Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, which still regards her roots there as one of its greatest points of pride. She grew up in solid middle – class surroundings and had her mind set on a career in medicine. Like flying, practicing medicine was regarded as a man’s domain, but Earhart seemed willing, if not eager, to press on into arenas that were hostile to women. Her career goals were sidetracked in 1921 when she learned to fly from an eccentric woman pilot named Anita Snook, and then bought her first plane with money from her father.
Within a year, she had set a record by reaching 14,000 feet during a flight, and was already planning to capitalize on the publicity that woman flyers of her day could attract. In 1928, she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic. Her promoters dubbed her the “commander” of the flight despite the fact that the plane was actually piloted and navigated by two men. Amelia was no more than a passenger.
Amelia, her pride pricked by her passive role in the 1928 flight, crossed the Atlantic again in 1932, this time solo. Especially after the second Atlantic crossing, Earhart didn’t discourage comparisons between herself and the laconic Lindbergh. In fact, her short-bobbed hair and her boyish aviator’s garb made the comparisons to Lindbergh even more apt.
Though Amelia wanted to be the fint woman to do it, the globe had already been circumnavigated by air three times, first in 1$24 by U.5. Army pilots and twice by colorful, one-eyed, mostly deaf Wiley Post in a Lockheed Vega he called V/innle Mae.