This week marks the 75th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart (1897-1937?), one of the most famous fliers of the twentieth century. Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were last seen taking off from Papua New Guinea as part of an attempted round-the-world flight. While there are many theories about where and how their flight must have ended, no one knows for certain, and the answer remains one of history's most tantalizing mysteries.
In an era when the skies were still a world to be conquered, Amelia soared, breaking records and setting new ones with a speed that made her a darling of an awe-struck public. But Amelia can't be defined by celebrity alone. In addition to being a pioneer in the air, she wrote bestselling books, mentored other women about careers in flight, served on the faculty of the Purdue University Department of Aviation, and was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. In other words, an all-around Intrepid Woman.
This short newsreel film from the 1930s features Amelia herself describing her career and experiences. Somehow her modest, matter-of-fact manner makes her achievements all the more extraordinary.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.