Celebrating 75 Years of Amelia Earhart
It was 75 years ago today that pilot Amelia Earhart disappeared in flight between Lae, New Guinea, and Howland Island. We remember her as a travel trailblazer and one of the world’s original jetsetters.
Amelia championed the journey more than the destination. Fated to be a housewife, Amelia was dealt a few lucky cards (her “pistol” good looks, an unconditionally supportive husband of the Putnam publishing family and her high social prestige), that afforded her the chance to voyage territories — from Senegal to Calcutta — many women of her time or social class would never see.
In the air, Earhart exercised her solitude, but on land, she was a socialite who commingled with the likes of Fred Noonan, her navigator, and Miss Clara Livingston, a fellow female airwoman who shared Earhart’s fearless ambition and often accompanied her as co-pilot.
Her most vulnerable moments and profound observations were from the air. According to one of her journal entries published in Last Flight, Earhart wrote, “Above us towered cumulus turrets, mushrooming miraculously and cast into endless designs by the lights and shadows of the lowering sun.”
Earhart covered a total of 22,000 miles and 15 countries in less than two months, and then she was gone. Although there are many myths surrounding Earhart’s disappearance, many believe she and Noonan spent their final months on Nikumaroro Island in the Western Pacific.
By Marley Gibbons