"Happy landings to you, Amelia Earhart; Farewell, First Lady
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aside from the spoofish Spanky and our Gang LIVE album track, "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight," and the obvious facts (the tomboyish aviatrix's plane vanished in the South Pacific), my knowledge of this early feminist was scant. A fast-moving and most interesting one-hour A&E BIOGRAPHY episode bearing her name has filled in a lot of gray for me.
Things I didn't know:
She was the daughter of Samuel 'Edwin' Stanton Earhart and Amelia 'Amy' Otis Earhart. Her father was an attorney, unemployable because of alcoholism.
In Jan. '35, Amelia was the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California, a trip that took 18 hours.
Because of a physical resemblance to Charles Lindbergh, the press dubbed her "Lady Lindy," a sobriquet Earhart disdained.
Her promotion of a fledgling airline gave it enough momentum to succeed. This company eventually became TWA.
Miss Earhart wasn't a very good pilot, and in fact had many accidents.
She could barely operate a radio and didn't know Morse Code.
She was married to an older man who had promoted her for many years.
Earhart spent countless hours raising money for upcoming flights, as she and husband George Putnam were not wealthy people.
After an exhilarating night flight with Miss Earhart, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt got the aviation bug, but FDR refused to let her take flying lessons. Amelia was a frequent White House guest of the Roosevelts.
She designed her own wardrobe.
Her final flight began with a crash landing in Honolulu, HI. The two-engine Electra was rebuilt for about 30K and her around-the-world at the equator trip began anew some 4 months later, this time in the opposite direction and from Miami, FL.
Amelia was not alone on this flight into history. A crew of four was whttled down to her and navigator Fred Noonan.
Earhart and Noonan were officially declared dead 18 months after their disappearance on July 2, 1937."