Amelia Earhart Quote

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.

Amelia Earhart

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.

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About Amelia Earhart

Amelia Mary Earhart ( AIR-hart; born July 24, 1897; declared dead January 5, 1939) was an American aviation pioneer. On July 2, 1937, Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to become the first female pilot to circumnavigate the world. During her life, Earhart embraced celebrity culture and women's rights, and since her disappearance, she has become a cultural icon. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and she set many other records; she was one of the first aviators to promote commercial air travel, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.
Earhart was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas, and developed a passion for adventure at a young age, steadily gaining flying experience from her twenties. In 1928, Earhart became a celebrity after becoming the first female passenger to cross the Atlantic by airplane. In 1932, Earhart became the first woman to make a nonstop, solo, transatlantic flight and was awarded the United States Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member of Purdue University as an advisor in aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to female students. She was a member of the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. She was one of the most-inspirational American figures from the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s; her legacy is often compared to those of the early career of pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for their close friendship and lasting impact on women's causes.
In 1937, during an attempt to become the first woman to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe in a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra airplane, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared near Howland Island in the central Pacific Ocean. The two were last seen in Lae, New Guinea, their last land stop before Howland Island. It is generally presumed they ran out of fuel, crashed into the ocean and died near Howland Island. Nearly one year and six months after she and Noonan disappeared, Earhart was officially declared dead.
The mysterious nature of Earhart's disappearance has meant public interest in her life remains significant. Earhart's airplane has never been found and this has led to speculation and conspiracy theories about the outcome of the flight. Decades after her presumed death, Earhart was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1968 and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973. Several commemorative memorials in the United States have been named in her honor; these include a commemorative US airmail stamp, an airport, a museum, a bridge, a cargo ship, an earth-fill dam, a playhouse, a library, and multiple roads and schools. She also has a minor planet, a planetary corona, and newly-discovered lunar crater named after her. Numerous films, documentaries, and books have recounted Earhart's life, and she is ranked ninth on Flying's list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation.

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, as the daughter of Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart (1867–1930) and Amelia "Amy" (née Otis; 1869–1962). Amelia was born in the home of her maternal grandfather Alfred Gideon Otis (1827–1912), who was a former judge in Kansas, the president of Atchison Savings Bank, and a leading resident of the town. Earhart was the second child of the marriage after a stillbirth in August 1896. She was of part-German descent; Alfred Otis had not initially favored the marriage and was not satisfied with Edwin's progress as a lawyer.
According to family custom, Amelia Earhart was named after her two grandmothers Amelia Josephine Harres and Mary Wells Patton. From an early age, Amelia was the dominant sibling while her sister Grace Muriel Earhart (1899–1998), two years her junior, acted as a dutiful follower. Amelia was nicknamed "Meeley" and sometimes "Millie", and Grace was nicknamed "Pidge"; both girls continued to answer to their childhood nicknames well into adulthood. Their upbringing was unconventional; Amy Earhart did not believe in raising her children to be "nice little girls". The children's maternal grandmother disapproved of the bloomers they wore, and although Amelia liked the freedom of movement they provided, she was sensitive to the fact the neighborhood's girls wore dresses.

The Earhart children seemed to have a spirit of adventure and would set off daily to explore their neighborhood. As a child, Amelia Earhart spent hours playing with sister Pidge, climbing trees, hunting rats with a rifle, and sledding downhill. Some biographers have characterized the young Amelia as a tomboy. The girls kept worms, moths, katydids and a tree toad they gathered in a growing collection. In 1904, with the help of her uncle, Amelia Earhart constructed a home-made ramp that was fashioned after a roller coaster she had seen on a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, and secured it to the roof of the family tool shed. Following Amelia's well-documented first flight, she emerged from the broken wooden box that had served as a sled with a bruised lip, a torn dress and a "sensation of exhilaration", saying: "Oh, Pidge, it's just like flying!"
In 1907, Edwin Earhart's job as a claims officer for the Rock Island Railroad led to a transfer to Des Moines, Iowa. The next year, at the age of 10, Amelia saw her first aircraft at Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Their father tried to interest his daughters in taking a flight but after looking at the rickety "flivver", Amelia promptly asked if they could go back to the merry-go-round. She later described the biplane as "a thing of rusty wire and wood and not at all interesting".

Sisters Amelia and Grace—who from her teenage years went by her middle name Muriel—Earhart remained with their grandparents in Atchison while their parents moved into new, smaller quarters in Des Moines. During this period, the Earhart girls received homeschooling from their mother and a governess. Amelia later said she was "exceedingly fond of reading" and spent many hours in the large family library. In 1909, when the family was reunited in Des Moines, the Earhart children were enrolled in public school for the first time and Amelia, 12, entered seventh grade.

The Earhart family's finances seemingly improved with the acquisition of a new house and the hiring of two servants but it soon became apparent Edwin was an alcoholic. In 1914, he was forced to retire; he attempted to rehabilitate himself through treatment but the Rock Island Railroad never reinstated him. At about this time, Earhart's grandmother Amelia Otis died, leaving a substantial estate that placed her daughter's share in a trust, fearing Edwin's drinking would exhaust the funds. The Otis house was auctioned along with its contents; Amelia later described these events as the end of her childhood.
In 1915, after a long search, Edwin Earhart found work as a clerk at the Great Northern Railway in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Amelia entered Central High School as a junior. Edwin applied for a transfer to Springfield, Missouri, in 1915, but the current claims officer reconsidered his retirement and demanded his job back, leaving Edwin Earhart unemployed. Amy Earhart took her children to Chicago, where they lived with friends. Amelia canvassed nearby high schools in Chicago to find the best science program; she rejected the high school nearest her home, complaining the chemistry lab was "just like a kitchen sink". She eventually enrolled in Hyde Park High School but spent a miserable semester for which a yearbook caption noted: "A.E.—the girl in brown who walks alone".
Amelia Earhart graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1916. Throughout her childhood, she had continued to aspire to a future career; she kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in male-dominated careers, including film direction and production, law, advertising, management, and mechanical engineering. She began junior college at Ogontz School in Rydal, Pennsylvania, but did not complete her program.

During Christmas vacation in 1917, Earhart visited her sister in Toronto, Canada, where she saw wounded soldiers returning from World War I. After receiving training as a nurse's aide from the Red Cross, Earhart began working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment at Spadina Military Hospital, where her duties included food preparation for patients with special diets and handing out prescribed medication in the hospital's dispensary. There, Earhart heard stories from military pilots and developed an interest in flying.
In 1918, when the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic reached Toronto, Earhart was engaged in nursing duties that included night shifts at Spadina Military Hospital. In early November that year, she became infected and was hospitalized for pneumonia and maxillary sinusitis. She was discharged in December 1918, about two month later. Her sinus-related symptoms were pain and pressure around one eye, and copious mucus drainage via the nostrils and throat. While staying in the hospital during the pre-antibiotic era, Earhart had painful minor operations to wash out the affected maxillary sinus but these procedures were not successful and her headaches worsened. Earhart's convalescence lasted nearly a year, which she spent at her sister's home in Northampton, Massachusetts. Earhart passed the time reading poetry, learning to play the banjo, and studying mechanics. Chronic sinusitis significantly affected Earhart's flying and other activities in later life, and sometimes she was forced to wear a bandage on her cheek to cover a small drainage tube.
By 1919, Earhart prepared to enter Smith College, where her sister was a student, but she changed her mind and enrolled in a course of medical studies and other programs at Columbia University. Earhart quit her studies a year later to be with her parents, who had reunited in California.

In the early 1920s, Earhart and a young woman friend visited an air fair held in conjunction with the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto; she said: "The interest, aroused in me, in Toronto, led me to all the air circuses in the vicinity." One of the highlights of the day was a flying exhibition put on by a World War I ace. The pilot saw Earhart and her friend, who were watching from an isolated clearing, and dived at them. "I am sure he said to himself, 'Watch me make them scamper,' " she said. Earhart stood her ground as the aircraft came close. "I did not understand it at the time," she said, "but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by."
On December 28, 1920, Earhart and her father attended an "aerial meet" at Daugherty Field in Long Beach, California. She asked her father to ask about passenger flights and flying lessons. Earhart was booked for a passenger flight the following day at Emory Roger's Field, at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. A 10-minute flight with Frank Hawks, who later gained fame as an air racer, cost $10. The ride with Hawkes changed Earhart's life; she said: "By the time I had got two or three hundred feet [60–90 m] off the ground ... I knew I had to fly."

The next month, Earhart engaged Neta Snook to be her flying instructor. The initial contract was for 12 hours of instruction for $500. Working at a variety of jobs, including photographer, truck driver, and stenographer at the local telephone company, Earhart saved $1,000 for flying lessons; she had her first lesson on January 3, 1921, at Kinner Field on the west side of Long Beach Boulevard and Tweedy Road, now in the city of South Gate. For training, Snook used a crash-salvaged Curtiss JN-4 "Canuck" airplane he had restored for training. To reach the airfield, Earhart had to take a bus then walk four miles (6.4 km). Earhart's mother provided part of the $1,000 "stake" against her "better judgement". Earhart cropped her hair short in the style of other female flyers. Six months later, in mid 1921 and against Snook's advice, Earhart purchased a secondhand, chromium yellow Kinner Airster biplane, which she nicknamed "The Canary". After her first successful solo landing, she bought a new leather flying coat. Due to the newness of the coat, she was subjected to teasing, so she aged it by sleeping in it and staining it with aircraft oil.
On October 22, 1922, Earhart flew the Airster to an altitude of 14,000 feet (4,300 m), setting a world record for female pilots. On May 16, 1923, Earhart became the 16th woman in the United States to be issued a pilot's license (#6017) by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

Throughout the early 1920s, following a disastrous investment in a failed gypsum mine, Amelia Earhart's inheritance from her grandmother, which her mother was now administering, steadily diminished until it was exhausted. Consequently, with no immediate prospect of recouping her investment in flying, Earhart sold the Canary and a second Kinner and bought a yellow Kissel Gold Bug "Speedster", a two-seat automobile, and named it "Yellow Peril". Simultaneously, pain from Earhart's old sinus problem worsened, and in early 1924, she was hospitalized for another sinus operation, which was again unsuccessful. She tried a number of ventures that included setting up a photography company.

Following her parents' divorce in 1924, Earhart drove her mother in "Yellow Peril" on a transcontinental trip from California with stops throughout the western United States and northward to Banff, Alberta, Canada. Their journey ended in Boston, Massachusetts, where Earhart underwent another, more-successful sinus operation. After recuperation, she returned to Columbia University for several months but was forced to abandon her studies and any further plans for enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), because her mother could no longer afford the tuition fees and associated costs. In 1925, Earhart found employment first as a teacher, then as a social worker at Denison House, a Boston settlement house. At this time, she lived in Medford, Massachusetts.
When Earhart lived in Medford, she maintained her interest in aviation, becoming a member of the American Aeronautical Society's Boston chapter and eventually being elected its vice president. She flew out of Dennison Airport in Quincy, helped finance the airport's operation by investing a small sum of money, and in 1927, she flew the first official flight out of Dennison Airport. Earhart worked as a sales representative for Kinner Aircraft in the Boston area and wrote local-newspaper columns promoting flying; as her local celebrity grew, Earhart made plans to launch an organization for female flyers.

In 1928, Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane. The project coordinators included publisher and publicist George P. Putnam, who later became her husband. She was a passenger, with the plane flown by Wilmer Stultz and copilot/mechanic Louis Gordon. On June 17, 1928, the team departed from Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland, in a Fokker F.VIIb/3m named "Friendship" and landed at Pwll near Burry Port, South Wales, exactly 20 hours and 40 minutes later. The flight duration became the title to her book about the expedition 20 Hrs. 40 Min.
Earhart had no training on this type of aircraft and did not pilot the plane. When interviewed after landing, she said: "Stultz did all the flying—had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes ... maybe someday I'll try it alone." Despite her feeling she gained international attention from the press and was greeted like a heroine.
On June 19, 1928, Earhart flew to Woolston, Southampton, England, where she received a rousing welcome. She had changed aircraft and flew an Avro Avian 594 Avian III, SN: R3/AV/101 that was owned by Irish aviator Lady Mary Heath, the first woman to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain. Earhart later purchased the aircraft and had it shipped to the United States.
When Stultz, Gordon, and Earhart returned to the United States on July 6, they were greeted with a ticker-tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in Manhattan, followed by a reception with President Calvin Coolidge at the White House.

Earhart became famous, the press dubbed her "Lady Lindy", because of her physical resemblance to the famous male aviator Charles Lindbergh and "Queen of the Air". Immediately after her return to the United States, Earhart undertook an exhausting lecture tour in 1928 and 1929. Putnam had undertaken to heavily promote Earhart in a campaign that included publishing a book she wrote, a series of new lecture tours, and using pictures of her in media endorsements for products including luggage. A Lucky Strike cigarettes endorsement caused McCall's magazine to retract their offer. The money Earhart made from Lucky Strike had been intended to support Richard Evelyn Byrd's imminent expedition to the South Pole.
The marketing campaign by both Earhart and Putnam was successful in establishing the Earhart mystique in the public psyche. Rather than simply endorsing the products, Earhart became involved in the promotions, especially in women's fashions. The "active living" lines that were sold in stores such as Macy's were an expression of Earhart's new image. Her concept of simple, natural lines matched with wrinkle-proof, washable materials was the embodiment of a sleek, purposeful, but feminine "A.E.", the familiar name she used with family and friends. Celebrity endorsements helped Earhart finance her flying.

Earhart accepted a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan and used it to campaign for greater public acceptance of aviation, especially focusing on the role of women entering the field. In 1929, Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) appointed Earhart and Margaret Bartlett Thornton to promote air travel, particularly for women, and Earhart helped set up the Ludington Airline, the first regional shuttle service between New York and Washington, D.C. Earhart was appointed Vice President of National Airways, which operated Boston-Maine Airways and several other airlines in the northeastern US, and by 1940 had become Northeast Airlines. In 1934, Earhart interceded on behalf of Isabel Ebel, who had helped Earhart in 1932, to be accepted as the first woman student of aeronautical engineering at New York University (NYU).

In August 1928, Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the North American continent and back. Her piloting skills and professionalism gradually grew, and she was acknowledged by experienced professional pilots who flew with her. General Leigh Wade, who flew with Earhart in 1929, said: "She was a born flier, with a delicate touch on the stick."
Earhart made her first attempt at competitive air racing in 1929 during the first Santa Monica-to-Cleveland Women's Air Derby (nicknamed the "Powder Puff Derby" by Will Rogers), which left Santa Monica, California, on August 18 and arrived at Cleveland, Ohio, on August 26. During the race, Earhart settled into fourth place in the "heavy planes" division. At the second-to-last stop at Columbus, Earhart's friend Ruth Nichols, who was in third place, had an accident; her aircraft hit a tractor and flipped over, forcing her out of the race. At Cleveland, Earhart was placed third in the heavy division.
In 1930, Earhart became an official of the National Aeronautic Association, and in this role, she promoted the establishment of separate women's records and was instrumental in persuading the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) to accept a similar international standard. On April 8, 1931, Earhart set a world altitude record of 18,415 feet (5,613 m) flying a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro she borrowed from the Beech-Nut Chewing Gum company.
During this period, Earhart became involved with Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots providing moral support and advancing the cause of women in aviation. In 1929, following the Women's Air Derby, Earhart called a meeting of female pilots. She suggested the name based on the number of the charter members, and became the organization's first president in 1930. Earhart was a vigorous advocate for female pilots; when the 1934 Bendix Trophy Race banned women from competing, Earhart refused to fly screen actor Mary Pickford to Cleveland to open the race.

Earhart was engaged to Samuel Chapman, a chemical engineer from Boston; she broke off the engagement on November 23, 1928. During the same period, Earhart and publisher George P. Putnam spent a great deal of time together. Putnam, who was known as GP, was divorced in 1929 and sought out Earhart, proposing to her six times before she agreed to marry him. They married on February 7, 1931, in Putnam's mother's house in Noank, Connecticut. Earhart referred to her marriage as a "partnership" with "dual control"; in a letter to Putnam and hand-delivered to him on the day of the wedding, she wrote:
I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any midaevil [sic] code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly ... I may have to keep some place where I can go to be by myself, now and then, for I cannot guarantee to endure at all times the confinement of even an attractive cage.
Earhart's ideas on marriage were liberal for the time; she believed in equal responsibilities for both breadwinners and kept her own name rather than being referred to as "Mrs. Putnam". When The New York Times referred to her as "Mrs. Putnam", she laughed it off. Putnam also learned he would be called "Mr. Earhart". There was no honeymoon for the couple because Earhart was involved in a nine-day, cross-country tour promoting autogyros and the tour's sponsor Beech-Nut chewing gum. Earhart and Putnam never had children but Putnam had two sons—the explorer and writer David Binney Putnam (1913–1992), and George Palmer Putnam, Jr. (1921–2013)—from his previous marriage to Dorothy Binney (1888–1982), an heir to her father's chemical company Binney & Smith.

On May 20, 1932, 34-year-old Earhart set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, with a copy of the Telegraph-Journal, given to her by journalist Stuart Trueman to confirm the date of the flight. She intended to fly to Paris in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5B to emulate Charles Lindbergh's solo flight five years earlier. Her technical advisor for the flight was the Norwegian-American aviator Bernt Balchen, who helped prepare her aircraft and played the role of "decoy" for the press because he was ostensibly preparing Earhart's Vega for his own Arctic flight. After a flight lasting 14 hours, 56 minutes, during which she contended with strong northerly winds, icy conditions and mechanical problems, Earhart landed in a pasture at Culmore, north of Derry, Northern Ireland. The landing was witnessed by Cecil King and T. Sawyer. When a farm hand asked, "Have you flown far?" Earhart replied, "From America."
As the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic, Earhart received the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Herbert Hoover. As her fame grew, Earhart developed friendships with many people in high offices, most notably First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who shared many of Earhart's interests, especially women's causes. After flying with Earhart, Roosevelt obtained a student permit but did not further pursue her plans to learn to fly. Earhart and Roosevelt frequently communicated with each other. Another flyer, Jacqueline Cochran, who was said to be Earhart's rival, also became her confidante during this period.

On January 11, 1935, Earhart became the first aviator to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. This time, Earhart used a Lockheed 5C Vega. Although many aviators had attempted this transoceanic route, notably by the unfortunate participants in the 1927 Dole Air Race that had reversed the route, Earhart's flight had been mainly routine with no mechanical breakdowns. In her final hours, she relaxed and listened to "the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera from New York".
On April 19, 1935, using her Lockheed Vega aircraft that she had named "old Bessie, the fire horse", Earhart flew solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City. Earhart's next record attempt was a nonstop flight from Mexico City to New York. After she set off on May 8, her flight was uneventful, although large crowds that greeted her at Newark, New Jersey, were a concern, because she had to be careful not to taxi into them.
Earhart again participated in the 1935 Bendix Trophy long-distance air race, finishing fifth, the best result she could manage because her stock Lockheed Vega, whose maximum speed was 195 mph (314 km/h), was outclassed by purpose-built aircraft that reached more than 300 mph (480 km/h). The race had been difficult because a competitor, Cecil Allen, died in a fire at takeoff, and Jacqueline Cochran was forced to pull out due to mechanical problems. In addition, "blinding fog" and violent thunderstorms plagued the race.
Between 1930 and 1935, Earhart set seven women's speed-and-distance aviation records in a variety of aircraft, including the Kinner Airster, Lockheed Vega, and Pitcairn Autogiro. By 1935, recognizing the limitations of her "lovely red Vega" in long, transoceanic flights, Earhart contemplated a new "prize ... one flight which I most wanted to attempt—a circumnavigation of the globe as near its waistline as could be." For the new venture, she would need a new aircraft.

In late November 1934, while Earhart was away on a speaking tour, a fire broke out at the Putnam residence in Rye, destroying many family treasures and Earhart's personal mementos. Putnam had already sold his interest in the New York-based publishing company to his cousin Palmer Putnam. Following the fire, the couple decided to move to the west coast, where Putnam took up his new position as head of the editorial board of Paramount Pictures in North Hollywood.
At Earhart's urging, in June 1935, Putnam purchased a small house in Toluca Lake, a San Fernando Valley celebrity enclave community between the Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures studio complexes, where they had earlier rented a temporary residence. Before moving into their new home, Earhart and Putnam spent several months remodeling and enlarging the existing small building to meet their needs.
In September 1935, Earhart and Paul Mantz established a business partnership they had been considering since late 1934, and established the short-lived Earhart-Mantz Flying School, which Mantz controlled and operated through his aviation company United Air Services, which was based at Burbank Airport. Putnam handled publicity for the school, which primarily taught instrument flying using Link Trainers. Also in 1935, Earhart joined Purdue University as a visiting faculty member to counsel women on careers and as a technical advisor to its Department of Aeronautics.

Early in 1936, Earhart started planning to fly around the world; if she succeeded, she would become the first woman to do so. Although others had flown around the world, Earhart's flight would be the longest at 29,000 miles (47,000 km) because it followed a roughly equatorial route. Earhart planned to court publicity along the route to increase interest in a planned book about the expedition.
Purdue University established the Amelia Earhart Fund for Aeronautical Research and gave $50,000 to fund the purchase of a Lockheed Electra 10E airplane. In July 1936, Lockheed Aircraft Company built the airplane, which was fitted with extra fuel tanks and other extensive modifications. Earhart dubbed the twin-engine monoplane her "flying laboratory". The plane was built at Lockheed's plant in Burbank, California, and after delivery, it was hangared at the nearby Mantz's United Air Services.
Earhart chose Harry Manning as her navigator; he had been the captain of the President Roosevelt, the ship that had transported Earhart from Europe in 1928. Manning was also a pilot and a skilled radio operator who knew Morse code.

The original plan was a two-person crew: Earhart would fly and Manning would navigate. During a flight across the US that included Earhart, Manning, and Putnam, Earhart flew using landmarks; she and Putnam knew where they were. Manning did a navigation fix that alarmed Putnam, because Manning made a minor navigational error that put them in the wrong state; they were flying close to the state line, but Putnam was still concerned. Sometime later, Putnam and Mantz arranged a night flight to test Manning's navigational skill. Under poor navigational conditions, Manning's position was off by 20 miles (32 km). Elgen M. and Marie K. Long consider Manning's performance reasonable, because it was within an acceptable error of 30 miles (48 km), but Mantz and Putnam wanted a better navigator.
Through contacts in the Los Angeles aviation community, Fred Noonan was chosen as a second navigator, because there were significant additional factors that had to be dealt with while using celestial navigation for aircraft. Noonan, a licensed ship's captain, was experienced in both marine and flight navigation; he had recently left Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), where he established most of the company's China Clipper seaplane routes across the Pacific. Noonan had also been responsible for training Pan American's navigators to fly the route between San Francisco and Manila. Under the original plans, Noonan would navigate from Hawaii to Howland Island—a difficult portion of the flight—then Manning would continue with Earhart to Australia, and she would proceed on her own for the remainder of the project.

On March 17, 1937, Earhart and her crew set out on the first leg of her round-the-world flight, but they abandoned this attempt after a non-fatal crash that damaged the aircraft. The first leg of this attempt was between Oakland, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The crew were Earhart, Noonan, Manning, and Mantz, who was acting as Earhart's technical advisor. Due to problems with the propeller hubs' variable pitch mechanisms, the aircraft needed servicing and was taken to the United States Navy's Luke Field facility at Pearl Harbor. The flight resumed three days later from Luke Field, with Earhart, Noonan and Manning on board. The next destination was Howland Island, a small island in the Pacific. Manning, the radio operator, had made arrangements to use radio direction finding to home in to the island. The flight never left Luke Field; during the takeoff run, there was an uncontrolled ground-loop, the forward landing gear collapsed, both propellers hit the ground, and the plane skidded on its belly. The cause of the crash is not known; some witnesses at Luke Field, including an Associated Press journalist, said they saw a tire blow. Earhart earlier thought the Electra's right tire had blown and the right landing gear had collapsed. Some sources, including Mantz, cited an error by Earhart. With the aircraft severely damaged, the attempt was abandoned and the aircraft was shipped to Lockheed Burbank, California, for repairs.

While the Electra was being repaired, Earhart and Putnam secured additional funds and prepared for a second attempt, in which they would fly west to east. The second attempt began with an unpublicized flight from Oakland to Miami, Florida, and after arriving there, Earhart announced her plans to circumnavigate the globe. The flight's opposite direction was partly the result of changes in global wind-and-weather patterns along the planned route since the earlier attempt.
Manning, the only skilled radio operator, had left the crew, which now consisted of Noonan and Earhart. The pair departed Miami on June 1 and after numerous stops in South America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Southeast Asia, arrived at Lae, New Guinea, on June 29, 1937. At this stage, about 22,000 miles (35,000 km) of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7,000 miles (11,000 km) would be over the Pacific.

On July 2, 1937, at 10:00 am local time (12:00 am GMT), Earhart and Noonan took off from Lae Airfield in the heavily loaded Electra. Their destination was Howland Island, a flat sliver of land 6,500 ft (2,000 m) long and 1,600 ft (500 m) wide, 10 ft (3 m) high and 2,556 miles (2,221 nmi; 4,113 km) away. The expected flying time was about 20 hours; accounting for the two-hour time-zone difference between Lae and Howland, and the crossing of the International Date Line, the aircraft was expected to arrive at Howland the morning of the next day, 2 July. The aircraft departed Lae with about 1,100 U.S. gallons (4,200 liters) of gasoline.
In preparation for the trip to Howland Island, the U.S. Coast Guard had sent the cutter USCGC Itasca (1929) to the island to offer communication and navigation support for the flight. The cutter was to communicate with Earhart's aircraft via radio, transmit a homing signal to help the aviators locate Howland Island, use radio direction-finding (RDF), and use the cutter's boilers to create a dark column of smoke that could be seen over the horizon. All of the navigation methods failed to guide Earhart to Howland Island.
Around 3 pm Lae time, Earhart reported her altitude as 10,000 ft (3,000 m), but that they would reduce altitude due to thick clouds. Around 5 pm, Earhart reported her altitude as 7,000 ft (2,100 m) and speed as 150 kn (280 km/h; 170 mph). During Earhart's and Noonan's approach to Howland Island, Itasca received strong, clear voice transmissions from Earhart identifying as KHAQQ, but she was unable to hear voice transmissions from the ship.
The first calls received from Earhart were routine reports stating the weather was cloudy and overcast at 2:45 am and just before 5 am on July 2. These calls were broken up by static, but at this point, the aircraft was a long distance from Howland. At 6:14 am, another call was received stating that the aircraft was within 200 miles (320 km) and requesting that the ship use its direction finder to provide a bearing for the aircraft. Earhart began whistling into the microphone to provide a continuous signal for the ship's crew to use. At this point, the radio operators on Itasca realized their RDF system could not tune into the aircraft's signal on 3105 kHz; radioman Leo Bellarts later commented he "was sitting there sweating blood because I couldn't do a darn thing about it". A similar call asking for a bearing was received at 6:45 am, when Earhart estimated they were 100 miles (160 km) away.
An Itasca radio log at 7:30–7:40 am states the aircraft had only a half hour of fuel remaining. A further radio log states they thought they were near Itasca but could not locate it and were flying at 1,000 ft (300 m). In her transmission at 7:58 am, Earhart said she could not hear Itasca and asked them to send voice signals so she could try to take a radio bearing. Itasca reported this signal as the loudest possible signal, indicating Earhart and Noonan were in the immediate area. The ship could not send voice at the frequency she asked for so they sent Morse code signals instead. Earhart acknowledged receiving these but said she was unable to determine their direction.

The last voice transmission received on Howland Island from Earhart indicated she and Noonan were flying along a line of position running north-to-south on 157–337 degrees, which Noonan would have calculated and drawn on a chart as passing through Howland. After all contact with Howland Island was lost, attempts to reach the flyers with voice and Morse code transmissions were made. Operators across the Pacific and in the United States may have heard signals from the Electra but these were weak or unintelligible.
A series of misunderstandings, errors or mechanical failures are likely to have occurred on the final approach to Howland Island. Noonan had earlier written about problems affecting the accuracy of RDF in navigation. Another cited cause of possible confusion was that Itasca and Earhart planned their communication schedule using time systems set a half-hour apart; Earhart was using Greenwich Civil Time (GCT) and Itasca was using a Naval time-zone designation system.
Sources have noted Earhart's apparent lack of understanding of her direction-finding system, which had been fitted to the aircraft just prior to the flight. The system was equipped with a new receiver from Bendix Corporation. Earhart's only training on the system was a brief introduction by Joe Gurr at the Lockheed factory. A card displaying the antenna's band settings was mounted so it was not visible. The Electra expected Itasca to transmit signals the Electra could use as an RDF beacon to find the ship. In theory, the plane could listen for the signal while rotating its loop antenna; a sharp minimum indicates the direction of the RDF beacon. The Electra's RDF equipment had failed due to a blown fuse during an earlier leg flying to Darwin; the fuse was replaced. Near Howland, Earhart could hear the transmission from Itasca on 7500 kHz, but she was unable to determine a minimum so she could not determine a direction to the ship. Earhart was also unable to determine a minimum during an RDF test at Lae.

The U.S. government investigated the aircraft's disappearance and, in its report, concluded Earhart's plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean. During the 1970s, retired United States Navy (USN) captain Laurance Safford began a lengthy analysis of the flight. His research included the intricate radio-transmission documentation. Safford concluded the flight had suffered from poor planning and worse execution.
Many researchers believe Earhart and Noonan died during or shortly after the crash. In 1982, retired USN rear admiral Richard R. Black, who was in administrative charge of the Howland Island airstrip and was present in the radio room on Itasca, said: "the Electra went into the sea about 10 am, July 2, 1937, not far from Howland." Earhart's stepson George Palmer Putnam Jr. has said he believes "the plane just ran out of gas". According to Earhart-biography author Susan Butler, the aircraft went into the ocean out of sight of Howland Island and rests on the seafloor at a depth of 17,000 ft (5 km). Tom D. Crouch, senior curator of the National Air and Space Museum, has said the Electra is "18,000 ft. down" and compared its archaeological significance to that of RMS Titanic.
British aviation historian Roy Nesbit interpreted evidence in contemporary accounts and Putnam's correspondence and concluded Earhart's Electra was not fully fueled at Lae. William L. Polhemous, the navigator on Ann Pellegreno's 1967 flight that followed Earhart and Noonan's original flight path, studied navigational tables for July 2, 1937, and thought Noonan may have miscalculated the "single line approach" to Howland.

Beginning approximately one hour after Earhart's last recorded message, Itasca undertook an unsuccessful search north and west of Howland Island based on initial assumptions about transmissions from the aircraft. The U.S. Navy joined the search and over about three days sent available resources to the search area near Howland Island. Official search efforts lasted until July 19, 1937. At $4 million, the air-and-sea search by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard was the costliest and most-intensive in U.S. history up to that time. Despite the unprecedented search, no physical evidence of Earhart, Noonan, or the Electra 10E was found.
On the mornings of July 3 and July 6, 1937, an Oakland radio amateur was reported to have heard emergency transmissions, seemingly from Earhart. In the days after their last confirmed transmissions, further transmissions purporting to be from Earhart were reported, many of which were determined to be hoaxes. The captain of USS Colorado later said: "There was no doubt many stations calling the Earhart plane on the plane's frequency, some by voice and others by signals. All of these added to the confusion and doubtfulness of the authenticity of the reports."
Immediately after the end of the official search, Putnam financed a private search by local authorities of nearby Pacific islands and waters. In late July 1937, Putnam chartered two small boats and, while he remained in the United States, directed a search of other islands. Putnam acted to become the trustee of Earhart's estate so he could pay for the searches and related bills. In probate court in Los Angeles, Putnam asked to have the "declared death in absentia" seven-year waiting period waived so he could manage Earhart's finances. As a result, Earhart was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939.
In 2003 and 2006, David Jourdan, through his company Nauticos, extensively searched a 1,200-square-mile (3,100 km2) area north and west of Howland Island with deep-sea sonar devices. The searches cost $4.5 million but did not find any wreckage. The search locations were derived from the line of position (157–337) broadcast by Earhart on July 2, 1937.
In 2024, Deep Sea Vision, a Charleston, South Carolina, company that operates unmanned underwater vehicles, found via sonar what it said are the remains of an airplane on the ocean floor. The object, which is shaped like an Electra, was detected 16,000 ft (4.9 km) underwater and within 100 mi (160 km) of Howland Island. More exploration is necessary to confirm whether this is Earhart's missing aircraft.

While most historians believe Earhart crashed and sank in the Pacific Ocean, a number of other possibilities have been proposed, including several conspiracy theories. The Gardner Island hypothesis supposes Earhart and Noonan were unable to find Howland Island and continued south. Gardner island, one of the Phoenix Islands that is now known as Nikumaroro, has been the subject of inquiry as a possible crash-landing site but, despite numerous expeditions, no link between Earhart and the island has ever been found.
The Japanese capture theory assumes Japanese forces captured Earhart and Noonan after they navigated to the Japanese South Seas Mandate. A number of Earhart's relatives have been convinced the Japanese were somehow involved in her disappearance, citing unnamed witnesses including Japanese troops and Saipan natives. The theory is based entirely on oral histories and no verified physical evidence has ever been found.
The New Britain theory assumes Earhart turned back mid-flight and tried to reach the airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, northeast of mainland Papua New Guinea, approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km) from Howland Island. In 1990, Donald Angwin, a veteran of the Australian Army's World War II New Britain campaign, reported in 1945 he had seen a wrecked aircraft in the jungle that may have been Earhart's Electra. Subsequent searches of the area failed to find any wreckage.
In November 2006, National Geographic Channel aired an episode of its series Undiscovered History that supposed Earhart survived the world flight, changed her name, remarried, and became Irene Craigmile Bolam. This claim had originally been published in the book Amelia Earhart Lives (1970), which is based on the research of Joseph Gervais. Shortly after the book's publication, Bolam filed a lawsuit requesting $1.5 million in damages and the book's publisher McGraw-Hill withdrew it from the market; court records indicate the company reached an out-of-court settlement with her.

Countless tributes and memorials have been made in Amelia Earhart's name, including a 2012 tribute by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said at a State Department event celebrating the ties of Earhart and the United States to its Pacific neighbors: "Earhart ... created a legacy that resonates today for anyone, girls and boys, who dreams of the stars". In 2013, Flying magazine ranked Earhart No. 9 on its list of the "51 Heroes of Aviation".
Earhart was a widely known, international celebrity during her lifetime. Her shyly charismatic appeal, independence, persistence, coolness under pressure, courage and goal-oriented career, along with the circumstances of her disappearance at a comparatively early age, have driven her lasting fame in popular culture. Hundreds of articles and scores of books have been written about her life, which is often cited as a motivational tale, especially for girls. Earhart is generally regarded as a feminist icon.
Earhart's accomplishments in aviation inspired a generation of female aviators, including more-than 1,000 women pilots of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), who served during World War II.
The home where Earhart was born is now the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and is maintained by Ninety-Nines, an international group of female pilots of which Earhart was the first elected president. The Amelia Earhart Festival has taken place in Atchison, Kansas, every year since 1996.

In 1967, Ann Pellegreno flew a similar aircraft to Earhart's, a Lockheed 10A Electra, to complete a round-the-world flight that followed Earhart's flight plan. On the 30th anniversary of her disappearance, Pellegreno dropped a wreath over Howland island in Earhart's honor.
In 1997, on the 60th anniversary of Earhart's round-the-world flight, San Antonio businesswoman Linda Finch retraced the final flight path, flying a restored 1935 Lockheed Electra 10, the same make and model of aircraft as Earhart's.
In 2001, another commemorative flight retraced the route Earhart flew in her August 1928 transcontinental record flight; Carlene Mendieta flew an original Avro Avian, the same type of aircraft that was used in 1928.

In 1942, a United States Liberty ship named SS Amelia Earhart was launched; it was wrecked in 1948. USNS Amelia Earhart was named in her honor in May 2007.
In 1964, Purdue University opened Earhart Hall in honor of her legacy and contribution to the University during her time as a career counselor for female students and technical advisor for the aeronautics department. In 2009, Purdue erected a bronze statue of Earhart holding a propeller in front of the residence hall named after her. The University board recently approved plans to name the new Purdue University Airport terminal the Amelia Earhart Terminal.

The Earhart Light, also known as the Amelia Earhart Light, is a navigational day beacon on Howland Island, where she was due to land before she went missing. It is no longer operational. Amelia Earhart Airport in Atchison, Kansas, was named in her honor.
Amelia Earhart Dam on Mystic River in eastern Massachusetts is named in her honor. The "Earhart Tree" on Banyan Drive in Hilo, Hawaii, was planted by Earhart in 1935.

The Amelia Earhart Commemorative Stamp (8¢ airmail postage) was issued in 1963 by the United States Postmaster-General.
Earhart was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992.
A full-sized bronze statue of Amelia Earhart was placed at the Spirit of Flight Center in Lafayette, Colorado, in 2008. A statue by Ernest Shelton was erected circa 1971 in Los Angeles, California.
A small section of Earhart's Lockheed Electra starboard engine nacelle that was recovered following the March 1937 Hawaii crash has been confirmed as authentic and is now regarded as a control piece that will help authenticate possible future discoveries.

Amelia Earhart's life has been the subject of many writers; the following examples are given although many other mentions have also occurred in contemporaneous or current media:

In the 2021 alternate history novella Or Even Eagle Flew by Harry Turtledove, Earhart does not go missing in 1937 and later joins the Eagle Squadrons of the British Royal Air Force to fight against the Nazis in World War II.
The events surrounding Earhart and Noonan's disappearance are dramatized in the 1996 novel I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn.
In 2011, the Great Canadian Theatre Company hosted a musical play titled Amelia: The Girl Who Wants To Fly. This is one of numerous plays on the subject.

The Rosalind Russell film Flight for Freedom (1943) was derived from a treatment of "Stand by to Die", a fictionalized treatment of Earhart's life.
"Amelia Earhart: The Price of Courage" (1993) is an American Experience television documentary.
Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight (1994) starring Diane Keaton, Rutger Hauer, and Bruce Dern, was initially released as a television movie and subsequently rereleased as a theatrical feature.
The events surrounding Earhart and Noonan's disappearance are dramatized in the science fiction television show Star Trek: Voyager, episode "The 37's" (1995), with Sharon Lawrence portraying Earhart.
In the biopic film Amelia (2009), Earhart is portrayed by Hilary Swank.

Possibly the first tribute album dedicated to the legend of Earhart was by Plainsong, In Search of Amelia Earhart (Elektra K42120), released in 1972. Both the album and the Press Pak released by Elektra are highly prized by collectors and have gained a cult status.
Singer Joni Mitchell's song "Amelia" appears on her album Hejira (1976) and it also features in the video of her 1980 live album Shadows and Light (1980) with clips of Earhart. Commenting on the origins of the song, which interweaves the story of a desert journey with aspects of Earhart's disappearance, Mitchell said: "I was thinking of Amelia Earhart and addressing it from one solo pilot to another ... sort of reflecting on the cost of being a woman and having something you must do".
The band Public Service Broadcasting announced on July 9 2024 a new disc The Last Flight to be published on October 4 of that same year and based on the fatal last adventure of Amelia Earhart.

Lego produced a limited run of Amelia's "Little Red Bus" Lego Model Number 40450.
Earhart was one of several inspiring women who are represented in a line of Barbie dolls introduced on March 6, 2018.
In episode 2 of Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space the titular duo meet a baby version of Amelia Earhart on Easter Island, who is still alive thanks to the local Fountain of Youth. In episode 2 of Season 3, The Devil's Playhouse the ancestors of Sam & Max meet Amelia Earhart when she was still a child.

Woman's world altitude record: 14,000 ft (1922)
First woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean (1928)
Speed records for 100 km (and with 500 lb (230 kg) cargo) (1931)
First woman to fly an autogyro (1931)
Altitude record for autogyros: 18,415 ft (1931)
First woman to cross the United States in an autogyro (1931)
First woman to fly the Atlantic solo (1932)
First person to fly the Atlantic twice (1932)
First woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross (1932)
First woman to fly nonstop, coast-to-coast across the U.S. (1932)
Women's speed transcontinental record (1933)
First person to fly solo between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Oakland, California (1935)
First person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico City (1935)
First person to fly solo nonstop from Mexico City to Newark, New Jersey (1935)
Speed record for east-to-west flight from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii (1937)
First person to fly solo from the Red Sea to Karachi (1937)

Earhart was a successful and heavily promoted writer who served as aviation editor for Cosmopolitan from 1928 to 1930. She wrote magazine articles, newspaper columns, and essays, and published two books based upon her experiences as a flyer during her lifetime:

20 Hrs. 40 Min. (1928) is a journal of her experiences as the first woman passenger on a transatlantic flight.
The Fun of It (1932) is a memoir of her flying experiences and an essay on women in aviation.
Last Flight (1937) features the periodic journal entries she sent to the United States during her round-the-world flight attempt, and was published in newspapers in the weeks prior to her departure from New Guinea. The journal was compiled by Earhart's husband GP Putnam after her disappearance over the Pacific. Many historians consider this book to be only partially Earhart's original work.

The Official Website of Amelia Earhart (The Family of Amelia Earhart)
Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum
Records Relating to Amelia Earhart – National Archives
George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at Purdue University Libraries
General Correspondence: Earhart, Amelia, 1932–1934, The Wilbur and Orville Wright