaways on the island for a while by drinking rain water and eating something found on the island. But then they died. This theory has been debunked a little by the fact that that island was searched during the initial Navy investigation. But, bones were found on the island and one researcher claims that they are Earhart’s (Aspegren).

The moral of the story is that as long as there remains uncertainty about what happened to Earhart and her plane, people will keep coming up with new theories and will keep announcing these theories. And every time one of the these theories is released, Earhart receives media attention, even though she has been gone for over eighty years. This causes people to still know about her today, and it keeps her relevant. Also, writers and moviemakers have a lot more freedom with the story of Earhart. They can make up a lot of possible explanations about her death and incorporate those theories into their works. This causes Earhart to keep showing up time and time again in movies and books, even ones made in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. The aspect of Earhart’s life that is most constantly referenced is the mystery surrounding her death. That is what interests audiences. As long as this great mystery exists, Earhart’s story will not be finished and her relevance will endure. Since conspiracy theories are still being released today about Earhart’s death, she is still a notable figure who is known by many. And who knows if one of the expeditions looking for traces of Earhart’s plane will one day find her? As long as there is a possibility, people will keep looking.

In conclusion, Amelia Earhart is still a major figure of the 1920s and 1930s for many reasons. One of them is that Earhart was an extraordinarily good pilot who set many records in various aircraft. Another reason was that Amelia Earhart chose to be independent and follow her dreams even though her desires were slightly different than was common at the time. Lastly, Earhart is still well known today partly because of the gigantic mystery surrounding her death.

Amelia Earhart is relevant to the history of the United States for many reasons. One of them is that she really helped pave the way for women in aviation. Earhart showed that women could fly and set records just as well as men. She proved that women were no less than men in the air, and in some cases even better! Earhart’s life shows that the 20s was a time of great change and advancement. All boundaries were being pushed and the envelope was being expanded. If we just look at Earhart’s accomplishments as a record-breaking pilot it can clearly be seen that Earhart showed that anything was possible. She established that long distance flying could be done, even with the technology of the day, and that it could be done fast. She also set a multitude of records including speed records, air race records, and altitude records. She did this partly just for the sake of seeing what could be done, testing the limits of her aircraft. This shows that the 1920s was a time of seeing what was possible.

Earhart’s life also shows a lot about the advancement of women professionally in the 1920s. Amelia Earhart showed that women could have the same jobs as men. She proved that there was nothing holding women back from being good flyers and setting records. Amelia Earhart was just one of the women in the 1920s who were showing that women could do anything. Gertrude Ederle swam the English Channel in 1926 and did it faster than any man before her. So Amelia Earhart and others were proving that women were definitely equal. Amelia Earhart’s story shows that it is essential to encourage women to become pilots. Right now, only seven percent of licensed pilots are women (Twombly). That is way too small. Who knows how many potential Earharts are not becoming pilots because of this imbalance? Society must encourage young women to become pilots and must change the image of who can be pilots. Aviation is a field that seems to be one of the most unbalanced, so work must be done.

Amelia Earhart’s story is still relevant today for a few reasons. First of all, Earhart’s accomplishments are still impressive. Also, Earhart was a major figure in the field of aviation who helped to establish that women should be flying planes just as much men. She is a role model for lots of women who aspire to become pilots today. In addition, the organization that Earhart helped to found, the Ninety-Nines, continues to work hard for the advancement of women in aviation today. And lastly, the death, or rather disappearance, of Amelia Earhart remains a big secret. This mystery keeps Earhart relevant today, even though she was prominent ninety years ago. Until this mystery is solved, Earhart will continue to show up in things like movies and books. And her influence on the field of aviation still is significant today. Amelia Earhart is someone that inspires many people to become pilots. People are still searching for the remains of the airplane that she disappeared in. But, the mystery might just be better unsolved.

Works Cited

Aspegren, E. (2019, July 21). A conspiracy, a crash and a capture: Five theories about Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/19/amelia-earhart-found-disappearance-theories/1475518001/

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