Dead People You Should Know: Amelia Earhart

                Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. She grew up with her younger sister. Amelia would run and climb trees, which was not usual behavior for girls of her time.  She first saw an airplane when she was ten years old at a state fair. She later said about the airplane, "It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting." She graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1915.

                After she graduated from high school, she attended Ogontz, which was a boarding school in Philadelphia. She never graduated from this school because she left to work in a military hospital in Canada during World War I. Here, she met many aviators and this was when she became interested in flying. After she worked in the hospital, she went to college.  She took her first flying lesson in 1921 and six months later, she saved up enough money to buy her first airplane. She became a social worker at Dennsion House in Boston after her parents divorced and she had to sell her plane.

                In 1928, George Putnam changed Earhart’s life by asking her to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. During this flight, she was only a passenger but when she landed, she became a media sensation and a symbol of what women could accomplish. In 1929, Earhart helped found the Ninety-Nines, which was an organization for female aviators. Earhart married George Putnam in 1931 but she kept her maiden name and considered the marriage as a partnership with dual control.

In June 1937, she set off to become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a pilot. She accomplished her goal and was given awards such as the American Distinguished Flying Cross and the Cross of the French Legion of Honor. President Hoover presented her with a gold medal from the National Geographic Society. During the years that followed, Earhart continued to set new records in the flying world.

                In 1937, shortly before her 40###sup/sup### birthday, she set out to achieve another goal. She wanted to be the first woman to fly across the world. On July 2, Amelia Earhart took off. She flew into stormy and rainy weather and the ITASCA lost her signal. The radio transmissions were faint and hard to hear due to static. The last thing that was heard from Amelia was, "We are running north and south."

                 A search was called. On July 19, after 4 million dollars was spent and 250,000 square mile were searched, the search was called off. A lighthouse was built in her memory and many streets and schools are named after her. There are many theories as to what happened to Amelia Earhart. Some people think she crashed into the ocean while others believe she landed on an island where she survived for an amount of time. Even today, we don’t know what happened to Amelia Earhart.

                Amelia Earhart inspired many girls and women by working to achieve her goals even though there were not many women in that field. She continues to inspire women to reach for their goals even today.

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