Amelia Earhart

(1898—1937) American aviator

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US aviator who, in 1932, became the first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight.

Born in Atchison, Kansas, Earhart served with the Canadian Red Cross during World War I. Later she studied at Columbia University and worked as a social worker in Boston. In June 1928 she became the first woman passenger to make the transatlantic flight on a trip from Newfoundland to south Wales. She married the publisher George P. Putnam in 1931. On 20 May the following year she set out from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, on a solo flight across the Atlantic. Her single-engined Lockheed Vega landed in Londonderry 13¼ hours later and she became an instant celebrity in Europe and the USA. In September 1932 she followed this success by becoming the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the USA, taking 19 hrs 4 mins between Los Angeles and Newark, New Jersey. Earhart made several other long-distance flights and on 1 June 1937 she left Miami, Florida, accompanied by navigator Fred Noonan, in a Lockheed Electra on the first stage of a round-the-world flight. On 2 July they took off from Lac, New Guinea, heading for Howland Island in the Pacific. They were never seen again.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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