I don’t know if any of you know much about Amelia Earhart. I mean, I’m sure you know the basic gist of her: she was the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic and she went missing during her solo trip around the world. That’s pretty much all you learn in school. But she was actually a great inspiration for women. If she were around today y’all would probably call her a Queen.
I’ve always loved YAS QUEEN-type ladies (because what girl doesn’t love seeing other girls kick ass in the patriarchy), and the idea of Amelia fascinated me, so I did some research about her. Have you ever read something right at the right time in your life? You see words and it just clicks and you suddenly feel better? That’s what I experienced when I read about Amelia. She was inspiring.
She was a fighter for women. She believed in breaking glass ceilings, in tearing down stereotypes, in the idea that women should be building each other up.
So, today, we celebrate Amelia and her poetic love of aviation and the sky and all things freeing with a list of fun facts and inspiring things she’s said!
- In April 1928 when she got the phone call asking if she’d like to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic, she initially refused the call saying she was too busy. After she finally answered, she thought it was a prank. Lucky girl had all her dreams come true.
- “Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.”
- Her first plane was called “The Canary” because it was little and yellow. So cute.
- “One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break… It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs, which produced the corollary that women are bred to timidity.” (Which they shouldn’t be, as she liked to prove.)
- She married George Putnam, a book publisher and publicist who interviewed her about one of her flights. She insisted on her independence and referred to their marriage as a “partnership” with “dual control.” So modern of her. Brava.
- “Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”
- She broke tons of records, and not just for women. She broke men’s records too, like being the first person to take the solo the trip from Honolulu to Oakland. What a badass.
- “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
- Just in case one of her dangerous flights proved to be her last, she wrote a brave letter to her husband. ”Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
- “The most effective way to do it is to do it.”
And there you have it. Amelia Earhart was a woman who knew what she wanted and did what she needed in order to achieve it. She didn’t let her own fears or words from others keep her down. She refused to accept a world that tried to ground her and took to the sky instead.
Happy birthday Amelia. May we all be more like you.