First Women to Solo the Atlantic Ocean
Amelia Earhart Remains a Model for Women
Amelia Earhart's career as a world-famous flier spanned only a few years. She achieved instant acclaim as the first woman to fly the Atlantic in 1928; she disappeared while on the last leg of a round-the-world flight in 1937. Yet her fame has endured in a remarkable fashion over the past sixty years, assuring her a permanent place in history. Books, magazine articles, films, televised biographies, symposia, memorials, schools and other public buildings named in her honor &endash; all testify to the lasting impression that she made as one who truly embodied the spirit of adventure and the desire to advance human knowledge.
In recent years, the attempt to find a definitive solution to the mystery of her disappearance has tended to overshadow her actual achievements and to obscure the meaning of her life, which is quite independent of the circumstances of her death....
I reiterate my belief. . . that those who have propounded often sensational theories about Amelia‚Äôs disappearance have consistently failed to produce convincing, substantial evidence that would incline us to reject the more plausible view that Amelia‚Äôs aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed in the Pacific when it failed to make its landing at Howland Island. . . . As children growing up in Kansas, we were inseparable, sharing many tomboyish activities, riding horses together, loving animals, participating in imaginative games. Throughout our lives we confided in each other, experiencing each other‚Äôs triumphs and tragedies. We understood each other, each one was there for the other at crucial times such as Amelia‚Äôs first solo flight or my wedding. Amelia‚Äôs childhood and young adulthood provide many clues to understanding the person she became. She was determined to make a lasting contribution to the science of aviation. The homemade roller coaster has become the symbol of her early love of adventure which later found its realization in her flying. The influence of her family and her education remained strong throughout her life.