Life and Legacy of Amelia Earhart

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

The young Amelia Earhart was a brave and adventurous young woman who became the talk of the world after being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She later challenged herself to be the first person to fly across the globe, but sadly stunned millions when she didn’t return. Her body was never recovered and much speculation about her death is still being talked about today.

Amelia Earhart, America’s most famous aviatrix, or as she was referred to in her time, the greatest female flyer, was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897. The daughter of Samuel “Edwin” Earhart and Amelia Amy Odis Earhart and older sister to Grace. As a natural leader and an adventure seeker, Amelia “and her younger sister, Grace “Pidge,” would explore their neighborhood, climbing trees and using rifles to hunt rats” (Shaw 35) as Amelia was a tomboy. Because her father was a lawyer for the railroads, Amelia’s family was constantly on the move, moving from city to city, as his job required. In 1908, a year after Amelia’s father moved to Des Moines, Iowa required by his work, the family joined him and while there, Amelia saw her first plane. Airplanes were in their infancy and the wood wired vehicle did not appeal to her at all. By 1913, the family was on the move once again, this time to St. Paul Minnesota, where Edwin was hired to freak clerk far cry from his once successful days as a claim attorney wasn’t long until his drinking caused him to lose his position. Amelia’s mother decided it was time to protect her family from the hardships of Edwin’s unemployment, on the move once again, without their father, the girls went to Chicago and lived with friends. The Earharts had now separated. Amelia Earhart graduated high school from High Park Highschool in Chicago in 1916, but she had attended six high schools prior to her senior year.

Amelia was an exceptional student. During her troubled childhood, Amelia was a serious student as well as a collector. She kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings of famous women. The scrapbook detailed the achievements of the contemporaries and historical figures. She collected stories about authors, play directors, female explorers, fire lookouts, physicians, phycologists. Amelia’s caption in her high school yearbook read, “The Girl Who Walks Alone”. Upon graduation from High Park High school, Amelia entered the all-girls school in, O gAunt, in Rhino Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1916. During Christmas in 1917, Amelia visited her sister in Toronto. This visit would have a profound effect on Amelia’s future. World War I was in full gear at this time. In Toronto was a base hospital for the wounded soldiers coming back from the western front. The site of amputee soldiers hobbling down Toronto’s streets froze in her mind and the atrocities and horror mankind inflicted on one another changed her life forever. It was here that she became a pacifist and throughout her life she would lecture about the horrors of war.

Contemplating her studies at o Gaunt she now believed that she must be of some significance in the world. She wrote to her mother, “There, for the first time, I realized what world war meant. Instead of new uniforms and brass bands, I saw the results of four years of desperate struggles, men without arms and legs, men who were paralyzed, and men who were blind. I’d like to stay here and help on the hospital. I can’t bear the thought of going back to school and being so useless. Contemplating becoming a physician, Amelia left o gaunt and returned to Toronto. She took a Red Cross first aid class and as a voluntary aid, she began working at the Spadina military hospital. Her attitude encouraged to help the amputees and disabled soldiers at Spadina military hospital could be summed up by her, “Better do a good deed near home than to go far away to burn incense”. She worked long hours where she met many injured combat pilots and developed a camaraderie with them while listening to their experiences and adventures in the air, she was fascinated by the tales of the wounded pilots. It was while in Toronto at the end of world war I, that she developed an overriding interest in flying.

During the airshow, pilots would perform their aerial tricks and on one occasion, a pilot bill toward the crowd, sending the wide-eyed masses running before he pulled up all but Amelia she would hold her ground unafraid as a pilot pulled out of his dive. She later said about this time in Toronto, “I believe in the winter of 1918, I became interested in airplanes, though I had seen one or two at country fairs before I now saw many of them as officers were being trained I …. In 1920, Amelia withdrew from Columbia Medical School and went to Los Angeles California to be with her parents. While in Los Angeles, her father took her to an airshow, and it was there that she decided to fly. At the airshow, she convinced her father to ask a piolet to take her up in a plane, he was sure that one ride would be enough to convince her that flying was not for her. The engine roared as a plane left the ground and headed over the Pacific Ocean piloted by Frank Hawks, a famous aviator, who was to hold many airspeed records, Amelia was thrilled with the excitement of the spend and power of the aircraft. She was hooked. This joy hop, as she referred to later, was what Amelia has been waiting for her whole life. She now knew what she wanted to be. There would be no going back to medical school. Flying lessons were incredibly expensive in 1921.

The rate puts $1 a minute. Having to pay for lessons herself, she was determined to follow her passion. Amelia took a job with the local telephone company as a stenographer. Working during the week and taking flying lessons on the weekends. Although there were few women pilots in 1921, Amelia was sure she wanted a female instructor.


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