Today’s Illustration: Still No Answer As To What & Why

Earhart in washinton, DC museum  Some times there will be no answer for years upon years.


On This Day: May 20, 1932 — Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland, Canada to attempt a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on a Lockheed Vega.

On This Day: May 21, 1937 — Amelia Earhart sets out to become the first woman to fly around the world.


Facts & Information:

Born July 24, 1897 (11:30 P.m.): Amelia Mary Earhart — after two of her grandmothers (Amelia Otis and Mary Earhart)

Born in Atchison, Kansas

Parents:  Amy Otis and Edwin Stanton Earhart

Father: lawyer and judge / also became an alcoholic which led to a divorce

Sister:  Muriel — 2 1/2 years younger

Family Moved: Amelia attended Central High School in St. Paul Minnesota and played on the basketball team (After another move, she attended Hyde Park High School, Chicago – Graduated from there in June 1915).

1916 — Attended Ogontz School in Philadelphia

1919 — Moved to live with her mother and sister in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Spring of 1919 — Amelia enrolled in an all-girls auto repair class

Fall of 1919 — she enrolled as a pre-med student at Columbia University in New York

1920 — dropped out of Columbia due to the urging of her parents whose life and marriage was going out of control.

1931 — February 7, 1931 — married George Palmer Putnam

1937  — Died ?  (1897 – 1937)


Airplane Timeline & Records:

1909 — Saw her first airplane a the Iowa State Fair

1918 — While a Red Cross nurse’s aid in Canada, she attended and watched her first flying exhibition

1920 — Took her first airplane flight.  Frank Hawks was the pilot.  It was at the Daugherty Field in Long Beach, California — “As soon as we left the ground, I knew I myself had to fly.”

1921 — January 3, 1921 she began taking her first flying lessons with Neta Shook.

1921 — Engaged to Sam Chapman

1921 — Bought her first airplane — a used yellow “Kinner Airster” which she called “The Canary.”

1921 — December 15, 1921, Amelia took and passed her trials for a National Aeronautic Association license.

1921 — December 17, 1921 — Amelia participated in the Pacific Coast Ladies Derby exhibition at the Sierra Airdrome in Pasadena.

1922 — October 22, 1922 — First woman to fly solo above 14,000 feet — at Rogers Field in Southern California

1929 — Placed 3rd in the first transcontinental All-Women’s Air Derby race (the “Powder-Puff Derby”)

1932 — First woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean

1932 — First woman to fly across the United States

1935 — First woman to fly from Hawaii to California

1937 — Second attempt to fly around the world — on a  Lockheed Electra

•  Pilots: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan
•  Airplane: a Lockheed Electra
•  2,550 miles – equatorial circumnavigation
•  It included three long over-water legs (New Zealand-Howland / Howland-Hawaii / Hawaii to San Francisco)
•  Disappeared on the longest leg – New Zealand to Howland


On June 1, 1937 — She flew a twin-engine Lockheed 10E Electra and was accompanied on the flight by navigator Fred Noonan. They flew to Miami, then down to South America, across the Atlantic to Africa, then east to India and Southeast Asia.

The pair reached Lae, New Guinea, on June 29. When they reached Lae, they already had flown 22,000 miles. They had 7,000 more miles to go before reaching Oakland.

Earhart and Noonan departed Lae for tiny Howland Island—their next refueling stop—on July 2. It was the last time Earhart was seen alive. She and Noonan lost radio contact with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca, anchored off the coast of Howland Island, and disappeared en route.


Theories On What Had Happened:

√  The airplane ran out of gas and crashed and sank

√  Landed and stranded on Nikumaroro island in the western Pacific Ocean

√  Veered Off Course  and ended up  350 miles to the Southwest on Gardner Island

√  Earhart took an alternate flight plan

√  Earhart and Noonan were captured and executed by the Japanese



“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
“The most effective way to do it is to do it.”
“Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do.”
“Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.”
“Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.”
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
“…decide…whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying….”

“Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible.”

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.”

“One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break… It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs, which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.”

“Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.”

“Anticipation, I suppose, sometimes exceeds realization.”

“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”

“I have tried to play for a large stake and if I succeed all will be well. If I don’t I shall be happy to pop off in the midst of such an adventure.”


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

• missing, but not forgotten
• still no explanation
• Lost
• action and inaction
• unknown, but the last flight
• still no good answers as to what and why
• can’t do / can’t be done
• just do it
• sad
• the price of courage
• what went wrong?
• looking for answers
• still searching
• a mystery / unsolved mysteries
• women in history  / Lindberg’s historical counterpart
• courage
• difficulty & danger
• adventure
• Amelia lost
• ordinary people change the world
• alternate flight plan
• final flight
• in search of missing persons
• pioneers / one life
• “worth the price”
• “a good deed near home”
• “I knew I had to”




Other Information & Links:

“She left a legacy that challenges and inspires. She was not the “best” pilot, but she had the courage and drive to make another flight or reinvent herself when required, and, with the help of George Putnam, she excelled at public relations. Defying gender roles, she built an unorthodox career in a man’s world; earned the Distinguished Flying Cross; was a compelling force for aviation and for women’s rights; diversified her career with lectures, writing, and business ventures; and consistently made the Most Admired and Best Dressed women lists – a complex combination that allowed her to have a real and lasting impact. All told, her flying career, feminism, life, and death are subjects of countless books, articles, plays, movies, student essays, ad campaigns, public inquiries, and features like this.” — 80years


“Amelia entered college in October 1916, attending the Ogontz School near Philadelphia, while her sister Muriel went to St. Margaret’s College in Toronto, Canada. Amelia had originally intended to go to Bryn Mawr, then Vassar, but she filed too late to attend Vassar that year. While at the Ogontz School, Amelia played hockey, studied French and German, and continued to excel in her classes, though she alienated some of her fellow students when she spoke out strongly against the secret sororities there. She was voted Vice President of her class, Secretary to a local Red Cross Chapter, and Secretary and Treasurer of Christian Endeavor while at Ogontz. Amelia spent the summer of 1917 with friends at Camp Gray near Lake Michigan, then returned to Ogontz for the fall semester. Entering her senior term she began planning for graduation, was elected vice-president of her class, and composed the class motto: “Honor is the foundation of Courage.” In December, while visiting her sister Muriel in Toronto over Christmas, Amelia was very affected by the sight of four wounded soldiers walking on crutches together down the street. . . . .

After a brief return to the Ogontz School, Amelia decided not to stay and graduate, but to move to Toronto and join in the war effort. She became a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at the Spadina Military Convalescent Hospital in Toronto, caring for wounded World War I soldiers. Many of the patients at the hospital where Amelia worked were British and French pilots, and Amelia and Muriel began spending time at a local airfield watching the pilots in the Royal Flying Corps train. The war ended with the Armistice in November 1918.” — timeline

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