As I’m sure you’ve discovered from Google already, today would have been Amelia’s 115th birthday.
An amazing woman I’ve always admired, Amelia was born on the 24th July 1897 and disappeared in 1937 while attempting the first female circumnavigation by plane.
She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, helped form the Ninety-nines, an organization of female pilots, and was a fervent supporter of the Equal Rights amendment to the American constitution.
Her mother gave her and her sister the kind of unconventional childhood that we all dream of, although her sense of adventure needed little encouragement.
She married in 1931, insisting on an open marriage and kept her maiden name.
Amelia went on to become friends with another woman I admire immensely; Eleanor Roosevelt.
She disappeared in July 1937 while attempting to land on Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. Various rumours claimed she may have landed on nearby islands and a Caucasian woman’s skeleton was discovered on Gardner Island, however it was misplaced before DNA testing would have been possible.
I admire Amelia’s feisty attitude, her sense of adventure but especially her refusal to bend to the society rules of the time. I’ve always been interested in her story and I was thrilled to rediscover her in ‘Night at the Museum 2’.
While it may no longer be possible for our daughters to break world records by being the first woman to circumnavigate or cross an ocean,or to be the first woman in space - a role taken by Sally Ride, who died yesterday aged 61, it doesn’t mean they can’t accomplish amazing things, starting by being true to oneself and one’s ideals.
Amelia is a lesson to us all, not to take any shit, from anyone, ever.