“Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” ― Amelia Earhart
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. To this day, it is still a mystery as to what happened to her and her navigator Fred Noonan when they disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. This was to be the ultimate challenge of an equatorial around-the-world airplane flight. Recent headlines state to a possible renewed search for the remains of the famous aviator and her twin-engine Lockheed Electra airplane. There are many theories and speculations as to what might have happened, but nothing has led to the recovery of the plane or the two individuals onboard.
I’ve always been interested in the Amelia Earhart story … mostly because my mother spoke of her adventures when I was a young child. She, too, had been captivated by Amelia’s courageous undertakings.
Earhart was the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean by airplane (1928), the second person and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932), the first person to fly solo across the Pacific between California and Hawaii (1935), and the first woman to compete in the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio (1935).1
Amelia did what no other woman (and few men) dared to do. To me, she was an American hero. Her daring spirit of adventure and courage inspired many. She didn’t hold back. She pursued her dreams and sought to break barriers others saw as limiting human potential.
Earhart hoped that her high profile success would inspire other young women to live to their full potential. She hoped her example of courage, intelligence, and self-reliance would help topple negative stereotypes about women, opening new doors to women in every field.2
I’ve heard it said that Amelia was a woman of three centuries, born in the nineteenth, pioneered in the twentieth, with her ideals and dreams relevant today. That’s inspiring!
Eric Gillespie, the Director of International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, in a recent interview said, “We’ll do our best to find Amelia. During the painful recovery from the Great Depression, Amelia Earhart inspired America with her courage and determination. America needs Amelia again.”3
In 1935, Amelia was appointed consultant in the department for the study of careers for women at Purdue University. “Flying certainly attracted Earhart to Purdue but she also took her job to help woman prepare for careers very seriously. She handed out a survey and found 92% of the woman on campus wanted a career. Her job was to help their dreams take flight…Her statue on the campus calls her an inspirer of dreams, mentor and aviator.”4
Amelia Earhart’s story is quite amazing and truly inspiring for all generations. Her vision has inspired many to not just dream but to take risks and act on those dreams. Just as my mother (whose name was Amelia) shared this story with me, I, too, plan to share this story with my daughters in the hopes they’ll share it with their children someday.
Who has inspired you to take risk in your professional or personal life?
For more information on Amelia Earhart, visit the official website here: http://www.ameliaearhart.com/