David M. Dismore is doing a fabulous job live blogging Women’s History Month at Ms. Today he posts about Amelia Earhart, the most famous female aviator. On March 17, 1937, she started off on the first try for an around-the-world trip. She made it from Oakland, Calif., to Honolulu, Hawaii, but her plane was damaged afterward. Her second attempt, which would end in tragedy, began June 1. Although Earhart is remembered today for her mysterious disappearance over the Pacific Ocean, she set many aviation records in her day, including being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
I have been proud and fond of Earhart not only because she was (and still is) an excellent role model for women, but because she was a teacher at Purdue University, my (and Rick’s) alma mater. I lived in Earhart Hall for three years while I was a student there. Earhart’s Lockheed Electra was Purdue-funded. I’m happy to know my university recognized Earhart’s talents and sought to encourage other women to follow her trailblazing path.