Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) is perhaps the most famous female pilot in American history. Among her many ‘firsts,’ her solo flights across the Atlantic and across the North American continent brought her stardom. She was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross from Congress for her transatlantic flight. In addition to her prolific career in flight, Amelia served as a nurse during World War I and as a women’s career counselor at Purdue University. A true feminist, she believed in equal opportunities for women and through her achievements, became an inspiration for girls everywhere. When Amelia mysteriously disappeared during her 1937 attempt to fly around the world, the nation mourned her loss.
In a letter before her last flight, Amelia wrote,
“Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”