Who Is Amelia Earhart

And why is there an Amelia Earhart day?

Christine Schoenwald
6 min readJul 14, 2021


This photograph is from the Harris & Ewing collection at the Library of Congress

The Amelia Earhart story has something for everyone: mystery, invention, and perseverance headed up by a strong woman. Amelia Earhart not only created world records, but she also broke them.

I’ve been fascinated by her since I was a little girl — once, I even wanted to go as Amelia Earhart for Halloween, but all the vintage aviatrix costumes must have been sold out because I went as a cat instead.

A simple answer to who Amelia Earhart was is that she was an aviation trailblazer who broke many records, all people to follow their dreams, and believe in themselves even when no one else did.

In 1937, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to attempt to fly around the world with only one crew member. Unfortunately, she disappeared somewhere over the Pacific when she was a mere twenty-two thousand miles from her goal.

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. Amelia’s mother went against social mores of the time and encouraged her daughter’s adventurous spirit. While other girls enjoyed more dainty and refined pursuits, Amelia climbed trees, hunted rats, and played basketball.

When she was only seven years old, Amelia enlisted her uncle to help her make her own roller coaster. The coaster had a ramp and a wooden box for a seat. Although the short ride ended with a crash instead of a stop, and Amelia was bruised and battered, she told her little sister, “Oh Pidge, it’s just like flying!”

Her homemade roller coaster may have planted the seed for her desire to fly, for it certainly wasn’t seeing an airplane for the first time at a state fair, as she wasn’t impressed. “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting,” she said, dismissing the plane as if it were junk as only a ten-year-old can.

However, nearly ten years later, Amelia was at a stunt-flying exhibition when the pilot decided to aim right for Amelia and her friend watching from a clearing set off from the rest of the audience.

Amelia believed the pilot intended to give them enough of a thrill to make them scurry off…



Christine Schoenwald

Writer for The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Next Avenue, Business Insider, and Your Tango Christineschoenwaldwriter.com