Amelia Earhart Flies Into Immortality

At about the same time that Lindbergh was emerging as a media favorite, another figure was beginning to appear on the aviation scene. Amelia Earhart, a tough – minded former nurse with a nose for newsreel cameras and an instinct for publicity, was drawing the attention of flyers and celebrity-hounds alike. With a combination of

scripted events and legitimate Hying moxie, Amelia Earhart emerged as a media darling with a reputation for daring flying.

Amelia Earhart Flies Into Immortality

Turbulence

Lindbergh’s tame was accompa­nied by tragedy. On March I, 1932, his infant ton Charles Jr. was kidnapped from the New Jersey home where Charles lived with hit wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The baby’s body was found a short time later, and police in 1934 charged a Cerman-born carpenter with the eiimt. The suspect, 8runo Richard Hauptmann, was exe­cuted in 1936.

In fact, Amelia was only a modestly skilled pilot. Though such a statement is akin to blasphemy to her fans, pilots of her day and since have acknowledged that, for all her courage and never-say-no enthusiasm, “Millie” Earhart was often over her head in the cockpit. Time and again she crashed airplanes or used faulty in-flight judgment, and just as often a forgiving, hero-making press painted the proto-feminist as “Lady Lindbergh” anyway due in no small part to her striking physical resemblance to Charles Lindbergh.

But outside the cockpit, Earhart was a true hero for reasons that went beyond the long-distance or highaltitude records she set. She was an outspoken advocate for women, social causes, and aviation. It’s not too far a stretch to say that, along with Lindbergh (whom she knew well), Earhart helped propel the airline industry to a level of acceptance—even romance—it might have otherwise taken years longer to achieve.

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