Thursday, August 31, 2006

Famous People From Kansas : Thursdays

For my first edition of Famous People From This Boring State, Kansas : Thursdays, I have chosen none other than Amelia Earhart. Her story has fascinated all of our history books for years. I credit the photos, qoutes and summary of her story to the official Ameila Earhart website, which can be found here:
  • Ameila Earhart
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    "Her mysterious disappearance has made her saga the holy grail of aviation"

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    When Amelia Earhart, 39, lifted off from Miami on June 1, 1937, no one thought to question what America's favorite aviatrix was up to. After all, this was the Queen of Firsts: first woman passenger a transatlantic flight (1928), first femail pilot to fly solow across the Atlantic and first woman to receive the Destinguished Flying Cross (both 1932), first individual to launch a passenger airline (Boston and Maine Airways, 1933). It made perfect sense that Earhart would want to be the first ever to aeronavigate the globe. Only after Earhart and her twin-engine plane disappeared over the South Pacific and a 16-day, 4,000 man search produced no traces or clues - did questions beging to percolate.

    Sixty years later, authors, documentary markers and expedition buffs are still trying to unravel the riddle of Earhart's disappearance. The standard she-ran-out-of-gas-and-crashed theory has been eclipsed by juicier speculation that the Kansas native was shot down while on a government spying mission. Depending on who tells the story, she a) died instantly, b) was excuted by the Japanese, c) became the anti-American radio voice of Tokyo Rose, d) bedded down with Emperor Hirohito, e) was relocated by G-men to New Jersey, where she made a life as a homemaker under an assumed name.

    No less intriguing are the posthumous assessments of her marriage to George Putman the publisher who launched Earhart's career in 1928 by selecting her to be the first woman passenger to fly accross the Atlantic. ("I was just baggage," she acknowledged.) Researchers alternately find the Earhart-Putman alliance: a) a marriage of convenience for both their careers, b) a Svengali-type affair in which he called the shots, c) a modern marriage in which both delighted in manipulating the media. All in all, the woman who claimed she flew simply "for the fun of it" has proved to be, in death more than in life, a) more complex, b) more mysterious, c) more provocative or, actually, d) all of the above. (credited to Peoples: Most Intriguing People of the Century)

    Some Qoutes from Amelia:

    "The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night."

    "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."


    FAST FACTS:

    Birth Name: Amelia Mary Earhart
    Born: July 24, 1897
    Birthplace: Atchison, Kansas
    Died: July 2, 1937, en route from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island
    Married: February 7, 1931, to George Putnam

    Where is Atchison, Kansas?

    It is northeast of Kansas City, and it is Total Est. Time: 4 hours, 4 minutes Total Est. Distance: 214.90 miles, from my town of Coffeyville, Ks. (just some interesting trivia for you :) )

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