Contemporary World Issues
By: Jerome Bircumshaw
Even to this day some people believe women are not capable of achieving what the male can do. However one women in 1928 changed the image of the face of women forever.
Soon to be an American aviator, Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas. She was the daughter of a successful railroad attorney. Because of her father’s occupation, Amelia spent her childhood growing up in many different towns. Her fascination for adventure and thrill seeking started off at a young age where Amelia and her big sister Muriel decided one day that they wanted to make a plane. There was a lack in material, so they decided to make a rollercoaster instead. Even though neither one of the girls knew how to make a roller coaster, they got some wood from an old wooden fence they tore down. First, they made the “car” by placing the bottoms of roller skates under a big piece of wood and the rest of the wood was used to make a slide that went from the top of a woodshed to the ground. With Amelia and her bravery, she went first and rolled quickly down the unstable slide. The “car” hit the ground and Amelia bounced into the air and turned into a somersault, luckily escaping injury.
Years after the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa where they attended a state fair. That is when Amelia got to see her first airplane which did not impress Amelia. The airplane was made of wood and wires and reminded Amelia of a “big orange crate.” Because of this, she thought she would never own an airplane. Even though she was young at the time Amelia knew she wanted to do something fun in the future. One night in 1910 Amelia’s father took both of the girls out to see Halley’s comet which passes by once every 76 years. She was really impressed by the sight and pointed out one specific star and asked if it had a name. “That is Vega,” her father told her. “It is one of the most beautiful stars of all.” Amelia shut her eyes and wish on “Vega” that she could do exciting things when she grew up. This wish certainly came true.
The following years were good ones for Amelia, as she learned how to swim and ride horses. After she finished her high school education, she attended a school in Toronto, Canada where she visited her sister and took a course in the Red Cross First Aid. She thought being a nurse was going to be her occupation growing up as she loved helping the wounded soldiers and everyone loved her help.Years after however, she left and furthered her education as a premedical student at the Columbia University in New York. It was going well for Amelia, but her parents insisted she should move back to California with them.
Shortly after, Amelia was living in California with her parents when she read in a newspaper that there was an “air meet” near Los Angeles. Amelia went to the air meet, with her father and they watched the planes do stunts and daredevil tricks. That was the beginning of Amelia’s aviation adventure. She decided she wanted to fly, but her parents could not afford lessons for her, so Amelia got a job to cover the expenses. Her teacher was a women, and one of the only women in the world who knew how to fly. This gave Amelia more hope that one day she would be able to fly by herself. One day she finally got to fly solo as her instructor watched. She was not the best pilot and had a rough landing, but she could say she flew an airplane. Amelia’s mom was proud of her and helped her to buy her own small airplane. Amelia soon became a good pilot and was reminded by men and women constantly how good her aviation skills were. Planes did not fly very high back in the early 1900’s but that never stopped Amelia from setting a women’s record for high flying. She flew 14,000 feet in the air, almost three miles high.
With the knowledge we know now of Amelia’s great achievements, it is surprising to think that she...
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