I remember learning about Amelia Earhart in elementary school–the first woman aviator to ever attempt to fly around the world. Nowadays, it seems like such a simple thing to climb in an airplane and take a day trip across the ocean. But that’s the modern-day for you–continuous upgrades and evolution. But other than being the first woman to try and cross the sea, I think the most interesting thing is the mysteries that plague her legacy.
Amelia Earhart had been shy of forty when she died and led a very successful life with a resume that certainly showed for it. The majority of her early life was not centered around aviation but began in earnest in the 1920s when she took her first plane ride after returning from a semester at Columbia University. It was then that she knew she had to be a pilot.
In 1928, when she met George Putnam, though, her life changed dramatically. He selected her to become the first woman to cross the Atlantic (as a passenger); after that, she became the image of what women could do. Putnam continued to support her post-journey and even published two of her books for her, 20 Hrs. 40 mins. and The Fun of It. Earhart later married Putnam in 1931, calling it a marriage of “equal partnership.”
Earhart went on to become a fashionista and aviation editor for Cosmopolitan and even helped form the all-female aviation group (the Ninety-Nines) before becoming the aviation advisor at Purdue University in 1935. It was on June 1st, 1937, that she left Miami to become the first woman to fly around the world, and with 7,000 miles remaining, she disappeared without a trace.
Recently, there have been some pretty interesting speculations, such as coconut crabs eating the aviator and her navigator, all the way to the Bermuda Triangle (which has a tendency to take things and not give them back).
All that is really known, though, is that she disappeared very close to her final destination. And one can only hope that the secrets and conspiracy surrounding the esteemed pilot’s legacy become undone in their lifetime.