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Meet a Pioneer Pilot

Amelia Earhart Home

Winners of the 1997 Women's History Month Contest

FIRST-PLACE WINNER: Kara Schultz, 6th Grade, Northside Intermediate School, Milton, WI

Woman Aviator Feared Dead

July 3, 1937

Trying to become the first woman to fly around the world, aviator Amelia Earhart has mysteriously disappeared in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Island of Lae. The last person to hear her voice was a radio operator at 7:00 p.m. on July 2nd, 1937.

Authorities fear that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan may have drowned in the Pacific Ocean. Others believe that Earhart and Noonan flew off to another country to live because of problems with Earhart's husband. The Coast Guard, and Earhart's friends and family, have begun a search in the area where the plane is believed to have gone down.

Amelia Earhart's former career was as an educator but she always said that flying was her great love. The loss of Amelia Earhart will affect not only her friends and family, but also the world of aviation. Earhart was a pioneer in the field, and proved just what a pilot and a plane could accomplish. She also had a great effect on women's issues. She provided a strong role model for women wishing to have a career not only in aviation but in any other areas.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Breanna, 4th Grade, Towers Elementary School, Torrance, CA

Flight Across the Atlantic

May 21, 1932

Amelia left for her trip at 6:30 p.m. on May 20, 1932. While flying, Amelia liked to look at the moonlight for its beauty. Then bad things happened. There was an electrical storm. Then the wings iced up. Amelia flew at 10,000 feet into the morning light. She was low on fuel. She turned on the reserve tank and discovered that there was a leak. There was a dangerous fire. Amelia saw land and decided to land in a big field. She was in Galleger's Pasture. That trip took 14 hours and 54 minutes. She only drank one can of tomato juice.

That flight broke three records. It was the first transatlantic crossing by a woman. She was also the first woman to cross alone. And it was the fastest crossing by anyone. Amelia was presented with the National Geographic Society gold medal. She was the first woman to receive it. She had dinner at the White House with President and Mrs. Hoover and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Bryn Peterson, 7th Grade, Altoona Middle School, Altoona, WI

Famous Flyer Wed

February 8th, 1931

Yesterday, February 7th, the determined female flyer Amelia Earhart was married to her agent George Palmer Putnam, better known as "G.P." The two were wed at Amelia's mother's house in Connecticut.

Amelia was engaged once before, but could not go through with her fiancee's request to settle down and raise a family. G.P. was married for many years, but divorced her to marry Amelia. Before the wedding, Amelia wrote G.P. a note saying what she expected from him. The wedding went as planned.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Valerie, 4th Grade, Towers Elementary School, Torrance, CA

The Early Life of Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897. After she was born she spent most of her time with her grandparents. Amelia had a little sister named Pidge.

Amelia's mother asked a woman to sew "bloomers" which looked like overalls. Amelia and Pidge wore them when they played. Amelia's mother thought it was all right that Amelia acted like a boy. Her parents played with her and bought her boy stuff like sports equipment. She went fishing with her dad, and enjoyed swimming, reading, and playing games. They let her bring frogs, worms and other kinds of bugs into the house.

She also liked to read books, but in the books she read the boys got all of the adventure. Amelia loved horses, and her favorite book was Black Beauty. One time Amelia was supposed to recite a poem, but she saw a horse being treated badly and gave the mistreated horse food, water, and hay. She missed her turn to say her poem.

Her parents often took Amelia and Pidge to fairs. One fair had the first rollercoaster that Amelia had ever seen. When she got home, she began to make her own rollercoaster. Amelia rode it first when it was finished. She flew off the track and landed with a big "thump!" Then she picked herself off the ground and tried it again. When her grandpa saw it he told her to tear it down because it was dangerous.

Her father also took her to see an airplane show. Mr. Earhart was fascinated at the sight of the planes but Amelia was not very amused by planes at that time.

Amelia began to take her first flying lessons from a woman pilot, Ms. Snook. Amelia had to have eight jobs to pay for the lessons. She was a photographer, a secretary, and held other odd jobs. She also bought a yellow Canary, her first plane.

Amelia's father began to drink heavily. He lost his job, and had to look for a job, but because he drank no one wanted him. So her parents became divorced. Amelia and her sister helped their mother pack up. Amelia had to sell her yellow Canary to buy a car for her mother. They headed towards California to start a new life.

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